Earlier this year, I was saddened to hear that one of Portland’s academic gems, the Oregon College of Art and Craft, would be closing, ceasing its degree-granting programming. Saddened: but not as shocked as I could have been, given the recent and unfortunate trend of schools shuttering across the country.
OCAC was the reason I moved to Portland in 2009, and I suspect many artists can say the same. I attended their post-baccalaureate program in printmaking and book arts, a unique focus and a chance to more fully immerse myself in a field I had started to explore in undergrad. I had never visited the school before I made the cross-country move and questioned the existence of such a beautiful campus up in Portland’s West Hills, mountain peaks visible on a clear day.
But there it was, and there it had been since 1912. I feel lucky to have crossed its path. This season, as a celebration of the life of OCAC, I have asked for art submissions from Portland-area women artists who are also recent alums of the school that has had such an impact on the art scene of the Northwest for over a century.