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!

July 17, 2018

Lead Bank Announces Emerging Artist Awards

Lead Bank, a leader in financial technology, an advocate for small businesses, and the recent winner of the coveted Mr. K Award continues to show its support for the arts by sponsoring the Kansas City Art Institute’s Sponsored Studio Program by the creation of the “Lead Bank Emerging Artist” award. This award was recently given to the following four KCAI students: Vivian Becks (Sophomore, Animation), Anella Fernandez (Sophomore, Fiber and Social Practice Certificate), Lisa Bjornstad (Junior, Sculpture) and Rachel Tucker (Sophomore, Fiber). Each year, Lead Bank commissions KCAI students to create artwork for their Community Art Panels located in their Crossroads branch parking lot. These panels were specifically erected so the Bank can give back to the art community by showcasing local artists’ work throughout the year. These four Emerging Artists’ artwork will also be featured as a 2D mural on the Community Art Wall each quarter at 1801 Main Street in the Crossroads as well as inside the Main Street Bank lobby. Each award winner received a $500 scholarship and the nominating department received $200. The community is invited to view each of their work beginning in October 2018, which will feature Vivian Becks animation and sound design called read more…

July 9, 2018

KCAI Breaks Ground on Student Residence Hall and Dining Center

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) will break ground on a new student residence hall and dining center on Thursday, July 12 at 9 a.m. Located along Warwick Blvd south of the campus gates, the building will house a 244-bed residence hall, the Wylie Dining Center and the Café Nerman. The residence hall went from wish list to reality following a $10 million lead gift by an anonymous donor, given through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation last year. The new facility is designed by award-winning Helix Architecture + Design. Helix designers Doug Stockman and Alissa Wehmueller, along with Christopher Carvell of Denver, Colo., designed the new building to look beyond traditional student housing models and nurture the creativity and wellbeing of art students. Featuring ouble-occupancy semi-suites with private baths and cozy gathering spaces, plus a student gallery, large living room and gaming center, the building celebrates the unique individuality of each student while creating a sense of community. Kansas City-based JE Dunn Construction is the general contractor for the project. “The contemporary student coming to KCAI to study deserves the best possible living space and the residence hall will be exactly what the students and their parents want – read more…