PNCA Gala Raises $350,000 to Support Student Scholarships

May 09, 2019

2019 PNCA Gala celebrating and Honoring Hallie Ford

Portland, OR—May 9, 2019—On Saturday, May 4, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) held its 2019 Gala at the college’s main campus building, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. More than 250 people attended the signature fundraising event, which raised more than $350,000 to benefit student scholarships, faculty, and programs.

The event, with presenting sponsors Arlene Schnitzer, Jordan Schnitzer, and the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation, honored several of the college’s greatest supporters and friends. Al Solheim was celebrated for his 20 years of steadfast support and service on the college’s Board of Governors. Hallie Ford was honored posthumously with the degree of PhD., Art D. Honoris Causa, accepted on her behalf by her granddaughters Allyson Ford and Kathryn Bauer. It was Ford’s historic $15 million gift, the largest ever to a cultural institution in Oregon, that funded the launch of PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, now with eight Master’s degree programs. The evening featured touching videos of community members, former and current board members, and family speaking about the transformative lives and ways of these two important figures.

The evening was emceed by Kimberly Howard of PGE and featured lively bidding sessions for experiences including a Michael Curry Studio tour and reception and an art adventure in New York with students in the MFA in Visual Studies program. In addition, the live auction featured work by Joe Feddersen (produced in concert with PNCA’s Watershed Center for Fine Art Publishing and Research, the research and education extension of the printmaking lab at PNCA) and by alumna Sherrie Wolf, as well as work by PNCA graduate students Joe Robinson, Kat Salvaggio, Alexis Day, and Perry Chandler.

Another highlight of the event was an exhibition and silent auction of beautiful work by PNCA students including Caelum Gay, Rebecca Giordano, Saoirse Harris, Sobe Silva, Abbey St. John, and Kia Takamori-Tihada. Throughout the evening, guests were treated to musical performances by Jimmie Herrod, Dan Presley, and Jodi Kuchenbecker (‘22).

“This event was a terrific opportunity to celebrate the heart of PNCA: our extended family of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and patrons, who collectively make this place extraordinary,” says President Don Tuski. “I want to especially thank our presenting sponsors Arlene Schnitzer, Jordan Schnitzer, and the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation, our Board of Governors, and all of our patrons for their continued support of PNCA. We are fortunate to have such generous donors who are committed to our students and the transformative power of an education in art and design.”

PNCA has continued to grow in recent years, welcoming its largest, full-time incoming class last fall. It has also introduced several new arts and design programs. PNCA’s faculty and staff are anticipating an all-time record enrollment for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Pacific Northwest College of Art is the only college of art and design in the heart of Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1909 as the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon, PNCA has helped shape the region’s visual art landscape for more than a century. Today, PNCA offers 11 Bachelor of Fine Art programs in art and design, eight graduate programs including Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, a Post-Baccalaureate program, and Community Education courses for artists and designers of all ages. For more information, visit