College of the Arts

Experience the arts at PSU

Find your creative voice—and experience the voices of others—at the most dynamic and accessible public arts institution in Oregon.

Through creative research, community projects, and hundreds of public events each year, the College of the Arts makes Portland a better place to live. 

In the studio and on the stage, in the classroom and the community. Our students and faculty cultivate the bold ideas that can change the world. 

Artists are problem solvers. Today more than ever, that’s what the world needs. 

Creative practice demands new ideas, empathy for others, collaboration and practical results. These skills are essential for solving the big challenges facing society today—and they’re at the heart of our college. That’s why our graduates are well prepared for successful careers in the arts and beyond.

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COVID-19 Update: The College of the Arts staff will continue to work partially remotely during Winter term 2022. Don't hesitate to reach out to the-arts@pdx.edu with any specific questions or concerns.

Nurturing Creativity, Transforming Lives

Every day at PSU's College of the Arts, we cultivate the bold ideas that can change the world. In the studio, on stage, in the classroom and in the city, our students and faculty find their creative voices and listen to the voices of others, making the Portland community a better place to live.

Man holds "Black Lives Matter" sign at protest. "Black Lives Matter" by Fibonacci Blue is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Black Lives Matter

The College of the Arts is committed to working for justice and striving to create an anti-racist environment for our students, faculty, staff and community. Read Dean Leroy Bynum, Jr.'s statement to the community.  

Your generosity makes a difference

Innovation, advocacy, and community building are central to addressing today’s challenges—and creativity is key. College of the Arts students pursue rigorous academic curricula and learn the skills and discipline for successful and sustainable careers in the arts. Your gift will have direct impact on aspiring artists, musicians, designers, and makers!


 

The College of the Arts Student Hardship Fund was created to provide immediate support to students in need of emergency funds to cover both academic and personal expenses, such as housing, medical bills, utilities, and equipment. Thank you for your gift to support College of the Arts students facing financial hardship during this challenging time.

Upcoming events

Deinum Prize Showcase Exhibition: Auditing an MFA

"Auditing an MFA" is an exhibition that explores Master Artist Michael…
Add to my Calendar 2022-01-20 07:00:00 2022-01-19 15:04:14 Deinum Prize Showcase Exhibition: Auditing an MFA "Auditing an MFA" is an exhibition that explores Master Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr.'s journey to earn their Master of Fine Art degree in the Art + Social Practice Program at Portland State University. Master Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. (MAMBSJ) received the Deinum Prize for Visionaries and Provocateurs in 2020 for their work with the Afro Contemporary Art Class at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School.  The Afro Contemporary Art Class was launched by MAMBSJ in 2020 as an after-school collaborative educational project for students in third through fifth grades. Through hands-on exploration of the work of Afro contemporary artists and leaders, the project enables young students, especially those of African descent, to learn more about the history and context that shapes their lives, culture, and social experience. As part of the Deinum project, MAMBSJ produced a newspaper with support from the Black Art Ecology of Portland to be distributed to the homes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School students during remote learning. They were invited to present to students remotely through King School Museum of Contemporary Art’s artist in residence program, as well as to do programming entitled Afro Futurist February for Black History Month. MAMBSJ’s work in this award period recently culminated in the offering of Fred Hampton Summer Camp at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School, with support from Vanport Mosaic and Portland Public Schools. In this exhibition, which chronicles the Afro Contemporary Art Class at King School and other projects, MAMBSJ draws the viewer's eyes to and through a deeper labyrinth of content that sits just barely under the surface of the Master Artist’s practice: the bureaucracy. Having collected their receipts for the entirety of their degreeing period, MAMBSJ challenges viewers to juxtapose the creative practice with the costs incurred to do the work, the monies earned from doing it, the debts accrued to receive their title, and the culminating audit of these fiscal categories as seen in their federal tax return statements. The exhibition will be on display from September 27 through January 22 in the Broadway Gallery in Lincoln Hall, with an Artist Talk on October 1, at 5:00 P.M. in Lincoln Recital Hall, Room 75. The Artist Talk is free and open to the public, but all guests must register to obtain a ticket. Seating is limited to the first 150 guests. Register for the Artist Talk on October 1. Guests are required to wear face masks at all times indoors regardless of vaccination status in accordance with Oregon and Portland State University policies. Sanitation stations are available in Lincoln Hall.  Read more. Image: Former Black Panther Kent Ford speaks with students in the Fred Hampton Summer Camp at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School. Broadway Gallery, Lincoln Hall, SW Broadway at Market St., Portland, OR the-arts@pdx.edu the-arts@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Paradise Rot: 2022 MFA Group Exhibition

