August 24, 2018

Powerful Public Art Unveiled on Campus

Come by the Rowland Commons on the KCAI campus to experience a dynamic new sculpture – This is NOT a Refuge by Anila Quayyum Agha. Part of the ambitious, city-wide arts festival Open Spaces, the sculpture is a house-like installation made of white laser-cut steel featuring intricate patterns that reflect shadow and light. The work was made at Anila’s direction at A. Zahner in Kansas City. Be sure to take a seat on the bench inside and contemplate this beautiful installation, inspired by the plight of global refugees.

Pakistan-born, Indianapolis-based artist Anila is known for her structures that meld architecturally specific references to themes of global politics, cultural identity, mass media and social/gender roles. Her artwork aspires to be both soothing and conceptually challenging at the same time. This is NOT a Refuge is a temporary, yet significant, addition to the college landscape. Students have just started the Fall semester and the opportunity to see a major installation enriches the curriculum and understanding of what it means to produce large, public works of art.

This project will be on site for nine weeks and represents just one example of the amazing art you will see throughout KC during Open Spaces.  We congratulate the nine KCAI alumni and faculty members who were chosen to participate and exhibit as part of openspaceskc.com. Be sure to visit our two galleries, H&R Block Artspace and KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice, to see exhibitions and programs as part of The Expanded Field of Open Spaces.

A wonderful new sculpture on the KCAI campus and a ground-breaking 62-day arts festival – two great reasons to celebrate Kansas City’s vibrant arts community this fall.

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.