April 26, 2019

KCAI Breaks Ground on Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) broke ground today on a 18,000 square foot building located at 44th and Oak Streets, Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall. Designed specifically for Art History, Creative Writing, Entrepreneurial Studies, Liberal Arts and Student Services, Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall will impact every student at the college and will elevate the profile of KCAI’s academic programs in a state-of-the-art facility.

Named for two of Kansas City’s visionary philanthropists, Paul and Linda DeBruce have a genuine desire to give back to organizations that provide people with the opportunity to improve their lives and to programs that make a difference in our community. Their belief that KCAI graduates are an important part of what differentiates Kansas City from other cities is at the core of our plans for the future.

“All of us at KCAI are grateful to Paul and Linda and their vote of confidence in the college and in the future of art and design education. This beautifully designed facility, will have a tremendous influence on our students and will become classrooms in a garden, a building our neighbors will be proud of, and a pleasure to work in and walk past,” said Tony Jones, The Nerman Family President.

The Hall is designed by Hufft, a Kansas City-based architecture firm known for creating meaningful spaces and objects inspired by integrating designers and builders into one holistic process. Award-winning landscape architects Hoerr Schaudt will design the expansive outdoor spaces and Kansas City construction company McCownGordon will build the facility.

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.

Construction on Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall is scheduled to begin in late spring.

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…