The Photo Center Strengthens
by elevating the art and appreciation of photography.
The Organization was founded in the early 1980s and was originally named the Exposure School of Photography, then later called the Northwest Center for Photography.
A.K. Shethar purchased the organization in 1988, renamed it Photographic Center Northwest, and served as President of the organization from 1988 until 1999. During this period, Ms. Shethar and board leaders at that time oversaw the transformation of the organization into the non-profit it is today. The Center became an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design in 1996. In 1997, the Center relocated from its downtown and Greenlake locations into a 1920’s ambulance building located in the heart of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle which has been renovated to meet the needs of contemporary photographers.
Over the past 30 years, the Photo Center has evolved from a small photography school into a vibrant educational institution.
We will continue to be a beacon for the photographic arts in the Pacific Northwest, drawing students and artists from across the region to participate in classes, workshops and exhibitions. Our strategic goals in the coming years are to build our visibility and involvement in the local arts community while broadening our programs to reach the global photographic community. As we continue to cultivate regional partnerships and community connections, we serve our neighbors in Seattle by providing access to regional, national, and international perspectives through photography. You can play a part in this future. The Photo Center actively seeks photographers, curators, educators, and partner organizations to help shape our future while providing access to education in the photographic arts.
Photographic Center NW (PCNW) facilitates creation, conversations, and sharing of significant photography. Through our certificate program in fine art photography, exhibitions, and an array of public programming we foster dialogue in the region through the global language of today.
Our school serves students of all levels with a full range of coursework in film and digital media, and a rigorous certificate program encompassing theory, aesthetics, and technical mastery. The Photo Center provides its students and the community with resources that include gallery spaces, darkrooms, studios, a digital lab and library. Through exhibitions, lectures, scholarships, and outreach projects, the Photo Center provides access to the photographic arts, to professional and amateur photographers, and to the public at large.