Congratulations to the 2020 McGeady Fund Awardees!

March 02, 2020

PNCA is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the McGeady Faculty Development Grants. Out of a strong field of applicants, Phoenix McNamara (Adult Program Director, CE; Assistant Professor, Illustration) and Carl Diehl (Assistant Professor in Creative Writing, Foundation and Video + Sound) have been selected as this year’s winners.

Each will receive funding from the McGeady family in the amount of $10,000 to support projects to be undertaken in 2020.

McNamara will use the funding to travel to Working Artist Studios in Ballydehob, Ireland, where she will be an artist in residency from May to June 2020. During her residency, she will continue her work on a series of hand-dyed, whole-cloth quilts that represent outer space and galactic patterns. Stitched together with glow-in-the-dark thread, the quilts take on a different appearance depending on the environment they are viewed in. During her residency, McNamara plans to work on another quilt while simultaneously conducting research on the cosmos and astral shapes that will influence future quilt designs.

“The McGeady grants are hugely important,” said McNamara. “The award allows faculty to pursue ambitious projects that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, such as my month-long residency in Ireland. That opportunity really means a lot for my practice in general, and I am so grateful to have this support in furthering my work.”

For Diehl, the grant will enable him to produce a documentary about his grand-uncle Werner "Dorny" Dornfield, a prominent magician who began in vaudeville, who designed custom illusions, tutored aspiring conjurers and rubbed elbows with the likes of Houdini. His research will involve a trip to Austin, Texas, to meet with a couple that Dornfield mentored, and he will work with local Portland comedy magician Kevin Allen to develop an homage to Dornfield's various acts and illusions.

“This is a super generous award and an incredible opportunity to pursue a project I’ve been researching and developing for some time, but haven’t been able to produce due to the cost,” said Diehl. “Finding funding for art projects is part of the infrastructure of being an artist, and being awarded something of this scope allows us to really dig into the ‘what ifs’ that we might otherwise push to the side.”

For five years, Steven and Linda McGeady have generously provided these awards in support of the creative potential and growth of members of PNCA’s faculty. This is the fourth year that the fund has offered this significant support for the researches and professional development of the faculty at the college.