April 30, 2018

Mayor Sly James Delivers Commencement Keynote Address

Board of Trustee Chair Pat McCown and Alumni Nick Cave are also honored at the ceremony

On May 5, Kansas City Mayor Sly James will deliver the commencement address at the 2018 KCAI graduation ceremony. The Mayor is a passionate and committed supporter of the arts and education, and a good friend to our college.

Mayor James has worked extensively to raise Kansas City’s statewide and national profile by highlighting the myriad of cultural and human capital resources in our great city.  We owe him a debt of thanks for his dedication to environmental concerns, the creation of the incredibly successful KC Streetcar, and the planning for a new airport terminal by the internationally-renowned firm of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) – a gateway building that will become the architectural ambassador for our city. The arts in KC have thrived under his leadership – and he’s not only a fan, he’s an artist himself – no other American city has a mayor who was the lead singer of a terrific band, and who loves jazz with a daily devotion.

The Distinguished Friend Award will be bestowed upon another shining star, Pat McCown.  Pat has been a highly-effective member of the Board of Trustees for nine years, consistently helping students, faculty and the college as a whole. In 2015, he was asked to become Board Chair with virtually a day’s notice, following the unexpected death of Chairman Steve Metzler.  Pat’s dedication to the college has been exemplary, leading us through complex new projects like building the Beals Studios and the regeneration of the campus. We have no finer friend than Pat, and we want to thank him as he steps down this year.

At the commencement ceremony, we’ll also give an honorary doctorate to one of our very own, artist and educator Nick Cave (’82 Fiber). Nick is celebrated for his Soundsuits, which are elaborately designed assemblages of unexpected materials that emit sound as they move. They’ve been displayed in museums around the world including the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He’ll be back in Kansas City this fall, taking part in Open Spaces – Kansas City Art Experience, and will have a major exhibition next year at Crystal Bridges Museum for American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

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…