November 8, 2018

KCAI’s Illustration Program Ranked in Nation’s Top 15%

KCAI’s transformative Illustration program has been named as one of the best in the country by Animation Career Review. The online resource for people seeking careers in animation ranked KCAI in the top 15% of Illustration B.F.A. programs in the United States.

Charlie Sosland Chair of Illustration Steve Mayse, an award-winning designer and Illustrator with 25 years of KCAI teaching experience, isn’t surprised by the national recognition. He’s built a department with a robust curriculum that helps to prepare students for an illustration career in a rapidly changing world. The KCAI Illustration department is an incubator – a creative place to explore and find the next trend.

“We encourage our students to innovate, not duplicate. We want them to invent their own form and embrace it. Their future employers are always looking for that next new talent, the next big thing and our students can start that movement,” he said.

The department brings undergraduates from all over the world to study at KCAI and is the largest major at the college with 100 students enrolled. The talented Illustration faculty is a huge draw for students. They bring authenticity, process and diversity in the four main areas of illustration – Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Institutional. The full-time faculty, all working artists with experience at Hallmark, ad agencies and the Kansas City Star, include Steve Mayse, Hector Casanova, Maura Cluthe, John Ferry and David Terrill.  The newest faculty member, Il Sung Na, is an acclaimed author and illustrator of children’s books including A Book of Sleep, Welcome Home Bear, The Opposite Zoo, Bird Balloon Bear and The Dreamer. He’s also a ceramicist known for his whimsical lamps.

Learn more about the Illustration rankings here.

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.

May 2, 2019

Join us for an evening of art, food and fun at the Art & Design Auction on June 1

On June 1 the Kansas City Art Institute campus will be the epicenter for a remarkable evening of art, entertainment, creative food and festive drink at the Art & Design Auction. Honorary Chair George Terbovich and Event Chairs Ellen and Jamie Copaken are planning an evening perfect for friends who share a passion for supporting art and design education.  This year’s ADA celebrates Kansas City’s creative economy and the KCAI alumni, faculty and friends that have helped shape it. Browse and bid on more than 250 silent and live auction artworks donated by our faculty, alumni and friends. The artwork will span across mediums and price points to include sculptures, paintings, prints, fibers, ceramics and more.  Live auction items include work by Lester Goldman (1942-2005) (Late Faculty) and Angela Dufresne (’91 Painting) as well as Sculpture Chair Jill Downen (’89 Painting & Faculty) among others. The silent auction, hosted by GiveSmart will open a week before the event, giving you plenty of time to bid on artwork.  The auctioneer for the live auction is Kansas City native Quig Bruning, vice president and specialist in the jewelry department at Sotheby’s Auction House. The silent auction will also include fourteen 3 ft. read more…