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 finish in spring 2020.
KCAI utterly condemns the ongoing racist treatment of Black Americans that has resulted in the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and in the continued murders, harassment, and prejudice that our Black community members face on a daily basis.
Two beloved faculty members, with over 76 years of combined service to KCAI, are retiring at the end of the 2020 academic year. They’ve inspired generations of students with their relentless passion for teaching and leave an immeasurable impact on the college. Thank you Steve Whitacre and Karen McCoy for your years of service, dedication to our students, and active engagement on campus. Congratulations on your retirement. You will be missed. Fellow faculty share tributes to their accomplishments. Steve Whitacre Professor and Sosland Family Chair of Foundation Joined KCAI in 1969 For over half a century, Steve Whitacre’s remarkable and distinguished career and long-standing leadership of the Foundation program at KCAI has earned national and international recognition. Before coming to KCAI in 1969, Steve studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design and earned both a BFA and MFA from Ohio University. According to the artist and educator, his studio practice continues to explore the estuary between art and architecture in relationship to sculpture and personal, poetic language. Steve’s works are held in many private collections and have been widely exhibited in this country, England, Scotland, and Italy. He has taught and led projects at the Cranbrook Academy of Art read more…
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