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 with friends and family. Soldiers are expected to be strong, to not admit they are faltering, so it’s not easy to share feelings of loneliness and isolation. The artist captured my feelings very well and conversations like these are integral to healing,” said Veteran Kirsten Vallinmäki.

Humana is taking Veteran Reflection on the road so people across the country can learn more about the prevalence and impact of social isolation and loneliness within our veteran population. It will be shown at the National VFW Convention on July 18-23 in Orlando.  It will be back in Kansas City August 19-30 at the Humana Guidance Center at 215 NE Englewood Rd.

KCAI’s Sponsored Studio, which provides creative solutions to area businesses while giving students real-world professional experience, worked with Humana on the project. From illustrating the underwater-themed mural at the KC Zoo’s Stingray Bay to developing life-like silicone burns for training at Children’s Mercy, KCAI students are having a huge impact on our community. for more info on Sponsored Studio, visit https://kcai.edu/about/partnerships/.

July 9, 2020

Lead Bank’s Lead Emerging Artist Prize Celebrates Diverse Talents 

Artwork Corn, OK by Stella Bonafazi (Junior, Photography) Lead Bank recently awarded the 2020-2021 Lead Emerging Artist Prize (LEAP) to the following four KCAI art students: Ryan Haney (Senior, Sculpture) of Miami, FL; Stella Bonafazi (Junior, Photography) of Tulsa, OK; London Williams (Senior, Painting) of Milwaukee, WI; and Hung Le (Junior, Fiber) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Longtime supporters of KCAI and its Sponsored Studio Program, Lead Bank created the Lead Bank Emerging Artist Prize in 2018 as a benefit to the community. Recognizing the diverse talents each student holds, from imaginative sculpting and captivating photography to the exploration of mainstream topics through fabric, each student has shown his or her expertise through hands-on expression. Their work can be viewed on the following webpage: https://lead.bank/lead-emerging-artist-prize  Each year, Lead Bank features the recipient’s artwork on the Bank’s Community Art Panels located in their Crossroads branch parking lot. These panels were constructed specifically for the community to enjoy the artists’ works throughout the year. The four Emerging Artists’ artwork will be featured as a 2D mural on the Community Art Wall located at the Crossroads bank location (1801 Main Street) with the original artwork displayed inside the bank lobby.  “We are thrilled to welcome read more…

June 1, 2020

KCAI: We Stand Against Racism

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.