April 12, 2019

KCAI Alumni Win Prestigious Awards

For the second time this week we have remarkable news to share — two KCAI alumni have been recognized with prestigious awards! Fatimah Tuggar (’92 Sculpture) has been named a Guggenheim Fellow and Roberto Lugo (’12 Ceramics) has won a Rome Prize. Both distinctions are highly competitive and recognize the artistic practice, scholarship and accomplishments of some of the best minds in art, design and architecture today.

Multi-disciplinary artist and former KCAI Foundation faculty member Fatimah Tuggar uses technology as both medium and subject as metaphors for power dynamics.  Her work has been widely exhibited at international venues in over 25 countries on five continents including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and Museum Kunst-Palast in Dusseldorf among many more. She is currently working on her first augmented reality artwork commissioned by the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, which is titled Deep Blue Wells. The Guggenheim Fellowship recognizes her past achievements and future promise and provides her with a stipend to continue her work.

Roberto Lugo is a potter, social activist, spoken word poet and educator who creates contemporary ceramics featuring hip-hop and his work is drawing national acclaim for activism themes. Roberto is the recipient of many awards including the NCECA Emerging Artist and a United States Artist Fellowship. He is Assistant Professor of Crafts at Tyler School of Art at Temple University and has been a visiting lecturer at numerous prep-schools and colleges including Harvard University. One of thirty American and six Italian artists and scholars who won a 2019-20 Rome Prize, he will receive a stipend, workspace and room and board for a period of five to eleven months at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus in Rome.

June 4, 2019

Art & Design Auction Raises More Than $550,000 for Student Scholarships

Over 625 art lovers gathered on the Rowland Commons and in the David T. Beals III Studios for Art & Technology on June 1 for the social event of the summer, the festive Art & Design Auction (ADA), which raised more than $550,000 for student scholarships. The balmy evening, inspired food and drink, amazing art, and dedication of Co-Chairs Ellen and Jamie Copaken and Honorary Chair George Terbovich added up to a perfect evening to support arts education. This year, ADA celebrated the undeniable impact that KCAI has on the creative economy of Kansas City. Our graduates, faculty and friends are artists, architects, designers, chefs, curators, fashion designers and small business owners. They make KC a more vibrant and innovative place to live. Guests were greeted at the campus gates with a Prosecco cart and they enjoyed creative appetizers and the haunting harp music of Calvin Arsenia while browsing the silent auction of 250 pieces of donated original art. An amazing display of 15 metal wall sculptures, designed by our students and fabricated at A. Zahner, was popular with bidders and a Buy-It-Now Gallery allowed guests to purchase handcrafted art and goods, no bidding required. After a KC-themed dinner and read more…

May 20, 2019

KCAI Commemorates Student Residence Hall Topping Out

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) recently celebrated a construction milestone, the topping out of a new 244-bed student residence hall, Wylie Dining Center and Café Nerman. To commemorate the occasion, a fir tree, traditionally known as the ‘construction tree’, was placed on the literal apogee of the building, the highest point. “The final stages of construction on this project are about to begin. We are imminently closer to finishing the buildings where students will have a safe, comfortable home and the community can commune in our common spaces, dine in the new Wylie Dining Center and have a cup of coffee in Café Nerman,” said Tony Jones, Nerman Family President. Construction on the new facilities, located along Warwick Boulevard south of the campus gates, began last summer and students are slated to move in January 2020. Designed by Helix Architecture + Design with the contemporary art student in mind, the residence hall features double-occupancy semi-suites with private baths and cozy study spaces and celebrates the unique individuality of each student while creating a sense of community. Kansas City-based JE Dunn Construction is the general contractor for the project. See renderings of the project here.