PNCA as a Creative Trust
Introduction by Tom Manley, President, Pacific Northwest College of Art, to the Alumni Exhibition Catalog
On the occasion of TRUST: PNCA Alumni Exhibition 2012, and on the publication of TRUST, the exhibition catalog, President Tom Manley contributed the following introduction:
I am often asked what our students do after they graduate from PNCA, and I like to reply: “Our alumni practice creativity.” I then wait as those words are absorbed before providing any number of examples of how the studio arts education we offer has been put to work, so to speak, over so many years and across so many fields. And make no mistake, the practice of creativity involves work and a lifelong commitment to developing mastery. The works on display in TRUST: PNCA Alumni Exhibition 2012 are a testament to this dedication to creative work formed around a strong studio arts education.
PNCA has long served as a platform for the practiced work of creativity. From its founding over a century ago by Anna B. Crocker to the remarkable trajectory of growth and achievement of the past decade, the College has been the leading source for innovation and arts-based learning in the Northwest. We are proud of our record, and we are particularly proud of our alumni, who are the greatest exemplars and ambassadors of PNCA’s mission to prepare for a life of creative practice. We believe their aggregated work adds to the world’s Creative Trust.
And why is the practice of creativity and the development of a Creative Trust important? Because in our view, there is no more powerful or sustainable resource at hand than the ideas and ingenuity human imagination unleashes and no more effective way of generating those resources than through the disciplined practice of creativity. It is a formula for transformative problem solving that so often eludes us.
What makes the College’s increasing enrollment, expanding faculty and academic programs— five new graduate and three new undergraduate programs since 2007—and its developing North Park Block Campus so exciting is the strength that it adds to PNCA’s educational platform and its potential to further support the powerful practice of creativity. Nowhere is that strengthened base going to be more evident than in the renovated old post office building now destined to become the College’s gateway facility as the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. With a most generous $5 million lead gift from alumna Arlene Schnitzer and the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation, the Creativity Works Here campaign is off to a roaring start.
Among the multiple generations of PNCA alumni whose work we see in TRUST—beautifully curated by PNCA faculty member Victor Maldonado—are studio artists, educators, designers, entrepreneurs, cultural leaders, filmmakers, and writers. We are proud of all our alumni and honored to host this exhibition showcasing some of the best of what can be made of a life of creative practice.
— Tom Manley