The sculpture program at KCAI offers a wide spectrum of traditional and innovative technologies along with an intense philosophical and intellectual exploration of past and present three-dimensional work. This approach prepares students for professional practice in a global context.

Sculpture students develop the ability to transfer difficult and abstract ideas into materials so that the physical, the material and the practical are balanced with the poetic, the imaginative and the cognitive, and they are encouraged to develop individual interests, directions and personal skill sets. The sculpture department emphasizes a strong technical, material and conceptual foundation linked with a philosophy that embraces personal introspection. The program encourages diverse approaches to sculptural production including object making, installations, kinetics, performance, multi-media, sound, video, digital pieces, community art projects and collaborative ventures.

Traditional and non-traditional approaches to sculpture production are introduced, and students learn about contemporary issues in the field in order to understand sculpture within a social, historical and cultural context. Technical competence with regard to several methods and processes is balanced with theoretical and conceptual growth. Students develop technical skills and conceptual abilities which allow them to make work that impacts communities on both highly visual and deeply meaningful levels.

Sculpture Faculty

  • Michael Wickerson, associate professor and chair

    Born in 1971, Michael David Wickerson, tenured associate professor and chair of the...Read More
  • Karen McCoy, professor

    Karen McCoy’s primary work for the last two decades has been large-scale, sited environmental sculpture. McCoy focuses on the...Read More
  • Jill Downen, assistant professor

    Jill Downen's art is a focused investigation of the symbiotic relationship between the human body and architecture expressed in...Read More
  • Alejandro Aptilon, lecturer

    In 1997, Alejandro Aptilon established in Mexico City his architectural practice, Alejandro Aptilon Arquitectos, which has designed...Read More
  • Luis Garcia, lecturer

      As a multi-faceted artist/...Read More
  • James Whitworth, lecturer/technician

    James Whitworth received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1988 and a Master of Fine...Read More

Samples of Work


Thinking about life after KCAI? We've got some ideas. And plenty of alumni success stories to prove our point. Start planning your future.

KCAI Viewbook

The Kansas City Art Institute's award winning viewbook provides an overview of KCAI's academic programs, students, faculty, alumni and campus. Download the Viewbook.

Visit KCAI

The best way to know if the Kansas City Art Institute is right for you is to experience it. Schedule a tour today.