August 15, 2017

KCAI Designs Butterfly Chandelier for Monarch Bar

When you enter the dazzling new speakeasy The Monarch Bar on the Country Club Plaza (at 4808 Roanoke) in Kansas City, a shimmering chandelier of over 1,000 acrylic ‘Monarch butterflies’ will be one of the first things to catch your eye. This marvelous installation was designed and built by Studio Coordinator Nathan Neufeld and a team of students in our very own David T. Beals III Studios for Art & Technology.

When our friend and world-famous architect David Manica, the Monarch Bar owner, wanted to create a cocktail bar reminiscent of the great ones in London and Moscow, he turned to KCAI. He knew that the extraordinary creative talent of our students and the high-tech 3-D printing capabilities of the Beals Studios were the perfect combination to realize his vision of the chandelier. The translucent acrylic butterflies were laser cut, then heated in a kiln and melted to give them shape, then sand-blasted and etched to catch the light. They were hung in columns on a grid to give the illusion of butterflies in flight.  Specially-designed lighting changes the colors of the butterflies. The result is an exquisite, unique chandelier. This collaborative project is just one of many that our students are doing with the Kansas City business community through our Sponsored Studio program.

The Monarch Bar opens in late August. Be sure to get a seat at the large marble bar, order a craft cocktail and then gaze at the ceiling to see the brilliant chandelier made by KCAI — cheers!

September 24, 2018

Jason Pollen’s Exhibition Inside/Out Benefits Student Scholarships

Former Fiber Chair Jason Pollen’s exhibition INSIDE/OUT is at the Box Gallery, 1000 Walnut St. in downtown Kansas City through October 26. Fifty percent of proceeds benefit student scholarships at KCAI. Comprised of Portals, Outliers, Descendants, Oracles, and Nomads, these series of works were inspired by a fascination with how surfaces can both conceal and reveal. Our skin acts as an envelope, hiding its precious contents; the earth we live on hides the fathomless depths of its molten core. Pollen strives to make works whose surfaces intimate the deeper animating force that is the creative process. During a lifetime of dedicated practice, Jason has focused on the phenomena of color, light and shadow, movement and stillness. The works are successful if they prove to be thought- and feeling-provoking, and communicate fascination and delight.

August 31, 2018

Professor James Woodfill and Stephen Lichty Design Installation for New Monticello Library

An installation at the recently-opened Monticello Library in Shawnee, Kan., Mediated Set (Cart Forms and Glass Inclusions), is a collaboration of Painting Professor James Woodfill and New York-based artist Stephen Lichty for a site-specific commission through the Johnson County Public Art Commission. “Our contribution to the Library consists of seven modified book cart sculptures and a set of adjustments to the glass separating the building’s private meeting rooms from an otherwise open plan. As a consequence of our collaborative approach these works represent a full stack of conceptual and material negotiations. Two people looking at the same thing will see something different. Learning to affirm difference has been the virtue and strength of our collaboration, and a virtue that is echoed both by the County’s willingness to commission our experimental project and by the infinite possibilities – the sanctuary – given by any library and the agency of its patrons,” said Woodfill and Lichty in their artist’s statement.  Mediated Set (Cart Forms and Glass Inclusions) is a two-part installation carried out after extensive collaboration with the library designers and staff. The Glass Inclusions were meant as a mediator between the idea of public and private meeting areas, and involved added layers of read more…