Pacific Northwest College of Art Launches Art and Ecology Minor

April 28, 2017


April 28, 2017

Contact: Lisa Radon

Pacific Northwest College of Art Launches Art and Ecology Minor

Portland, OR—April 28, 2017—Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) launches a new minor for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Art and Ecology minor is the latest of a number of initiatives at PNCA that encourage and support an expansive reimagining of what art and design can do in the world.

Students in the minor will develop a broad understanding of pressing ecological issues and their relationship to the social, political, cultural, and economic systems that impact the future of humanity, other species, and our shared planet. They’ll use this awareness and these investigations to make work that is socially and ecologically impactful.

"PNCA's new program in art and ecology grows from the very real need for artists and scientists to collaborate on improving our relationship to the natural world," says PNCA President Don Tuski. "Furthermore, this program will incorporate not only the art and science involved with the environment, but the politics and economics as well. We could not be more excited about this forward thinking program."

PNCA is in a unique position to be able to offer this minor as it is heavily networked in a city that is politically progressive, ecologically-minded, and forward-thinking on social issues. The minor also builds upon a number of existing interdisciplinary initiatives at PNCA such as the Art + Science Initiative and a the robust set of liberal arts courses already offered around this crucial set of concerns.

The Art and Ecology minor is truly interdisciplinary and includes studio work, art history, literature, social sciences, and science. Students receive guidance and support through frequent individual meetings with program lead, Daniela Molnar. Students also participate in group activities as a way to share their creative practice and integrate their classroom experiences through discussion with faculty and peers. These activities include potluck dinners, exhibitions, guest speakers, guided hikes, and other community pursuits. In this way, the minor supports the expansion of a creative research based practice, honing the skills and voices of artists and designers to engage a range of social and ecological concerns.

Students in this minor will take a studio course, Global Culture and Ecology, and a science course, Ecology and Resilience (which also fulfills a required science class). And students will take three electives for the minor. Just a very few of the many studio, research, math, and science electives available to students in this minor include Utopia/Dystopia, Social Practice, Native American Studies, Biogeography of the Pacific Northwest, and Urban and Forest Botany. Courses fulfill requirements in the Liberal Arts, as well as electives across all studio departments.

Program Lead Daniela Molnar works in a range of forms including painting, art direction, design, a collaborative poetry/visual art project, writing, activism, and teaching. She is a trip leader and founding member of the board for Signal Fire, an organization that provides opportunities for artists to engage with public wild lands. She is Art Editor for The Bear Deluxe Magazine, a publication devoted to exploring environmental issues through the arts, and Co-Editor of Leaf Litter, Signal Fire’s art and literary journal.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art

As the Northwest’s premier college of art and design since 1909, PNCA has helped shape the region’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. Today PNCA is a dynamic platform for 21st century art and design education at its new campus in the heart of downtown Portland. PNCA offers ten majors within its BFA program, six graduate programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, and a Post-Baccalaureate program.