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.

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…

June 4, 2018

Frank D. Uryasz III Named Chairman of the KCAI Board of Trustees

We are pleased to announce that Frank D. Uryasz III, founder of The National Center for Drug Free Sport, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) effective July 1. A member of the board since 2015, he succeeds Pat McCown, who has served as Board Chair since April 2015. We are immeasurably indebted to Pat for his strong leadership and dedication to the college, first as a Board of Trustee member for five years and as Chairman for the last three. “There is no one better poised to move us forward than Frank. His experience on the Development and the Finance & Audit committees, his exemplary commitment to KCAI and his stellar work in the Kansas City community, make him the ideal candidate to lead the board during this exciting time of transformation for the college,” said The Nerman Family President Tony Jones. Frank has a master’s degree in business administration and bachelor’s degree in life sciences from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is the founder and former president of The National Center for Drug Free Sport, a worldwide leader in the sport drug testing industry. He is president of read more…