May 15, 2020

A Campus Update From The Nerman Family President Tony Jones

A marvelous moment in KCAI history has just occurred­–McCown-Gordon Construction handed over to us the Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall building on Oak Street, our new centre for Art History, Liberal Arts and Student Services. This dramatic design by Matthew Hufft was built brilliantly, and on time !  Once able to do so, we will host a celebratory coffee-and-cake morning as we did with the Barbara Marshall Residence Hall, so that our neighbors and friends can see this beautiful building.

As we look ahead to reopening, KCAI is following all local, state, federal and CDC guidelines, and continues to monitor the situation. To date, we’ve postponed commencement activities and plan to celebrate our graduating seniors with an opening for the annual BFA exhibition on Friday, August 21, with graduation on Saturday, August 22. Our speaker and Honourary Doctorate recipient will be the Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, James Rondeau, and we will also confer our Honourary Doctorate upon one of America’s finest public artists, sculptor Alice Aycock.

Other changes include ArtPop officially moving to May 2021. Our next Art & Design Auction will be in June 2022.

Continuing Education (CE) programming for June has been moved online.  This includes all adult classes and youth ArtVenture camps.  In an abundance of caution, we are suspending Educators Art Lab this summer.  Our CE team is working diligently to create virtual experiences for our educators and participants.  By June 1, we will decide about PCAL (Pre-College Art Lab) and July CE programs and classes.

It is currently our intention to open the whole college this fall. We are evaluating how studio courses will work and have moved back the fall schedule so that classes begin Monday, August 31. We will decide “for sure” in mid-June and will communicate plans at that time.

I’ve already mentioned DeBruce Hall and work also progresses in the former Student Living Centre dorm, which is being converted to provide a splendid new ground-floor gallery plus six floors of studios for our largest departments, Illustration and Animation. Dennis Strait of Gould Evans ( who designed our very successful David T. Beals III Studio for Art & Technology ) and our contractor A.L.Huber is scheduled to hand over the building to us in mid-August, just in time for the next academic year.

In spite of so many uncertainties, KCAI remains a college of choice. Beyond wonderful facilities, we have great programs and people, such as Associate Professor of Creative Writing Anne Boyer who just won the Pulitzer Prize in General Non-Fiction for her book The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care (published by Macmillan).

Crystal balls don’t work, so I’m going to fall back on that deathless phrase “We’ll Know When We Know” and we’ll tell you, when we do !  It’s a careful balancing act to deliver the curriculum amid social distance regulations, yet we’re committed to doing all we can for the students to have a safe and positive KCAI experience.

Stay healthy and keep washing your hands !

June 1, 2020

KCAI: We Stand Against Racism

KCAI utterly condemns the ongoing racist treatment of Black Americans that has resulted in the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and in the continued murders, harassment, and prejudice that our Black community members face on a daily basis.

May 28, 2020

Fond Farewell to Two Inspirational Faculty Members

Two beloved faculty members, with over 76 years of combined service to KCAI, are retiring at the end of the 2020 academic year. They’ve inspired generations of students with their relentless passion for teaching and leave an immeasurable impact on the college. Thank you Steve Whitacre and Karen McCoy for your years of service, dedication to our students, and active engagement on campus. Congratulations on your retirement. You will be missed.  Fellow faculty share tributes to their accomplishments. Steve Whitacre Professor and Sosland Family Chair of Foundation Joined KCAI in 1969 For over half a century, Steve Whitacre’s remarkable and distinguished career and long-standing leadership of the Foundation program at KCAI has earned national and international recognition.  Before coming to KCAI in 1969, Steve studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design and earned both a BFA and MFA from Ohio University.  According to the artist and educator, his studio practice continues to explore the estuary between art and architecture in relationship to sculpture and personal, poetic language.  Steve’s works are held in many private collections and have been widely exhibited in this country, England, Scotland, and Italy. He has taught and led projects at the Cranbrook Academy of Art read more…