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.

November 13, 2019

Sculpture Chair Jill Downen Selected to Exhibit at Crystal Bridges

The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced that Sculpture Clair Jill Downen (’89 Painting) has been selected as one of 60 artists for State of the Art 2020. As part of opening the new contemporary art space, the Momentary, the exhibition will be on view at the Momentary and Crystal Bridges from February 22 through May 24, 2020, free for all visitors. More than 100 artworks will be featured in State of the Art 2020— most created in the last three years. At both the Momentary and Crystal Bridges, artwork will include paintings, sculpture, photography, video, performance and mixed media. Downen’s art envisions a symbiotic relationship between the human body and architecture, where the exchanging forces and tensions of construction, destruction, and restoration emerge as thematic possibilities. The work that will be exhibited, Three Dimensional Sketchbook, is a cabinet of drawers that viewers may open to view a range of material sketches. Each drawer features a label and keyword which poetically corresponds to its contents. With the opening of each drawer, the artwork reveals a visual-spatial language in miniature scale. “The opportunity to exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is meaningful in that I can read more…

November 12, 2019

Shop for Art Made By Students at the End-of-Semester Sale

One Weekend. Thirteen Exhibitions. Take home original artwork made by KCAI’s talented students at the End of Semester Exhibition and Sale. Browse all the studios on our 16-acre campus to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and take in the amazing work on display. Make sure to visit each studio including Animation, Beals Studio, Ceramics, Fiber, Filmmaking, Foundation, Illustration, Interactive Arts, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Graphic Design, and Sculpture. All proceeds benefit individual artists and designers. You can start shopping at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec.6, but in some cases, the artwork will stay on display until Sunday when it must be picked up. For a map of KCAI, located at 4415 Warwick in Kansas City, Mo., visit http://kcai.edu/campus-life/campus/. Don’t miss the End-of-Semester Exhibition and Sale at KCAI from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.