December 12, 2019

Murals Created by KCAI Students Brighten Shuttered School

Shuttered JJ Pershing elementary school was an eyesore in the Blue Hills neighborhood until Assistant Professor of Illustration Hector Casanova’s US: Collaboration class brought the building back to life by creating brightly colored murals for the school.

The students worked with neighborhood reps to come up with the ideas for imagery to tell the tale of this historic area that dates back to the early 1900s. Though the panels are all different – some tell the stories of influential civil rights leaders and others celebrate positive parenting – they share a common color palette of blue, pink and gold, which was also chosen with input from the neighbors.

According to Casanova, projects like this are meaningful for the neighborhood and our students. “For many students this one of the most satisfying projects they have ever done. It’s really rewarding for them to see their work shaping the cityscape. It’s a wonderful way to introduce students to community service and show them that their art can make a difference in the world,” he said.

Earlier this week the students who created the imagery presented the project to the community at the offices of the Kansas City Board of Education. See KCTV5’s coverage here and keep tuned for updates as new murals for the school are created next semester.

April 7, 2020

Art School in the time of COVID-19: Support + Resilience + Community

April 7, 2020 How quickly life changed in a matter of weeks. We went from mid-term critiques to addressing a global pandemic by taking our curriculum virtual. Thanks to our dedicated faculty, KCAI is fostering a new way of learning, researching and making. As a school of art and design, we are a community full of innovators and creative problem solvers. That is how we intend to approach the exceptional situation that we find ourselves in.  Beginning last week, students and faculty are meeting through video conferencing, discussion boards, and conference calls – one-on-one and in groups. As this new way of living and learning unfolds, we will share the inspiring stories of creativity and resilience within our community. How has our faculty adapted studio-based classes to on-line teaching? What kinds of studio practices have students built at home? What does it mean to be an art student in the time of COVID-19? In the coming weeks, we will share with you stories of adaptation and perseverance. And someday (hopefully soon) we will recall how KCAI– its students, faculty and staff– was resilient in a time of turmoil.  Be well, Tony Jones ᴄʙᴇ The Nerman Family President

April 2, 2020

New KCAI Cares Fund Provides Student Relief

A Message From The Nerman Family President Tony Jones In the past month, we have adapted daily life to an entirely new version of “normal” and done things we never thought possible. We are in this together, yet each of us has experienced this pandemic in very personal ways. Several KCAI students have lost their employment during this time and many families are experiencing hardship. In this time of uncertainty, it’s comforting to know that KCAI is part of a supportive and generous community. For those who have reached out and asked how you can help, the college has created two ways to support our students and campus: KCAI Cares Fund. This newly created fund is in direct response to the growing and immediate needs of our students. KCAI Cares will provide financial assistance grants up to $300 for students who are unable to meet essential expenses, such as groceries, utilities or rent. KCAI Annual Fund. An existing fund that supports our commitment to every person at the college. During this time, KCAI is compensating faculty, staff, technicians, work study students, models in studios and those who provide services that our community relies upon like security, facilities and dining for residents who read more…