December 12, 2017

BEST IN THE NATION ARCHITECTS CHOSEN FOR NEW KCAI STUDENT LIVING CENTER

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 thoughtful design that takes into consideration the needs of our students while respecting our historic Rockhill and Southmoreland neighborhoods, and advancing the college’s extensive landscape plan.

Reeves Wiedeman, founding principal with Helix Architecture + Design said, “KCAI’s new student housing project will be a beacon for attracting talent to the campus and our city. It is an honor to work alongside one of the country’s leading arts education institutions to redefine the student housing experience and create a space that nurtures the creativity of these young artists.”

It is a major project that will transform our campus landscape, but it’s not the only one we are working on. In early 2018, we will begin work to secure an architect for a second building dedicated entirely to our legendary first-year Foundation Program.  It’s all part of our master plan to enrich a vibrant, world-class arts college in Kansas City on our lovely 16-acre campus – “studios in a garden!”

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…