Alumni + Careers

a lifetime experience

A degree from the Kansas City Art Institute is a door that opens to a wide array of career opportunities from a highly respected, professional college of art and design that has been in the business of producing the next generation of creative thought leaders for more than 130 years.

Our students receive such intensive, demanding training and education that many go on to become highly accomplished professionals within their field. Our former students are represented in the most prestigious museum and public collections around the world, they are cultural innovators, they hold leading-edge positions in virtually every creative field imaginable, and they have been recognized with the highest honors from Guggenheim Fellowships to Academy Awards.

Although an education at KCAI will prepare you for a viable career in the arts, your relationship with KCAI does not end at graduation. You will also have a life-long connection to a college that is committed to keeping you engaged with our campus and your fellow alumni throughout your professional life.

Our goal is to help students reach their maximum potential while at KCAI, and provide you with the tools, resources, advice and assistance needed to determine your next step. From here, you may find your career path by taking advantage of our amazing career services, internships, business partnerships and a vast, diverse and growing network of fellow alumni professionals.

To learn more about our resources, benefits and ways to stay connected with KCAI visit our alumni community.

KCAI also had a real impact on me regarding what it meant to focus on my craft and always keep pushing.

Cameron Calder
Painting, 2006

Alumna Angela Dufresne (’91 painting) Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

On April 5, 2016, the Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation approved the awarding of 175 Guggenheim Fellowships (including three joint Fellowships) to a diverse group of 178 scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants. Among those to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship this year is KCAI alumna Angela Dufresne (’91 painting).


Images: Angela Dufresne; Catch Directions and Toys, 2015, oil on canvas, 84 x 132 inches (Courtesy of the artist)

Angela Dufresne is a painter, teacher and writer who has shown her work in the U.S. and Europe since 1993. She has been the subject of twenty-three solo exhibitions and participated in over 100 group shows. Notable solo exhibitions were held at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA and Macalester College in Minneapolis, MI. Selected venues for group exhibitions include Greater New York 2005 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in NY, The National Academy of Arts and Letters in NY, the RISD Museum in Providence, RI, the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, Brooklyn Academy of Music in NY, The University of Richmond Museum in Richman, VA, The Aldridge Museum in CT, Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, NY, the Rose Museum in Waltham, MA, Mills College in Oakland, CA, Minneapolis School of Art and Design, among others.

Born in Hartford, CT in 1969, Dufresne spent her formative years in Olathe, Kansas. She studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1991. Dufresne earned her MFA in Painting at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 1998. Dufresne has been a resident artist at the Siena Art Institute, the Fine Arts Work Center and Yaddo. She has won grants from the National Academy of Arts and Letters in NY, and the Jerome Foundation in Minneapolis. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Painting Department at the Rhode Island School of Design.

For the past 5 years, Dufresne’s writing has appeared in Art 21 and Hyperallergic. In addition to an active painting and teaching life, Dufresne has organized exhibitions throughout the US. Her role as artist-curator began in the 90’s in Portland, ME where she helped run The Dead Space Gallery, artist Run and funded that helped to define a connection between the city and its’ artists community. Her curated shows have popped up in New Mexico, Los Angeles, New York, and the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as video screenings in New York and Los Angeles.