PNCA Alumni Announced as Centrum 2017 Emerging Artist Residents

August 03, 2017

MFA in Visual Studies alumna Aruni Dharmakirthi & Melanie Stevens '17.

We'd like to congratulate Melanie Stevens and Aruni Dharmakirthi who have been selected for Centrum’s 2017 Emerging Artist Residency. Melanie and Aruni will join 4 other Pacific Northwest artists – Benjamin Gale-Schreck, Mario Lemafa, Anna Mlasowsky, and Minh Nguyen – to participate and engage in this year's program.


Aruni Dharmakirthi

Aruni Dharmakirthi is a Sri Lankan born artist and educator based in the US. They received a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Florida State University and an MFA in Visual Studies at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Their work is described as new media and fiber and has been shown nationally and internationally in galleries including Disjecta in Portland, OR and Sonam Studios in Mumbai, India. In addition to their artistic practice, Aruni co-curates Soft Space, a video + new media curatorial project that exists as a digital archive and pop-up shows.


Melanie Stevens

Melanie Stevens is an artist, illustrator, and writer.  She is the creator of the graphic novel, Black Picket Fence, and the co-founder, editor, and an instructor of Miss Anthology, an organization that supports and publishes racially and economically diverse young comic artists who identify as female or genderqueer.  She is also the co-curator of Nat Turner Project, a migratory, radical gallery space that grants artists of color the freedom to create or express their own language within and without the parameters of racial commodification or designation. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree for Political Science from Yale University and her Master’s of Fine Arts degree for Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art.


Centrum’s Emerging Artist Residency is an initiative to support artists at the beginning of their career trajectory. Centrum invites a cohort of six visual artists from the Northwest region to be in residence during the month of October each year. The artists are provided with housing, studio space and a stipend, while they spend the month creating new work or refining existing work. This program is supported with grants from The Maurer Family Foundation, Sally Warren and Jeff Jackson, and Lucy and Charlie Hanson. Learn more about Centrum’s Emerging Artist Residency.