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.
We are starting off 2018 with an exciting announcement about two brilliant members of our KCAI family, faculty member Anne Boyer and Alumna Ellen Carey (’75 Printmaking), who have recently been recognized for their artistic achievement by two prestigious award organizations. Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts Anne Boyer has received the inaugural $40,000 Cy Twombly Award for Poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, an organization founded by Jasper Johns and John Cage in the 1960s. Anne’s most recent book Garments Against Women, which explores everyday life themes, spent six months at the top of the Small Press Distribution bestseller list in Poetry. She has two additional books in the works, a collection of essays, A Handbook of Disappointing Fate, and The Undying, a personal account of her battle with highly aggressive breast cancer. Anne has been teaching and inspiring students at KCAI since 2007. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo, N.Y. a $30,000 grant to support the upcoming retrospective Picture Nothing: The Experimental Photography of Ellen Carey 1977-2017. This exhibit of Ellen Carey’s groundbreaking photography will open in October and run through February. Ellen is a world-renowned photographer and Associate read more…
We end 2017 with one more exciting announcement! The Board of Trustees has selected Helix Architecture + Design to design a new student living center and dining hall to be built on campus starting next year. The opportunity to construct a new residence hall is possible thanks to a $10 million lead gift by an Anonymous Donor, given through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation earlier this year. Helix is an award-winning, Kansas City design firm consistently ranked among the Best in the Nation by Architect Magazine. The firm’s diverse portfolio of work includes extensive experience with higher education institutions throughout the region. Helix designers Doug Stockman and Alissa Wehmueller partnered with Christopher Carvell Architects of Denver, Colorado who has nationally recognized expertise in the design of “Next Generation” student life facilities. This is a complicated project that includes not only the new 250-bed living center but also contemporary dining that will be open to the public and a large new terraced garden. Following interviews with several firms, Helix presented a sophisticated plan on how to create a relationship between the new student living center, the new garden space, and our current student housing building. The result will be a read more…
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