March 1, 2017

KCAI Mourns the passing of Jerry Nerman

We have heavy hearts today as we mourn the loss of treasured member of the KCAI family, Jerry Nerman. He was 97 at the time of his passing. His passion and commitment to KCAI and the arts have left a lasting impression on everyone he met.

“He was an extraordinary person. In your lifetime, you meet people who just stand out as being very special, very different, very unique, and he was one of those people, “said The Nerman Family President Tony Jones.

KCAI has a intimate connection with the Nermans. Jerry’s wife Margaret served on the board of trustees from 1999-2008 and was active in KCAI’s Warwick Society. The connection continues today with daughter-in-law Sue, who currently serves on the board of trustees.

KCAI Board of Trustees Chair Pat McCown said, “Jerry was a gentleman of the community and I am very sad to hear the news of his passing. He not only loved art and artist, but loved to share his art with so many. The Nerman Museum at Johnson County Community College is a legacy of Jerry & Margaret and an asset that will be forever cherished by the greater KC community.  Margaret, Lewis, Sue and his entire family will be in our thoughts and prayers.”

In 2016, the Nermans permanently endowed the president’s position. Tony Jones, now holds the title of The Nerman Family President. Among their many other contributions to KCAI, they are the benefactors who made KCAI’s Café Nerman possible, a central gathering place for faculty, students, staff and visitors that was dedicated in 2004. Jerry and Margaret were awarded honorary doctorate of fine arts degrees during the college’s commencement ceremonies in 2008.

“Jerry was really a giant, a giant twice,” Jones added. “A giant in the transport trucking industry, but in the world of art and design, Jerry and Margaret’s collection is known as a world-class collection of late modern and contemporary art. And that tradition with them has carried forward to Lewis and Sue who have built a contemporary collection quite different, but equally a world-class collection.”

Although it is very difficult to say goodbye, Jerry’s legacy will live on in the countless individuals he inspired and graced with his passion and wit. KCAI and the vibrant Kansas City community are forever indebted to his untiring devotion to creativity and the arts.

May 24, 2017

Two Major Campus Improvement Projects Launched

On nearly every college campus around the country, summer months are spent cleaning up facilities, taking care of maintenance projects and preparing for the next academic year. KCAI is no different, except that this summer we will also be working on two major campus improvement projects. For years, the Irving Courtyard has been a vacant outdoor space located between two of our growing departments­– Animation and Graphic Design. Thanks to a smart design by the architecture firm GastingerWalker&, we are converting the formerly bleak courtyard into 4,000 square feet of much-needed academic space. This project is an investment in two of our stalwart academic programs and provides modern, flexible learning space that our faculty and students deserve. Construction on the new Mildred Lane Kemper Terrace on the south side of Vanderslice Hall is also underway. The architectural design was informed by historical photographs and brings back the natural integration between the indoor reception rooms and outdoor terrace. The new wheelchair accessible ramp is a significant addition, that ensures everyone will enjoy the beautiful view of our campus green. We anticipate construction for both of these projects will be complete by late August, just in time for returning students to enjoy their “spruced up” campus read more…

May 24, 2017

Don’t Miss KCAI’s Art & Design Auction on June 3

Kansas City Art Institute’s newest studios and The Rowland Commons will be the epicenter for a fabulous evening of awe-inspiring fine art and festive food and drink at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 at the Art & Design Auction. Silent and live auctions will feature more than 200 pieces of original artwork donated from distinguished alumni, faculty and friends of KCAI. Proceeds benefit student scholarships and programs. Honorary Chairs Sue and Lewis Nerman and Event Chairs Abby and Alex Wendel are planning an evening perfect for friends who share a passion for supporting art and design education. Keith Jacobshagen (’65 design) is the Star Artist and one of his signature landscape paintings will be featured in the live auction. There will be a woodblock rubbing by John Buck, a flag by Peregrine Honig, a photograph by Patty Carroll and hundreds more pieces of amazing art. Artwork is valued from $75 to upwards of $25,000. The silent auction hosted by Paddle8, an international art auction site, is now open, allowing collectors a preview and opportunity to bid. The live auctioneer is Kansas City native Quig Bruning, vice president and specialist in the jewelry department at Sotheby’s Auction House. Proceeds from read more…