KCAI is about to be in the national spotlight as host of the invention competition and documentary series Make 48. From Oct. 28-30, 17 teams will be given a problem to solve, and then have 48 hours to conceptualize, design, produce and market their invention. A professional pitch to QVC and other major sponsors will determine the winning teams and who will see their invention go into production.

The inventors range in age from 11 to 70, and for the first time a team from KCAI’s very own Sculpture department was chosen to compete!  Make48 teams have access to KCAI facilities, including the new David T. Beals III Studios for Art & Technology, to help them create a working prototype of their product. Make48 tool-techs and KCAI faculty, staff and students will work hand-in-hand with teams to operate 3D printers, CNC machines, saws, drills, and other machinery, which allows the competitors to focus on bringing their ideas to life.

As part of the competition, American Public Television will produce an eight-part documentary series that follows the idea through invention and will air on PBS in summer 2017. Writers from Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week and Entrepreneur are expected to attend along with sponsors and inventors from the “Shark Tank” television series.

Make48 selected KCAI to host this national competition and I believe it is because of our commitment to excellence and our position as a leader in art and design education, the depth of creative assets, and the state-of-the-art Beals Studio. It’s an honor and a privilege to be the host college for Make48!



Art of the Pumpkin lights up GEORGE, A Lifestyle StorePumpkin_PC(1)

Pumpkins and gourds carved into amazing works of art by KCAI Foundation students set the stage for a festive fall evening at the annual Art of the Pumpkin on Thursday, Oct. 27 at GEORGE, A Lifestyle Store. Enjoy drinks, light bites and shopping from 5-8 p.m. at this wonderful eclectic shop owned by KCAI Board of Trustee Member George Terbovich. GEORGE is located at 315 E. 55 St. in the Crestwood Shops. Read more. 

6ea91636368871.5719498e90bb1 President’s Report wins a graphic design award

KCAI was selected as a winner in the 2016 American Graphic Design Awards for the 2014-15 President’s Report.

More than 10,000 entries were submitted and only 15 percent were recognized with an award of excellence, among various categories. Recognition for this outstanding work goes to Caitlin Knoll, communications coordinator, who developed the concept and created the design.

Our winning publication will be featured in Graphic Design USA Design Annual, which includes print, web and digital and reaches 100,000 plus professionals. It’s a great way to build awareness for KCAI among those in the industry. Caitlin is currently designing the 2015-16 President’s Report and we look forward to sharing it with you later this fall.


“Wallop” Receives Critical PraiseWallop-Stempleman-HQ

“What to say to my wife
when she looked up at me from the river
like someone who needed a hand”

Creative Writing faculty member Jordan Stempleman’s book of poems “Wallop” was given a rave write-up on Kenyon Review. After sharing the above excerpt from “Responsibility,” the first poem in the book, the reviewer Jeff Alessandrelli says, “Stempleman provides that hand to his reader. And his poetic grip is both genuine and accurate.” Read more.

Secura Hatch (senior, filmmaking) is this year’s recipient of the Gaetke Memorial Fund. The Gaetke Memorial Fund is for a senior student in photography or filmmaking, and it was named after Dan and Stephanie Gaetke, both of whom earned degrees in photography from KCAI in 1987.

Chloe Page (junior, animation) has been awarded the Joshua Wallace Scholarship in Animation. The scholarship honors Joshua Wallace, who was an animation student at KCAI at the time of his death in 2008.

Alumni Updates

fulljacket“Problems and Provocations: Grand Arts 1995-2015”

Although Margaret Silva’s (’85 sculpture) Grand Arts closed its door last fall after 20 years of producing exceptional and far-reaching projects, its dynamic work lives on in a new book. “Problems and Provocations: Grand Arts 1995-2015” chronicles 30 of the most complicated and challenging projects Grand Arts ever produced.

In opening the archive on Grand Arts’ endeavors – the Propeller Group’s mid-air collision of bullets fired from an AK-47 and an M16, Tavares Strachan’s cosmonaut training in Russia and  Rosemarie Fiore’s appropriation of a full-scale carnival ride as a drawing tool – Problems and Provocations is designed to capture Grand Arts’ energetic spirit of dreaming things into being. All of the project dossiers were created in consultation with the artists, who share unvarnished recollections, details about the fate of works produced at Grand Arts, and thoughts about directions their practices subsequently took.


In the book, Pablo Helguera, Iain Kerr, Gean Moreno, Emily Roysdon, Rob Walker, and research studio RHEI consider the models, practices and ethics of art institutions. A “devil’s dictionary” appendix. edited by Timothy “Speed” Levitch, parses art-making states of mind. Additionally, micro-texts drawn from a private colloquium engage questions of risk, magic and what comes after, with artists like Mel Chin, Michael Jones McKean, and Annie Lapin in conversation with thinkers from other fields, including poet Anne Boyer and de-extinction scholar Andrew Torrance.

Now Grand Arts’ spirit has been conveyed to a new organization: Fathomers. In January 2016, Grand Arts alumni Stacy Switzer, Lacey Wozny, Eric Dobbins and Annie Fischer relocated to Los Angeles to extend Margaret Silva’s vision of radical support, in a global city ripe for complex entanglements in the vicinity of art. The essays in Problems and Provocations had tremendous influence in shaping Fathomers’ considerations of Grand Arts’ next life. The project documentation and artist contributions serve to remind us why we fathomed that next life at all.

We are so grateful to Margaret Silva for donating the Grand Arts space to KCAI, which is now known as KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Studies. Read more about the book launch in Kansas City.

Alumna Whitney Manney’s (’12 fiber) Neon Aquarelle hand-painted satin throw pillows and Zip-It-Up! Totes are now available in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art gift store. Be sure to check them out when you’re visiting the museum.

Penthouse interview

Penthouse interview


Edward Gallucci (’68 graphic design and photography) has a photo of jazz great Eubie Blake in the Musical Crossroads exhibit at the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. The photo was taken in 1974 at Blake’s home in Brooklyn, N.Y. for Penthouse Magazine.




DM-MacShow-7583Full-view-Centra-fusion-2smDavid McCullough (’70 painting and printmaking) has a lot to celebrate including a new exhibition, a painting featured in a magazine and a master’s degree in Aesthetic studies from University of Texas at Dallas. He recently curated an exhibition at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Dallas that featured his paintings and sculptures, as well as the work of five other Texas artists. In addition, his painting “Natural Grace” was featured in Patron Magazine in an article highlighting Dallas-New York collectors John and Anne Mullin.