Paradise Rot is a group exhibition featuring our MFA Studio Practice…
Add to my Calendar 2022-01-20 08:00:00 2022-01-19 16:58:03 Paradise Rot: 2022 MFA Group Exhibition Paradise Rot is a group exhibition featuring our MFA Studio Practice cohort: Mai Ide, Joaquin Golez, Andrea Hendrickson, Miss Expanding Universe, and uva. On view in the AB Gallery (1st floor) and the MK Gallery (2nd floor) from January 11 to January 28. Gallery Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Fridays by arrangement. Access to the Art Building is by PSU badge for the campus community. Visitors from the public, please use the intercom by the exterior door and we will buzz you in. Masks are required.   AB and MK Galleries PSU Art Building 2000 SW 5th Avenue art-design@pdx.edu art-design@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Loose Body: A Survey of Ephemera from the Art and Social…

Loose Body: A Survey of Ephemera from the Art and Social Practice Archive…
Add to my Calendar 2022-01-20 08:00:00 2022-01-19 15:04:14 Loose Body: A Survey of Ephemera from the Art and Social Practice Archive Loose Body: A Survey of Ephemera from the Art and Social Practice Archive is an exhibition of selected ephemera from the Art and Social Practice Archive. It will be on view on the first floor of PSU's Branford Price Millar Library from January 3-March 18 during regular library hours. Located in the PSU Library Special Collections and University Archives, the Art and Social Practice Archive was founded in 2018 in honor of the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program’s 10 year anniversary and is the first public archive dedicated to socially engaged art ephemera. The Art and Social Practice Archive houses both physical and digital materials including posters, publications, flyers, zines, sketches, and other project documentation from past and ongoing artist projects, of which a selection will be on display. Our small collection documents social, collaborative, and community-based artwork coming from artists connected to the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program and local and national artist projects. How we are growing the Archive reflects our intention to collect stories of socially engaged artworks from all over the world while also organizing programming and artist projects connected to the archive. Curated by Marti Clemmons, BB Anderson, and Lo Moran Millar Library, 1st floor art@pdx.edu art@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

BLACK LIVES MATTER ARTIST GRANT EXHIBITION

Featured Artists: AnAkA, Annabelle Araya, Julia Bond, J’reyesha Brannon,…
Add to my Calendar 2022-01-20 08:00:00 2022-01-19 16:58:03 BLACK LIVES MATTER ARTIST GRANT EXHIBITION Featured Artists: AnAkA, Annabelle Araya, Julia Bond, J’reyesha Brannon, Amirah Chatman, Steven Christian, Baba Wagué Diakité, Sadé DuBoise, Austin Gardner, Leila Haile, Elijah Hasan, Edmund Holmes, Willie Little, Latoya Lovely, Aiyana Monae McClinton, Jessica Mehta, Christine Miller, Annie Schutz, Sharita Towne, and Kyra Watkins The Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program is a multi-university granting project established by Jordan Schnitzer that has awarded funding to 60 emerging, mid-career, and established artists whose practices demonstrate a commitment to social justice. This granting initiative, which categorically references the Black Lives Matter movement(s), gestures towards the germinating financial and intellectual investment in artwork borne out of a continuing, centuries-long fight for Black autonomy, freedom, and most notably, life.  The 20 artists selected for the Portland State University Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Exhibition stretch the notion of ‘socially engaged artwork’ beyond its cursory definition, resulting in a collection of objects which require multiple shifts in perspective. Through installation, photography, video, painting, performance, textiles, sculpture, poetry, and printmaking, this exhibition is a microcosm of allied and conflicting political, social, and aesthetic approaches.  Some awardees find it imperative to use art as a vehicle to depict the horrors of white supremacy by swelling the effects to an unignorable size, asking their audience not to turn away. The artwork of other awardees tends to the intricacies of their individual craft, or the richness of material culture. To joy and pleasure, illustrating and narrating a better world than this, to the intersections of Blackness, indigeneity, and queerness, to secrecy, and to abstraction.  This exhibition is not only in the wake of a global pandemic, nor the two years of increased global uprisings and protests in defense of Black life, or even centuries of enslavement and imprisonment, but also; in the spirit of Black creativity, ingenuity, and collectivity. To learn more about the exhibition and artists visit the exhibition website:  https://sites.google.com/pdx.edu/winter-2022-exhibition/black-lives-matter-artist-grant-exhibition Content for the exhibition was written by Ella Ray, a Portland-based art historian, cultural worker, and curator. Editorial support by Nia Pipkin-Glover. The Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program was established by Jordan Schnitzer in partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU. The program is funded through a generous grant from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Jordan Schnitzer.  The Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Exhibition was organized by the JSMA at PSU. Additional funding for this exhibition is provided by Portland State University President's Office and the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.   Image Credit: Amirah Chatman, Heaven’s Probably in Phoenix (detail), 2020, pastel on chipboard, Diptych, 44 x 56 inches JSMA at PSU 1855 SW Broadway jsma@pdx.edu jsma@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public