PNCA Offers New Minor Focused on Art and Ecology

By Malia Ito, OEC Intern

What does being mindful of our planet look like? In Oregon, it takes many different forms. For the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) they are embarking on a new minor program focused on sustainability, beginning this Fall.

Students who participate in the Art and Ecology minor will be delving into ecological issues and the impact that it has on our social, economical, cultural and political systems. This program provides a space where students are encouraged to collaborate and bring attention to the issues that we face, through artistic expression.

The minor was established to offer curricular support for students who expressed interest in combining art and environmental studies into one discipline. According to program lead, Professor Daniela Molnar, the minor is a perfect match for Portland. The city is a hub for organizations that focus on many ecological issues and it is the right time and place to bring these issues together.   

The Art and Ecology minor is open to all students regardless of their intended field of study. One of the strengths of the program is that its interdisciplinary nature will bring people working in different backgrounds together and encourage communication with each other about their shared interest.

Students who participate in this program will take two required courses and three electives of their choice, either Studio or Liberal Arts. One of the required courses, Ecology and Resilience, focuses on ecology and earth systems and the way that people impact these systems. The other required course is Global Culture and Ecology, which allows students to be more involved as they will be conducting research and producing work. The class will focus on climate change and how designers and artists are responding to these environmental shifts. Find out more details about the program by clicking here.

Offering this minor program helps our broader Oregon community. Professor Molnar believes it will help bridge a connection between artists and non-artists, who are doing important work, but may not have a direct relationship to artists. Students who complete the minor will gain invaluable knowledge and bring artistic expression to represent new, artistic forms of activism. In return, this minor will prepare students to expand discussions about the ecological concerns across various disciplines and stimulate collaboration to advocate for environmental change. After all, it is OUR Oregon and we should work together to preserve it!

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