May 17, 2018

Stingrays, Sharks and Art

Two of Kansas City’s great institutions – the Zoo and KCAI – have teamed up to create a fabulous new exhibit called Stingray Bay at the Kansas City Zoo! Opening on May 18, visitors will experience the gigantic 13′ x 45′ tropical-colored mural that spans the entire back wall of the new touch tank for stingrays and “cat sharks”. The Caribbean-inspired underwater scene was designed by our very own Vaughn Parish, a junior in Illustration.

The project is part of KCAI’s MICRO Agency class, which gives students real-life experience designing and pitching ideas to clients. The students learn to work collaboratively, listen to a client’s needs or challenges, take constructive criticism, and present their ideas and solutions. In turn, clients receive an opportunity to have a group of highly talented artists and designers bring forward fresh, creative approaches to their business.

“Each project at the Zoo is unique, and we enjoy being able to collaborate with local partners when we can. Working with the Kansas City Art Institute allows us to showcase the talent we have here in Kansas City and enhance the Stingray Bay exhibit in the process,” said Randy Wisthoff, Kansas City Zoo Executive Director/CEO.

It’s exciting for a young artist like Vaughn to have a mural in a public place that will be seen by as many as a million people per year! Please join us in congratulating Vaughn and all of our students who create public art that make Kansas City a better and more interesting place to live.

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…