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 from KCAI, members of the Hoffman family and local experts in art and design.  Establishing partnerships with other Kansas City area cultural or educational organizations is an important component of the annual lecture.

Sharon and John Hoffman have supported KCAI for almost fifty years and have both served on the KCAI Board of Trustees. They are major collectors of contemporary art, and own works from numerous KCAI alumni including sculptor, dancer and performance artist Nick Cave. The Hoffman Visiting Artist Endowment is another way for them to show their deep commitment to nurturing and supporting the careers of artists.

July 11, 2019

Veteran Reflection Exhibition Shines a Light on Social Isolation and Loneliness

A powerful new exhibition Veteran Reflection, which gives insight into the social isolation and loneliness experienced by many veterans, debuted on campus this week. It was created by Illustration students and developed through partnerships with the After Action Network, The Battle Within, Humana and Veterans Community Project. Visitors viewed 18″ x 24″ paintings and snapped a QR code with their phone to listen to the personal struggles of 14 veterans from different generations and branches of the military. For many of the students, this was their first time to have a personal conversation with a veteran. “When I first started this project, I was really nervous because I didn’t know much about what it’s like to be a vet. But Gary was so kind and his story was so inspirational. I felt a huge responsibility to portray him in a way that really showed what he was about,” said Claire Kinnell, who used bright colors and flowers in her representation of Retired Air Force Sgt. Gary Walker. Talking about social isolation and loneliness was not easy for many of the vets. “In this exhibition, we are talking about something hard — about coming home and not being able to integrate read more…

July 1, 2019

Mid-Century Architecture Inspires John Ferry’s Art & Life

When you grow up in Decatur, Ill. with several Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the neighborhood, you’re destined to be a fan of mid-century architecture. Associate Professor of Illustration John Ferry (’92 Illustration) takes his life-long passion for modern houses built between 1933 and 1965 to the next level. Not only does he live in a mid-century home in Prairie Village, he also uses them as inspiration for his latest exhibition Mid-Century Modern, open through July 27 at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art. “I fell in love with mid-century houses at a really young age and they are a huge influence on my art. My Dad was crazy about them, too. I’d tag along when he gave tours of the neighborhood,” said John. John’s ongoing fascination with urban structures has been the foundation of his studio practice. He’s had 18 solo exhibitions and has work in the permanent collection of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Negro League Baseball Museum, and has been featured in 3 X 3 Illustration Annual, American Illustrator and The International Painting Annual. In addition, he collaborates on other projects like a collection of concrete molds he’s been working on with “Dr. Concrete” John read more…