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 glass with translucent films applied that confounded the original idea of transparency within the space by forming emergent moiré patterns where the films overlap.

The Cart Forms resulted from a number of week-long collaborative studio sessions at Union Office, Woodfill’s West Bottoms studio in Kansas City, where James and Stephen built and dismantled many experimental versions of the carts until the final set of seven were arrived at. Upon delivery to the library, the staff was encouraged to use the carts as part of their set of tools to promote explorations and instigate patron involvement.

For more information on where to view the installation visit the library website.

June 4, 2019

Art & Design Auction Raises More Than $550,000 for Student Scholarships

Over 625 art lovers gathered on the Rowland Commons and in the David T. Beals III Studios for Art & Technology on June 1 for the social event of the summer, the festive Art & Design Auction (ADA), which raised more than $550,000 for student scholarships. The balmy evening, inspired food and drink, amazing art, and dedication of Co-Chairs Ellen and Jamie Copaken and Honorary Chair George Terbovich added up to a perfect evening to support arts education. This year, ADA celebrated the undeniable impact that KCAI has on the creative economy of Kansas City. Our graduates, faculty and friends are artists, architects, designers, chefs, curators, fashion designers and small business owners. They make KC a more vibrant and innovative place to live. Guests were greeted at the campus gates with a Prosecco cart and they enjoyed creative appetizers and the haunting harp music of Calvin Arsenia while browsing the silent auction of 250 pieces of donated original art. An amazing display of 15 metal wall sculptures, designed by our students and fabricated at A. Zahner, was popular with bidders and a Buy-It-Now Gallery allowed guests to purchase handcrafted art and goods, no bidding required. After a KC-themed dinner and read more…

May 20, 2019

KCAI Commemorates Student Residence Hall Topping Out

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) recently celebrated a construction milestone, the topping out of a new 244-bed student residence hall, Wylie Dining Center and Café Nerman. To commemorate the occasion, a fir tree, traditionally known as the ‘construction tree’, was placed on the literal apogee of the building, the highest point. “The final stages of construction on this project are about to begin. We are imminently closer to finishing the buildings where students will have a safe, comfortable home and the community can commune in our common spaces, dine in the new Wylie Dining Center and have a cup of coffee in Café Nerman,” said Tony Jones, Nerman Family President. Construction on the new facilities, located along Warwick Boulevard south of the campus gates, began last summer and students are slated to move in January 2020. Designed by Helix Architecture + Design with the contemporary art student in mind, the residence hall features double-occupancy semi-suites with private baths and cozy study spaces and celebrates the unique individuality of each student while creating a sense of community. Kansas City-based JE Dunn Construction is the general contractor for the project. See renderings of the project here.