February 9, 2017

Kansas City Art Institute Receives $10 Million Donation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 9, 2017) — The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) announced today a $10 million gift to build a state-of-the-art student residence hall on campus. “Today surely marks the beginning of a significant new chapter in the 132-year history of the Kansas City Art Institute,” said Tony Jones, The Nerman Family President of KCAI.

The visionary gift was made by an anonymous donor via the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (GKCCF). It will be used as the catalyst for a plan to create a new residence hall, dining facility, student services and studios for academic programs­ — all of which will be designed specifically for the contemporary student in art and design.

Designed in 1963, the current residence hall at KCAI was built for a very different type of student, one without a laptop or cell phone. “Thanks to this amazing gift, we have an opportunity to address that challenge head-on by building a center for campus life that will attract students from around the world to Kansas City to receive a fantastic art and design education,” said Pat McCown, chair of the board of trustees.

In 2015, KCAI received “The Great Gift” $25 million for the endowment, student scholarships, endowed positions and campus improvements. “We are humbled by this further outpouring of generosity and the confidence in KCAI that it demonstrates,” said Jones. “As I consider the magnitude of this new gift and what it will do for our students, campus, and community, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the anonymous donor and our friends at GKCCF.”

For more than a century, KCAI has been a leader in art and design education helping to prepare students for successful careers after graduation. For most students, that path begins in the residence hall. “The board is fully engaged and believe this project has the potential to shape campus culture and provide a unique experience for all KCAI students,” said McCown.

October 24, 2017

Hilgemann Sculpture Installed Near Campus Gates

The “Dancers” are here! The dynamic two-part work, “Dancers (Tango)” by sculptor Ewerdt Hilgemann was recently installed at the campus entrance. Hilgemann, born in 1938 in Germany, lives in the Netherlands and US. “Dancers” was previously part of an installation on Park Avenue in New York City and has been generously loaned to the college by the artist.  These 20-foot-high stainless steel and Corten steel columns each weigh a massive 1,675 pounds. This project inaugurates the college’s plan to place large-scale works on campus, on a constantly-changing basis. The idea is to create a “Sculpture Walk” that will connect the public artwork already in place at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, through the campus, to the array of work in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Garden at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  Generous support for this installation was given by Marti and Tony Oppenheimer, Meg and Bill Zahner, Dick and Evelyn Belger, and Sean Kelley of A. Zahner Company. “Dancers” was installed during the International Sculpture Conference, which was held in Kansas City October 26-29. This conference brought together hundreds of artists, educators, arts administrators, museum directors, collectors, patrons, students and sculpture enthusiasts from around the country. These visitors read more…

October 12, 2017

KCAI Brings Creativity to the Workplace

Just weeks ago, for 48-hours the Kansas City Art Institute’s David T. Beals III Studios for Art & Technology were full of contestants dreaming up great ideas, crafting prototypes and products at the national Make 48 product competition. Our students were there every step of the way providing their expertise in fabrication, graphic design, photography, filmmaking and tech support. It’s part of KCAI’s ongoing commitment to give our students real-world, hands-on experience to prepare them for successful careers. In fact, we often work with businesses to provide unique opportunities for students who bring a creative, fresh approach to your organization’s challenges.  KCAI students have worked on a range of projects from product design for Weld Wheels, rebranding for Powell Gardens and medical illustrations for Children’s Mercy Hospital. Learn how our talented students can work with your business through internships and our Sponsored Studio program. Contact me at rwilliams@kcai.edu or 816-302-3527. KCAI has hosted Make48 twice. Last year’s competition is the focus of an eight-part documentary running in more than 200 public television markets across the country. You can see it Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on KCPT Channel 19.