Interactive Arts

Interactive Arts

KCAI’s innovative program in Interactivity views technology as a medium for artistic expression far out-reaching its original intent. With a wide array of electives available, students are given the opportunity to integrate and experiment with digital as well as analog mediums to produce highly engaging and compelling works. Using emerging technology as the backbone of creation allows students to become versed in software coding, physical computing and sensors, games and play dynamics, rapid prototyping, user testing and experiential design.

Major studies culminate during the senior year in studio courses devoted to producing projects leading toward a completed thesis work. While following processes used in the interactive art/entertainment and game industries, students follow through on conceptual brainstorming and sketching, model-making and preliminary builds, milestone tracking, revision and error checking and final functioning works.

This approach fully prepares students to enter the field with an informed perspective, strong portfolio and well-rounded sense of artistic and technical confidence. KCAI's Interactive Arts offers courses in game design that integrates the virtual, physical, historical and theoretical aspects of play. Students take specialized courses discussing level design, flow, character design, narrative, conceptualization and aesthetic choices as designers, paired with mechanics, systems, coding, problem-solving and logical analyses used by developers in today's growing gaming industry.


Interactive Arts Faculty

  • Tom Lewis, associate professor and chair, photography, digital filmmaking, animation and digital media

    Tom Lewis is chair of photography, digital filmmaking, animation and digital media. He taught photography and new media at KCAI in 2001...Read More
  • John Baker, assistant professor and program coordinator

    John Baker joined KCAI in 2010 and teaches courses in digital media and animation. Previously he was an animator with MK12, a Kansas...Read More
  • David Overholt, assistant professor

    David Steele Overholt’s studies and research have covered areas of art, graphic design, technology, communications, urban architecture,...Read More
  • Gareth Skarka, lecturer

    Gareth M. Skarka joined KCAI in 2014 and teaches classes in game design. An award-winning game designer, writer, developer and...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.