January 15, 2020

KCAI Dedicates Barbara Marshall Residence Hall

Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) recently announced the naming of their new Student Residence Hall after Kansas City Philanthropist and Emeritus Board of Trustees member Barbara Hall Marshall. Marshall, who joined the KCAI board in 1967, has played an important role in the growth and success of KCAI.

“For the 40 years Barbara served on our board, she was an ardent advocate for arts education and first and foremost, deeply cared about our students. It’s fitting that her legacy is associated with our new building that provides a home away from home — a place where students can relax and recharge. We are honored that the residence hall is named after a woman who will forever be part of KCAI,” said Tony Jones, The Nerman Family President.

In addition to serving on the board, Marshall was a volunteer for KCAI’s Fireside, Sketch Box and Vanderslice committees. In 2017, KCAI awarded her with an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts.

 During the dedication, KCAI also announced the naming of the Sherman Family Student Union. Located on the first floor of the residence hall, KCAI’s first-ever student union is named in honor of the John and Marny Sherman family and will create a new sense of community on campus. Amenities include the JE Dunn Game Room, the G. Kenneth and Ann Baum Community Kitchen and a fitness center.

“The Shermans have a long history of supporting education initiatives and many other philanthropic efforts in Kansas City. We’re thrilled that they recognize the importance of this building and the difference it will make to our students,” said President Jones.

The Barbara Marshall Residence Hall, along with Wylie Dining and Café Nerman, will welcome new students on January 27. Located on Warwick Blvd. south of the campus gates, they were designed by award-winning Helix Architecture + Design designers Doug Stockman and Alissa Wehmueller, along with Christopher Carvell Architects of Denver, specialists in higher education and student life.  Kansas City-based JE Dunn Construction was the general contractor for the project. Featuring double-occupancy semi-suites with private baths and comfortable gathering spaces, the residence hall celebrates the unique individuality of each student while providing flexible space for student activities.  Wylie Dining and Café Nerman will be the perfect place for neighbors and students to gather for coffee or a meal.

According to Stockman, the building was designed with today’s contemporary art student in mind. “When we began this journey, we set out to design an environment that is tailored specifically to the KCAI student, to complement the rich history of campus, and to connect to the broader community. We wanted to create a building that will offer an opportunity for discovery, well-being and respite. I look forward to seeing how this and future generations of students, staff, faculty and visitors will use this building as a source of inspiration,” he said.

July 28, 2020

Large Scale Hilgemann Implosion Sculpture Installed on Campus

A 20-foot sculpture that used to sit on Park Avenue in New York City was installed Tuesday morning on campus. Double Stack by Ewerdt Hilgemann (b. 1938 in Germany, lives in the Netherlands and US), is 20 ft. high and made from stainless steel.  Double Stack is the second work that has been generously loaned to the college by the artist and Zahner Metal Conservation. Dancers was on campus in 2017-18 and now is part of Leawood’s Public Art Collection. This installation is part of KCAI’s plan to place large-scale works on the campus, on a constantly-changing basis. They connect the large public artworks already in place at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the works in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Garden at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Previous sculptures on campus include This is NOT a Refuge by Anila Quayyum Agha and The Consistency of Change by Caleb Bowman, (’99 Sculpture). See how Hilgemann implodes these giant sculptures here.

July 27, 2020

Recent Grad Designs Mural at Zoo’s Elephant Exhibit

Watching elephants frolic in the new waterfall pool is delighting visitors at the recently renovated Elephant Expedition at the Kansas City Zoo. The pachyderm’s passion for H2O is also the theme of another one of the exhibition’s new features, a vibrant mural by Anh Le, a 2020 graduate of KCAI’s Illustration program. The large-scale panorama on the Learning Cottage at the exhibit entrance shows animal families coming together at a waterhole in the wilds of Africa. “I wanted the whole scene to have a warm, inviting vibe for visitors.  It gives them a little peek into the world they are entering,” said Le. The project was created when Le was a senior in KCAI’s MICRO Agency, which connects Kansas City businesses with the creative talent of KCAI students. Several students presented designs to the Zoo team and Le’s interpretation made the final cut. This is the second time KCAI students have designed murals for the Zoo. Vaughn Parrish (’19 Illustration) created the underwater themed wall in Stingray Bay. Le’s motivation for the mural is simple — to bring happiness. “With everything that’s going on in the world right now, we need a spark of positivity and joy. I hope people read more…