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!

September 20, 2017

KCAI Hosts Second Make48 Competition

The David T. Beals III Studios for Art & Technology on the Kansas City Art Institute campus will be full of contestants dreaming up great ideas, crafting mock-ups, and refining prototypes and products during the 48-hour product design competition Make48 on September 28 – 30. Twelve teams from 12 states, including Kansas and Missouri, will be competing. They’ll be given a product category and then have 48 hours to create a prototype product and pitch it to a panel of experts from QVC and other industries. Some of the teams applied to compete and pitched themselves at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, where last year’s winners were showcasing their products. One of the teams is composed of a NASA engineer and his family, which shows the range of experience that contestants have.  You never know who is going to come up with winning product…everyone has a big idea! This is the second year KCAI has hosted Make48 and last year’s contest is the focus of a PBS documentary running in 200 markets this fall. You can see it in Kansas City on KCPT or KTWU on Sunday evenings through October 22.  A second season of the documentary will read more…

August 30, 2017

KCAI Crossroads Gallery – Red Dirt Rug by Rena Detrixhe and Dale Eldred: Works on Paper.

KANSAS CITY, MO – August 15, 2017 – KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice is pleased to announce its fall exhibitions, Red Dirt Rug by Rena Detrixhe and Dale Eldred: Works on Paper. Red Dirt Rug is an ephemeral, site-specific installation invoking the inherent stories within the Oklahoma soil, repetitive processes and found ubiquitous forms. Artist Rena Detrixhe uses the refining and sifting of the soil and the imprinting of pattern as a meditation on the past, a gesture of sensitivity and the desire to understand the beauty, pride and sorrow of the Oklahoma land. Born in Kansas, Detrixhe received her B.F.A. at the University of Kansas City.  Her work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Dale Eldred: Works on Paper is a selection of works displaying the monumental landscape projects by acclaimed sculptor and former chair of the KCAI sculpture department. Eldred’s material, environmental ambition included phenomena in clay, steel, wood, water and light in various landscapes and urban-scapes. Eldred joined KCAI in 1959 and was a major influence until his untimely death in 1993