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.

March 15, 2019

Hoffman Visiting Artist Lecture Presents Visual Artist and Social Critic Titus Kaphar

Can art amend history?  Come and explore new narratives on Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium with visual artist and social critic Titus Kaphar, whose art reimagines historical events. His paintings, sculptures and installations seek to dislodge history from its status as the “past” in order to unearth its contemporary relevance. Kaphar is a distinguished recipient of numerous prizes and awards including a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2014 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship, a 2015 Creative Capital grant, a 2016 Robert R. Rauschenberg Artist as Activist grant and a 2018 Art for Justice Fund grantee. His work is included in the collections of Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Ark., The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Perez Art Museum (PAMM) in Miami, amongst others. This free public lecture is underwritten by the Hoffman Visiting Artist Endowment. The purpose is to bring nationally recognized artists who focus on contemporary art practices to give an annual talk to Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) students, faculty and the Kansas City community, as well as work with students and faculty in their studios. The Visiting Artist is selected through a process administered by a select group of representatives read more…

March 4, 2019

Exhibition at Haw Contemporary Showcases Past and Present Faculty Art

Lineage and Impact: KCAI Faculty Past and Present, March 1- May 4 at Haw Contemporary Stockyards, celebrates seven decades of working artists on the faculty of the Kansas City Art Institute, a community that values making, teaching, and learning art as interdependent, often inextricable practices. Beginning with and paying homage to Wilbur Niewald, who began teaching in 1949, the exhibition honors artwork by luminaries and pathbreakers such as Ken Ferguson, Warren Rosser, Lester Goldman, Jane Lackey, Jim Leedy, Carl Kurtz, Steve Whitacre, Hirokazu Fukawa, Erin Zona, and Milton Katz, as well as emerging talents appointed to the faculty as recently as 2018. In keeping with KCAI’s commitment to forging connections across and between all artistic disciplines and practices, Lineage and Impact represents a multitude of fields: animation, ceramics, drawing, fiber, fiction, film, music, painting, photography, poetry, sculpture, and video, as well as installations and collaborative works resistant to classification. Media on display range from cast glass to silicon circuitry, from combed cotton to works on canvas, from letterpress to digital print, from modular synthesizer to modern languages. This vibrant collection demonstrates the profound historical influence of KCAI’s long tradition of appointing outstanding artists to its faculty—several of the younger artists were read more…