Rachel McKenna




Master of Fine Arts in Applied Craft + Design             2015 

Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR 

Specialization in furniture design and sculpture

Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts             2010

Brown University, Providence, RI

Specialization in furniture design

Solo Exhibitions

2016 Window Project, PDX Contemporary

Portland, OR

2016 Allow me to Introduce Myself, Collect Young 2020

Portland, OR 

2012 Beginnings, First Friday Art Walk

Honolulu, HI 

2010 Woodworks: Explorations in Sculptural Furniture Design, List Gallery

Brown University, Providence, RI

Group Exhibitions

2018 Celebration, Gather:Make:Shelter

Portland, OR

2018 Garrington Health Center Opening Gala, Cascade Behavioral Health

Portland, OR 

2017 Dislocation, PDX Contemporary

Portland, OR 

2016 PDX Holiday Box, PDX Contemporary

Portland, OR

2015 Address, Zoiglhaus Brewery 

Portland, OR 

2015 Several Steps Removed, Furthermore Gallery

Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR

2015 Body of Evidence, Furthermore Gallery

Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR

2014 This Could Fail, Furthermore Gallery

Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft

2014 Process, Material, and Inquiry, Furthermore Gallery

Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR

2013 Applied Craft + Design, Bison Building

Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR 

2013 Craft Center Showcase, Oregon State University Memorial Union 

Corvallis, OR

2011 Center Stage, Honolulu Design Center

Honolulu, HI

2009 Art Mania, University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Honolulu, HI 

2009 Contrariwise, List Gallery 

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

2009 Benches Ala Moana, Design Within Reach 

Honolulu, HI

2009 Benches Ala Moana, University of Hawai’i at Manoa 

Honolulu, HI

2009 Benches Ala Moana, Kirsch Gallery 

Honolulu, HI

2007 Hillel Gallery Project, Glenn and Darcy Weiner Hillel Center 

Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI


2010-current Featured Artist

Custom Made

2013-2015 Featured Artist 

Oregon State University Craft Center, Corvallis, OR 

2010 Featured Artist 

17 Peck, Providence, RI 

Teaching and Professional Experience

Shop Technician, University of Oregon College of Design, Eugene, OR 


  • Maintain, tune, and repair shop tools and equipment. Clean and organize shop and storage areas. Assess need for tools and materials. Build shop furniture and organizational implements. Work in a self-directed fashion. 

  • Communicate with the Facilities Department about shop status, tools, needs, and activities.

  • Support faculty by aligning shop instruction with professor goals and curriculum. Collaborate and maintain effective communication. 

  • Support students by instructing fabrication techniques, tool use, design problem solving, and shop safety. Create an inclusive and enjoyable working environment by being available, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and encouraging. Develop positive learning connections with students. 

  • Maintain a safe work space at all times. Enforce safety rules.

Education Coordinator, Instructor of Woodworking and Design           

Woodcraft Eugene, Springfield, OR 


  • Directed the education program at Woodcraft woodworking store, including developing class topics and content; class scheduling; supervising instructors; tool tuning and maintenance; and researching and developing methods to optimize the efficacy and reach of the program.  

  • Developed class content and teaching classes in topics in furniture design, cabinetry, and small-scale woodworking, including power tool and hand tool use; tool tuning, maintenance, and safety; fabrication techniques such as joinery, jigs, milling, cutting, and finishing; project planning; and design thinking. 99.5% 5/5 approval rating from students in recent classes.  

Founder and Owner, Chief Designer and Fabricator                

Chisel Creative LLC, Portland, OR 


  • Designed and built custom furniture and woodwork for home and commercial applications, including fine small-scale woodwork, high-design furniture, cabinetry, and large-scale commercial display systems. 

  • Developed original, one-off designs using design thinking to solve constraint-driven design problems and translated them into scale CAD drawings.  

  • Led a team of two woodworkers and eight apprentices in the fabrication of studio designs. Operated power tools and hand tools, such as planers, jointers, table saws, band saws, chisels, hand planes, and routers. Implemented advanced woodworking techniques including traditional joinery, book-matching, and fine finishing. 

  • Managed general operations and fabrication schedules ranging from one to two months. 

Director of Community Education                

Chisel Creative Community Makers Studio, Portland, OR 


  • Directed Chisel Creative Apprenticeship Program, leading a rotating team of eight beginning students, each completing a six month program of classes while helping fabricate studio projects.

  • Designed class content and taught a series of two high-level, eight-week furniture design classes, one focusing on power tool and hand tool skills, basic joinery, and the properties of wood, and one focusing on creating an original piece using skills in higher-level joinery, advanced power tool and hand tool use, jig making, different materials, and iterative design. 

  • Operated a 1000 square foot community-based wood shop. 

  • Managed schedules, monitored safety, and maintained and purchased shop hand tools, power tools, and consumables. 

Art Coordinator

Northwest Noggins, Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University, Portland, OR 


Instructor of Woodworking and Furniture Design, Furniture Designer                

Oregon State University Craft Center, Corvallis, OR 


  • Designed class content and taught groups of 10-12 university students and community adults in beginning and intermediate furniture design classes, focusing on fabrication techniques, tool use, safety, and design thinking. 

  • Designed and built utility furniture for studio spaces, including work benches, specialized glass-cutting tables, and storage. Designed and built decorative furniture for lobby spaces. 

Co-Founder, Co-Manager, Instructor, Communications Specialist

Brown University Clay Studio, Brown University, Providence RI 


  • Founded, built, and managed Brown University’s first ceramics program within its Visual Arts Department. Responsible for communicating with faculty about the needs and benefits of a ceramics studio, and secured its place within the university. Advised university on the purchase of equipment and supplies within a small budget.

  • Recruited visiting artists, and peer-taught a group independent study course. Oversaw fundraising, student recruitment, and awareness on campus.

  • Designed and physically constructed the studio and studio furniture.

Art Director

East Providence Boys and Girls Club, Riverside, RI 


Developed and taught a low-budget art curriculum that integrated art and academic concepts to elementary and middle school students.