From the President's Desk

During this time of growth and expansion at KCAI, it is critical that we have strong leadership to help us achieve our vision and affirm the college as a leader in art and design. We are so pleased to announce that one of Kansas City’s most recognized cultural leaders, Julián Zugazagoitia, Director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, has joined KCAI’s board of trustees.

JulianZ_Interior_emailThis is the first time for such a partnership between our organizations. With his international background and leadership experience, I believe Julián brings a unique perspective to our board.

“I am delighted to join my esteemed colleagues on the board of trustees of KCAI at a time of great expansion for this amazing college. This is a great moment for the Nelson-Atkins and KCAI to grow even closer as we celebrate and nurture passion for the arts,” said Julián .

 Please join me in welcoming Julián Zugazagoitia to the KCAI family.

Tony Jones E-Signature - only 1 signature-1

Tony Jones CBE
The Nerman Family President


Sosland Family Foundation Endows Foundation Chair

Steve Whitacre2Steve Whitacre becomes the first Sosland Family Chair in Foundation Studies.

Steve Whitacre, who has been the Chair of Foundation Studies at various times for a total of 27 years, said the following about the endowment. “I’m deeply touched by having been appointed as the Kansas City Art Institute’s first endowed Chair. This unexpected honor feels like a strong, fresh, wind crossing my path, with it, bringing new challenges and possibilities. Further, I am honored that this title carries with it the name of the Sosland family, a family which has been an intrinsic ingredient in Foundation’s strength and sense of purpose.”

Many in the KCAI community know Charlie Sosland, who was a board member from 1997-2009 and Chairman of the Board from 2002-2004. The Sosland family’s generous gift will become part of KCAI’s endowment and will benefit the college for generations.

“The Art Institute brings young artists and designers from around the world to Kansas City, and those students make such a positive impact on our community,” said Charlie. “Many students come to KCAI because of the faculty, who are accomplished artists and scholars. The Sosland family is very proud to create the first endowed Chair position at the college, and we hope that it will help retain and attract the best and brightest faculty to KCAI.”

We are tremendously grateful to the Sosland Family for their extraordinary generosity. Please join us in thanking them and congratulating our colleague Steve on this great honor.


KCAI Viewbook Wins Four Awards

The new Viewbook, which provides an overview of KCAI’s academic programs, students, faculty, alumni and campus, has been awarded the following:

  • Winner People’s Choice Award, PIA MidAmerica
  • Winner Best of Print, AAF KC American Advertising Awards
  • National Winner American Advertising Award
  • Winner Best of Category, PIA MidAmerica


KCAI ANNOUNCES FACULTY CHANGES                                              

Jim Sajovic Retires

Jim Sajovic3After 44 years of teaching, Foundation Studies Professor Jim Sajovic will retire at the end of this semester. Jim joined the KCAI foundation faculty in 1971, following five years of teaching at the University of Florida, where he received his MFA degree. He earned his BFA in painting from the University of Illinois. Jim has been a devoted educator and has helped to shape the minds of thousands of young artists and designers. He has also been deeply committed to his professional practice. His work is held in public and private collections in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Read more.

Casey Whittier Joins KCAI as Assistant Ceramic Professor

Casey Whittier has joined KCAI as a tenure track assistant professor in the Ceramics Department. Whittier received her BFA from KCAI in 2008 and an MFA from University of Colorado.  Her practice explores the visceral qualities of clay, elements from nature, and the power of shared experience.  She has taught at KCAI since the fall of 2014 and has made many contributions to KCAI through her participation in the Ceramics Department’s Green Task Force and Reclaim Program and other KCAI committees.

Graphic Design Welcomes Tyler Galloway and Tony Brock

Tyler Galloway has returned to KCAI as chair of Graphic Design. Tyler taught graphic design at KCAI beginning in 2001, and served as chair of the program from 2011-2014. For the past two years, Tyler has been pursuing his research and teaching at the University of Kansas. His practice focuses on design for social change and participatory design processes. Learn more about Tyler at

Tony Brock will be joining KCAI as a visiting assistant professor in Graphic Design. Tony is a designer and educator, and has taught design for nearly twenty years. He has spent the past year as a visiting professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

KCAI Five Students Win Lester Goldman Award

Congratulations to five KCAI students who won the Lester Goldman Drawing Award. Over 30 students from painting, sculpture and fiber submitted portfolios for this cash award.  The winners’ work will be on display this fall at the Dodge Painting Galleries and again when the pieces will return to KCAI in the company of work by students from CCA and MICA as part of the Disegno exhibition series.

  • First Place $1,000                 Claire Dain ( junior, painting)
  • Second Place $600               Sierra Brown-Faust (junior, sculpture)
  • Third Place $300                   Wolfgang Pierce  (senior, painting)
  • Honorable Mention $120      Justin Gray  (senior, painting)
  • Honorable Mention $120      Julia Monte  (sophomore, painting and creative writing)

New Hallmark Mentorship Program Partners With Graphic Design Students

KCAI’s Graphic Design department has developed a new minority mentoring program with Hallmark’sKick off event 3-4-16 creative department. The program launched during this semester with 10 students and 10 professional artists meeting individually and as a group. According to Darren Abbott, Creative Group Vice President for Hallmark, “We are excited about our new partnership with KCAI. This partnership is a win for everyone. We are able to expose KCAI students to real-world aspects of a creative career while helping students learn and grow in their discipline. Hallmark benefits from the opportunity to develop a richer relationship with an important local institution while getting to know—and advocate for—new and emerging members of Kansas City’s creative community.”

Seeking Dragon Boat Racers

Have you always wanted to row a dragon boat down Brush Creek on the Plaza?  You’ll have your chance at the Chinese Dragon boat races on June 11. Contact Jan Kennedy at to join the KCAI team. No experience necessary.


2016 Kansas City Flatfile and Digital File Opens at H&R Block Artspace, June 11

H&R Block Artspace 2014 Kansas City Flat File Opening Reception 094The H&R Block Artspace presents the 2016 Kansas City Flatfile from June 11 through September 24. This invitation biennial exhibition features two-dimensional artwork by over 180 Kansas City visual artists visitors are invited to browse through artist portfolios featuring recent works and view salon style presentations of works selected by guest curators. The opening reception is Friday, June 10 from 6-8 pm.  Read more. 

Bruce Springsteen: a Photographic Journey

EG_Bruce_E_st_F13medium.The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is featuring 45 iconic images of Bruce Springsteen. The exhibit serves to document a great American music legend, and features photos taken by noted Springsteen photographers including alumnus Ed Gallucci.

Photo: © Ed Gallucci. Read more.



2016StudiosINC:2016 Features Work of Faculty Members 

JDownen_2The artwork of Jill Downen, Brett Reif, Patty Carroll and other Kansas City artists will be on display at StudiosInc:2016 until June 3. Studios Inc, located at 1708 Campbell St. in KCMO, provides studio space, professional development, networking, and exhibitions for mid-career artists in Greater Kansas City. Read more.


Rolls Royce Silver Ghost '10Art of the Car Concours

Art of the Car will be June 26!  This unique fundraiser features more than 200 vintage, classic, and special interest vehicles, including cars, trucks, race cars, motorcycles, and pedal cars. It benefit’s KCAI’s scholarship fund. Read more.

Dine at Plaza III and Support KCAI

Plaza III is celebrating 50 years on the Country Club Plaza by giving back to the city they love. Each time the KCAI dining card is presented, 10% of sales from the bill is donated to KCAI! Request a dining card from the Advancement office, Plaza III or simply show the image below on your cell phone.

Plaza III KCAI Card