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.

January 24, 2020


Due to hazardous road conditions, KCAI’s campus and administrative offices will open at 10 a.m today, Friday, January 24. New student orientation will begin with lunch at 11:30 a.m. Morning activities in the central shop will be rescheduled. Please be safe when traveling to campus.

January 16, 2020

Sculpture Faculty Win Major Accolades

Two Sculpture faculty members are kicking off the new year with incredible accomplishments. Chair Jill Downen (’89 Painting) has been selected to exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s new contemporary art space the Momentary and Jarrett Mellenbruch has received a prestigious Creative Capital Award. Downen is one of 60 artists chosen for State of the Art 2020, which celebrates the opening of 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 and is free for all visitors. 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 share my voice within a national conversation about contemporary art today,” said Downen. Mellenbruch’s The Redwood Preserve was one read more…