July 13, 2020

Students get in the game at The College Basketball Experience

KCAI students hit a slam dunk in March  when they finished a project in one of the city’s most popular destinations, The College Basketball Experience (CBE). In a practice court on the second floor is a new basketball-themed mural that celebrates the game and the talents of KCAI Illustration students.

The project was part of the Illustration department’s MICRO Class, which gives students professional experience working with clients. The class researched the project, presented ideas and revised their murals based on feedback. Ultimately the CBE chose a design by Riley Woolworth (Senior, Illustration). 

The new mural replaces one that was installed before the museum opened in 2007 and The College Basketball Experience CEO Kevin Henderson couldn’t be more thrilled in the way it turned out. “I can’t say enough good things about the mural and the students. The students stepped up big-time and their work ethic and talent were so impressive. They took on a lot of responsibility and approached the project with a professional attitude.”

When Woolworth started the project, she wasn’t sure how she could contribute to a sports theme, but after receiving input from Henderson, she created a  mural that has a streetball vibe and lots of movement. She’s flattered that her design was chosen and loves the way sports and art intersect. “I’m used to working digitally and seeing my work on a small scale, so it’s different and exciting for me to see it so humongous. I never saw myself as a muralist but now I do,” she said. She has a second mural being installed soon near Capitol Federal on Main street in Kansas City, part of another MICRO project. 

For the CBE, whose mission is to celebrate the game of men’s collegiate basketball all day, every day, working with college students on the mural just made sense. “We feel it’s part of our corporate responsibility to involve college students with internship and work-study opportunities because we represent the college game,” said Henderson.

If you are interested in learning how KCAI students can bring their talent to your business, contact Randy Williams at corporateprograms@kcai.edu or 816-802-3527.

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…