April 11, 2019

KCAI Breaks Ground on Liberal Arts Building

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) will break ground on Friday, April 26 at 9 a.m. on a new 18,000 square foot building that will house the Liberal Arts program including Art History and Creative Writing, as well as all of student services. The opportunity to build the Hall, located on the northeast corner of 44th and Oak, is largely thanks to the generosity of donors who have given to the Space to Create capital campaign.

The Hall is designed by Hufft, a Kansas City-based architecture, interior design and custom fabrication firm. Hufft has a strong reputation as a firm that creates meaningful spaces and objects inspired by people and places while integrating designers and builders into one holistic process. With a project list ranging from student unions to corporate offices to residential homes, their distinctive approach of creating a building that complements both the physical site and the surrounding neighborhood made them the perfect choice to design KCAI’s new Hall. Award-winning landscape architects Hoerr Schaudt will design the expansive outdoor spaces and Kansas City construction company McCownGordon will build the facility

According to Tony Jones, the Nerman Family President of KCAI, the college worked closely with the surrounding neighborhood associations and the tone of the Hall is less institutional and more residential. “We wanted it to be very beautiful and appropriate for the neighborhood. From the very beginning we have pictured this as classrooms in a garden, a building that is a pleasure to work in and walk past,” said Jones.

This new Hall will redefine the KCAI student experience. Since all majors are required to take art history and liberal arts courses, every student will benefit from the spacious, light-filled classrooms with state-of-the-art technology for learning and a courtyard garden for socializing. Additionally, it will be the first time all of student services, including academic advising and financial aid, will be officed in the same building to streamline student operations and support.

A unique architectural feature of the Hall will be the entry portal on Oak Street. Visitors will enter through a portal adorned with panels, each engraved with the name of influential art historians of the past and present. The entrance will become a tribute to the individuals who have interpreted and written about art and artists for future generations. “Many museums and art centers celebrate artists by having their names of the facade – but no one has honored art historians – the scholars who interpret, explain and tell us the stories of those
artists. I think they deserve thanks and recognition” said Jones.

Matthew Hufft, founding principal of Hufft, said, “It is a true honor to be working with the entire KCAI team on this project. With four KCAI alumni currently on our Hufft team, we see firsthand the exceptional education KCAI provides its students. We believe this building will add to the student experience, as well as contribute to the already amazing aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood.”

The Hall will also be the home to KCAI’s new minor in Entrepreneurial Studies in Art and Design, which will prepare artists and designers to have an entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and the leadership skills to engage in innovative artistic ventures. A partnership with The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a program of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City provides KCAI students with unrivaled access to entrepreneurial courses taught by experts in the field.

Construction on the new Hall is scheduled to begin in late spring. To see renderings of the building please click here

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 read more…

April 10, 2019

KCAI Faculty Awarded Guggenheim Fellowships

Two KCAI faculty members have been awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Assistant Professor in Animation Christiane Cegavske and Visiting Assistant Professor in Photography Steve Rowell both received this highly competitive award based on prior achievement and exceptional promise. A Guggenheim allows artists and scholars to pursue their creative endeavors. Christiane Cegavske is an award-winning director and stop motion animator known for her 2006 highly-praised feature-length filmBlood Tea and Red String, and other short films. She is also a sculptor, painter and poet who has worked on projects at NBC, Oxygen Channel, VH1 and the Disney Channel, among others. She considers the Guggenheim Fellowship a gift to continue work on her second feature-length, stop-motion puppet animation, Seed in the Sand, a story of furry, beaked nest-dwelling creatures facing starvation. Find out more about Christiane at http://christianecegavske.com/menu.html Steve Rowell is an artist who works with photography, moving image, sound, installation, maps, and spatial concepts to produce complex multicomponent works. His work has been exhibited internationally at a range of galleries and museums, including MoMA PS1 and Storm King in New York, the California Museum of Photography, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, among others. During his Guggenheim Fellowship, Steve will finish a final cut of his read more…