August 15, 2017

KCAI Designs Butterfly Chandelier for Monarch Bar

When you enter the dazzling new speakeasy The Monarch Bar on the Country Club Plaza (at 4808 Roanoke) in Kansas City, a shimmering chandelier of over 1,000 acrylic ‘Monarch butterflies’ will be one of the first things to catch your eye. This marvelous installation was designed and built by Studio Coordinator Nathan Neufeld and a team of students in our very own David T. Beals III Studios for Art & Technology.

When our friend and world-famous architect David Manica, the Monarch Bar owner, wanted to create a cocktail bar reminiscent of the great ones in London and Moscow, he turned to KCAI. He knew that the extraordinary creative talent of our students and the high-tech 3-D printing capabilities of the Beals Studios were the perfect combination to realize his vision of the chandelier. The translucent acrylic butterflies were laser cut, then heated in a kiln and melted to give them shape, then sand-blasted and etched to catch the light. They were hung in columns on a grid to give the illusion of butterflies in flight.  Specially-designed lighting changes the colors of the butterflies. The result is an exquisite, unique chandelier. This collaborative project is just one of many that our students are doing with the Kansas City business community through our Sponsored Studio program.

The Monarch Bar opens in late August. Be sure to get a seat at the large marble bar, order a craft cocktail and then gaze at the ceiling to see the brilliant chandelier made by KCAI — cheers!

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.