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/.

November 13, 2019

Sculpture Chair Jill Downen Selected to Exhibit at Crystal Bridges

The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced that Sculpture Clair Jill Downen (’89 Painting) has been selected as one of 60 artists for State of the Art 2020. As part of opening the new contemporary art space, the Momentary, the exhibition will be on view at the Momentary and Crystal Bridges from February 22 through May 24, 2020, free for all visitors. More than 100 artworks will be featured in State of the Art 2020— most created in the last three years. At both the Momentary and Crystal Bridges, artwork will include paintings, sculpture, photography, video, performance and mixed media. Downen’s art envisions a symbiotic relationship between the human body and architecture, where the exchanging forces and tensions of construction, destruction, and restoration emerge as thematic possibilities. The work that will be exhibited, Three Dimensional Sketchbook, is a cabinet of drawers that viewers may open to view a range of material sketches. Each drawer features a label and keyword which poetically corresponds to its contents. With the opening of each drawer, the artwork reveals a visual-spatial language in miniature scale. “The opportunity to exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is meaningful in that I can read more…

November 12, 2019

Shop for Art Made By Students at the End-of-Semester Sale

One Weekend. Thirteen Exhibitions. Take home original artwork made by KCAI’s talented students at the End of Semester Exhibition and Sale. Browse all the studios on our 16-acre campus to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and take in the amazing work on display. Make sure to visit each studio including Animation, Beals Studio, Ceramics, Fiber, Filmmaking, Foundation, Illustration, Interactive Arts, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Graphic Design, and Sculpture. All proceeds benefit individual artists and designers. You can start shopping at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec.6, but in some cases, the artwork will stay on display until Sunday when it must be picked up. For a map of KCAI, located at 4415 Warwick in Kansas City, Mo., visit http://kcai.edu/campus-life/campus/. Don’t miss the End-of-Semester Exhibition and Sale at KCAI from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.