May 17, 2018

Stingrays, Sharks and Art

Two of Kansas City’s great institutions – the Zoo and KCAI – have teamed up to create a fabulous new exhibit called Stingray Bay at the Kansas City Zoo! Opening on May 18, visitors will experience the gigantic 13′ x 45′ tropical-colored mural that spans the entire back wall of the new touch tank for stingrays and “cat sharks”. The Caribbean-inspired underwater scene was designed by our very own Vaughn Parish, a junior in Illustration.

The project is part of KCAI’s MICRO Agency class, which gives students real-life experience designing and pitching ideas to clients. The students learn to work collaboratively, listen to a client’s needs or challenges, take constructive criticism, and present their ideas and solutions. In turn, clients receive an opportunity to have a group of highly talented artists and designers bring forward fresh, creative approaches to their business.

“Each project at the Zoo is unique, and we enjoy being able to collaborate with local partners when we can. Working with the Kansas City Art Institute allows us to showcase the talent we have here in Kansas City and enhance the Stingray Bay exhibit in the process,” said Randy Wisthoff, Kansas City Zoo Executive Director/CEO.

It’s exciting for a young artist like Vaughn to have a mural in a public place that will be seen by as many as a million people per year! Please join us in congratulating Vaughn and all of our students who create public art that make Kansas City a better and more interesting place to live.

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…