February 21, 2020

Major Investments in Animation and Illustration at KCAI

Major Investments in Animation and Illustration 

Beginning fall semester, Animation and Illustration students will have contemporary new classroom and studio space in the former living center towers. As soon as students moved into the new Barbara Marshall Residence Hall, work began to convert the towers to much-needed space for our two fastest-growing departments. In the past three years, Illustration has grown by 15% and the number of Animation students has increased by 50%!  

Kansas City architects Gould Evans worked with KCAI faculty to design buildings that provide optimal classroom, studio space and common areas for Illustration and Animation, which have very different needs. Illustration (south tower) has large gallery walls to display student art, a common work area that mimics the feel of working in a design firm and utilizes lots of natural light.  Animation (north tower) has high tech lighting controls so spaces can be darkened for student presentations and lightbox work, while presentation walls are multi-media screens perfect for showcasing moving images.

Migrating the animation department into a newly designed and dedicated space represents the positive culmination of literally thousands of hours of hard work and passion on behalf of our alumni, faculty and current majors. After fifteen years of dynamic growth, creative exploration and learning, students will now have a new home in which to continue our investigations into the art and design of motion. We are over the moon excited as a department to greet the future in our new space!” said Chair of Animation Doug Hudson.

The north tower will also be the new site of KCAI Gallery. It is relocating from its previous location in the Kansas City Crossroads, which closed in December 2019, to allow more students to take advantage of gallery programming. The gallery will be built with a unique flexible usage design including the campus’s first black box theater for student and public screenings. 

“It’s exciting to be moving KCAI’s Crossroads program onto campus. The opportunities for continued engagements with the KCAI community, including the Center for Contemporary Practice program, are significant. New engagements with our neighborhood cultural institutions will not only benefit and serve KCAI students but also our greater Kansas City communities,” said Director of KCAI Gallery Michael Schonhoff.

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…