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.

September 11, 2019

Jill Downen’s Open Spaces Work Donated to the City

Associate Professor and Chair of Sculpture Jill Downen’s (’89 Painting) Open Spaces artwork has been gifted to the people of Kansas City by the R.C. Kemper Charitable Trust. An Architectural Folly from a Future Place, aconcrete and stone low wall with a fissure, is designed to be a social space —a bench for visitors to sit on and enjoy the serene green space of Swope Park. Jill’s work is one of three Open Spaces artworks donated to the city and two are connected to KCAI. Any Word But Wait by Flavio Cerqueira was sculpted at KCAI Crossroads Gallery last year when he was an artist-in-residence. Flavio’s work is located on the UMKC Volker campus. Join us in congratulating Jill for this amazing accomplishment and read the complete press release from the city here.

August 19, 2019

KCAI Announces Lineup for Fall Current Perspectives Lecture Series

Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) will welcome two notable Visiting Artists this fall to present at the Current Perspectives lecture series. These presentations by a diverse group of artists will inform, engage and celebrate relevant topics and practices in contemporary art and culture. The artists will also directly engage with students through a series of classroom conversations and critiques. Current Perspectives Lectures Each lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium on the KCAI campus at 4415 Warwick.  Tickets are not required and all events are free and open to the public. For detailed information visit https://kcai.edu/campus-life/publicprograms/. Lisa Congdon Finding Your Voice: Uncovering the Holy Grail Thursday, October 17 To Illustrator and Author Lisa Congdon, the process of finding your creative voice is akin to uncovering your own superpower. Join Congdon, author of Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic, as she unravels the mysteries and delights of the process of finding your voice, including what it means to have an artistic voice and why having one matters, how to navigate influence, and practices that can accelerate the process of finding and refining your voice. Liz Collins The Best of Both Worlds Thursday, November 21 Embracing abstraction, optics, read more…