September 26, 2017

Sexybeast Project Wall Unveiled at Closing of 100 Proof at H&R Block Artspace

The H&R Block Artspace is pleased to present “Sexybeast” by Leeah Joo on the Project Wall, a public art billboard located on the west side of the Artspace building facing Main Street. The unveiling of this new Project Wall will coincide with the closing reception of our current exhibition 100 Proof on Friday, September 29 from 6 – 8 pm.

Project Wall
Leeah Joo is a Korean-American artist who explores cross-cultural experiences by combining Eastern and Western painting traditions to examine the act of looking through depictions of what is being uncovered and/or what remains hidden. Presenting a vista of silk wrapped mountains and valleys, Sexybeast sets the stage for Korean folklore and history to unravel before a contemporary American experience. The drapery in this work is inspired by one of Kansas City’s most treasured American masterpieces: Venus Rising from the Sea—A Deception by Raphaelle Peale, which hangs in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Peeking over the v-fold in Joo’s violet swathed hilltops is a traditional Korean goblin or dokkaebi in place of the Venus. The dokkaebi is a fearsome supernatural beast known for pranks that ultimately prove to be harmless. In this composition, the leering goblin stands in for Kim Jung Un, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). This conflation of a contemporary figure and mythological creature can be read as a painterly incantation or binding spell, wherein the artist marks the megalomaniacal leader as impotent to inflict any lasting harm.

Born in 1971 in Seoul, Leeah Joo immigrated to U.S. with her family to settle in Indianapolis. Joo spent six years in Kansas City (1998-2004) when she taught at KCAI and was awarded a Charlotte Street Fellowship in 2001, before settling in Connecticut with her husband, children, parents, and a flock of chickens. This Project Wall was commissioned by the Artspace to celebrate Every Street is Charlotte Street.

100 Proof
100 Proof presents a diverse selection of prints created by 23 artists working in collaboration with Landfall Press. Preeminent among a handful of atelier/publishers throughout the world, Landfall Press was founded in 1970 by Jack Lemon, a 1963 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. Surveying nearly 2 decades of innovative artistic collaborations, the exhibition features a broad range of media and techniques that reflect the unique vision and adventurous approach of Landfall Press and its founder and master printer, Jack Lemon.

December 12, 2017


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…

December 6, 2017

Stanley H. Durwood Foundation Endows and Names The Charlie Sosland Chair in Illustration

The Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, under the direction of Charles Egan, trustee, has endowed and named The Charlie Sosland Chair in Illustration. Professor and Program Head of Illustration Steve Mayse will be the first to hold the title. The Chair in Illustration is named in honor of Charlie Sosland, who served as a KCAI Trustee from 1997-2009 and Chairman of the Board from 2002-2004. “I am very pleased and honored to have my name identified with the Chair of Illustration at KCAI. The art of illustration has an amazing impact on everyone’s lives. I am very grateful to Charlie Egan and the Durwood Foundation for this wonderful honor,” said Sosland. Steve Mayse is an award-winning illustrator and has been program head of Illustration for 25 years. He’s built a program that draws undergraduate students from all over the world to study at KCAI, and Illustration is the largest major at the college with almost 100 students enrolled. “I wish to thank Charles Sosland for his continued support and confidence in our work here at KCAI. I will continue, in the years to come, to meet the expectations of this position with honor and integrity. I’m grateful for the opportunity to read more…