Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Lectures
Bridge Design Panel
Todd Johnson at PNCA
Politics & Community
Tuesday Links
The Butterfly Effect
Vito Acconci at the Nevada Art Museum's Art + Environment Conference
Goings On
Pointy
Andrea Zittel follow-up
Calling Artists & Curators
Models of Critical Production

recent comments

pink_artist
pink_artist
brett

categories

 

Calls for Artists
Design Review
Essays
Interviews
News
Openings & Events
Photoblogs
Reviews
Video
Links
About PORT

regular contributors

 

Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Jenene Nagy
Ryan Pierce

archives

 

Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us

 

Contact us

search

 


syndicate

 

Atom
RSS

powered by

 

Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a

 

Creative Commons License

Tuesday 10.23.07

« PORT in Art in America November 2007 | Main | Ongoing Installations »

PNCA and Portland an opportunity for growth

pncapotential1.jpg
Potential site for PNCA

After almost a week in California I'm back in Portland and I've been putting a lot of thought into PNCA potentially moving onto the North Park Blocks at 511 NW Broadway.

Clearly the Pacific Northwest College of Art is very interested in the property as they currently rent their space, which does nothing for their financial stability. Being denied the opportunity to build equity they are subjected to the market forces of condo development in the Pearl and the situation needs to be addressed soon.

I consider PNCA to be one of only 2 indispensable Portland visual art institutions (things are young here, PAM is the obvious other)… everyone else from RACC to PADA to PSU, even Reed is still pretty much still proving themselves and building a track record in the art community, which is fine… being hungry presents opportunities. Whereas, PNCA has nearly 100 years of history and is the chief cultural anchor of the Pearl District. With numerous free non-commercial galleries, huge public meeting spaces and numerous (often free) talks, not to mention the buzz of art students... PNCA is the Big Kahuna of cultural life in the Pearl. This civic engagement might allow the school to be gifted the site for free from the Federal Government as a "public benefit transfer." Such a transfer would allow the school to spend more on the actual project and better build their endowment, both of which greatly serve the city in ways mere business development does not.

It would also build upon the recent 15 million dollar Hallie Ford gift to the school creating critical momentum of space and philanthropy.

PNCA's proposal is very different from Melvin Mark's proposed Farmers Market and condo development, which isn't a bad runner-up situation but hardly provides these opportunities:

1) Cultural concentration and institutional critical mass for Portland:

A PNCA move to the site consolidates a unique concentration of cultural destinations on the North Park blocks, which also includes museums like Bluesky Gallery and Museum of Contemporary Craft plus commercial galleries like Charles Hartman, Augen and Froelick galleries. The Everett Station Lofts are across the street on Broadway as well. After looking at LA and San Francisco recently it is clear that none of their art schools have such primacy of place in the urban fabric. Artists are flocking to Portland partly because of this less corporate urban fabric and it will only redouble PNCA's pull. PNCA's enrollment has skyrocketed as of late based mostly on Portland's attractiveness so it makes sense that what is good for PNCA is good for Portland and vice versa.

CloepfilStlouisfinished.jpg
Brad Cloepfil's Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis

2) Site a Sight:

Several new site options for PNCA have included local starchitect Brad Cloepfil in their plans and it's a great opportunity for Portland to make a big architectural statement. The proposed site swings into view just as you come off the Broadway Bridge traveling westbound and it could further rehabilitate the NW portion of Broadway which started in 1989 with The Everett Station Lofts and now the Desoto building just this year. Adding PNCA along with Cloepfil's rising star would make this one hot spot on the west coast, besides Cloepfil needs a good project in Portland and an art school might be even more interesting than his reputation making Weiden and Kennedy building.


Overall, there is a synergistic moment of opportunity for PNCA and Portland as a serious art city here. Yeah, everyone loves food in Portland but I think the farmers market will find another option that might be even better, food is a necessity and art as a harder sell simply requires more foresight... like the GSA public benefit transfer can provide. PNCA might not have another option that is better and I hope the GSA see's fit to give the site to the school… (that is if it's feasible for PNCA to redevelop it, a study will be completed this month).

Look the GSA gave Eugene a Thom Mayne building and this opportunity could give Portland its single most exciting cultural addition since we hosted the Armory show in 1913. It would leverage and makes good on the enormous cultural growth which has been taking place here for the past 15 or so years. We should know in the next couple of months if this great opportunity is going to come to fruition.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 23, 2007 at 12:44 | Comments (3)


Comments

Amen! It's ridiculous that Cloepfil gets to build these amazing, internationally acclaimed art spaces in St Louis, Seattle, NYC, et al but not his own hometown. He's certainly one of the finest museum architects working today. Having him designing a space on the park blocks for PNCA is a grand opportunity for Portland.

Posted by: brett [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 23, 2007 02:56 PM

Okay, wow...

I consider PNCA to be one of only 2 indispensable Portland visual art institutions ... PNCA is the Big Kahuna of cultural life in the Pearl.

Posted by: pink_artist [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 24, 2007 01:36 PM

Okay, wow...

I consider PNCA to be one of only 2 indispensable Portland visual art institutions ... PNCA is the Big Kahuna of cultural life in the Pearl.

Posted by: pink_artist [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 24, 2007 01:36 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee