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.

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…

February 19, 2019

FACULTY FOCUS: IL SUNG NA AND JIM WOODFILL

One hundred percent of our faculty are practicing artists, designers and scholars and when they aren’t busy teaching, they’re painting, drawing, sculpting, writing books, making films and creating public art.  Below are the stories of two of our faculty members who are changing the world in their own way, one by writing and illustrating children’s books and the other by working on what might become the world’s tallest public art piece. Whimsical Animals Come to Life in Children’s Books by Illustration Assistant Professor Il Sung Na Once there was a pig that admired birds. But there was no way a pig could fly. Or was there? So, begins the story of a tenacious pig in the children’s book The Dreamer written and illustrated by Assistant Professor of Illustration Il Sung Na, whose playful drawings and never-give-up message captured the attention of the New York Times and Kirkus Reviews. Published in the fall of 2018, it was his twelfth children’s book starring imaginative animals. His inspiration for his books begins with his never-ending desire to learn more. “It all starts with my curiosity. I keep asking myself questions and keep finding answers. Once I find an answer, it becomes a story and read more…