ARTNotes September 2016

President's Message

At the State of the College address, I had the pleasure of announcing the wonderful news that under the direction of Charlie Egan, Trustee, the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation has endowed and named The Raymond Beagle Chair in Art History, and our esteemed Professor and Program Head of Art History, Michele Fricke will be the first Chair.

Memo-Header_Durwood-Fricke“Ray Beagle was a quiet yet instrumental force in Kansas City, who served as co-trustee of the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation for 16 years. Ray was general counsel to AMC, served as Stan Durwood’s personal attorney, and was the architect of the Durwood Foundation. This endowed Chair has been created to recognize Ray’s years of service to Kansas City,” said Charlie.

Michele has been inspiring students at KCAI for 28 years. Her love of art history helps bring the past alive for students who take her classes. She is also a practicing artist. Her fiber works have been shown at exhibitions across the country and are featured in several private collections.

“I’m very honored to be appointed as The Raymond Beagle Chair in Art History. Teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute has been an extraordinarily rich way to spend a career and a life, and this honor brings with it both validation and the inspiration to do more.” said Michele.

KCAI has enjoyed an historic year with three announcements of new, endowed and named Chairs. We remain ever grateful to Charlie, the Durwood Foundation, and all of our friends who make KCAI such an amazing place.




Welcome new faculty

It’s wonderful to see the campus buzzing again with new faces and familiar ones as KCAI welcomes foundation students and returning students back to campus for the new school year. They are joined by 24 new faculty members, all of whom are practicing artists, scholars and designers, and who we are pleased to have as part of the KCAI community.


  • Ismael Sanz-Pena’s passion for classical music and painting led to a calling in animation where he could combine both crafts. A world traveler, he immerses himself in culture and has worked in Norway, Thailand and the U.K. Read more.


  • Lynnette Miranda is a latinx artist, curator and writer from Miami. Over the last 7 years, she has worked at leading art institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, ART21 and Creative Time.
  • Maria Behnen has 35 plus years of experience designing ready-to-wear and accessories and has worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York for brands including Esprit, Hype, IB Diffusion, Nanette Lepore and Gwen Stefani. Read more.


  • Christopher Spaw has over 10 years of experience in teaching architectural studios, seminars and lectures. He also has over 20 years of experience in architectural practice. With an extensive background in design and build experience he is able to communicate design processes in a complete form.
  • Misha Kligman’s work arises from the need to bridge the gap between self and the world. Bodies of Kligman’s work has touched on questions of identity, political histories, mortality and sentimentality.
  • E. Nash bases their art practice around the symbiotic relationship between humans and microbes. Nash collaborates with microbes to make edible fermented foods that are displayed within sculptures and installations. Read more.

Graphic Design

  • Tony Brock has taught freshmen through graduate design courses with a transmedia focus of print, motion and interaction design. Having taught in both art and design centered programs, he tailors curricula to benefit the individual interests of the student while providing a broad survey of contemporary practice.
  • Tyler Galloway returns to KCAI as professor and chair of graphic design. He has taught at KCAI and the University of Kansas, having earned his B.F.A. from Missouri State University and an M.G.D. from North Carolina State University.
  • Tom Morse-Brown holds a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute and a national diploma in graphic design from Stafford College of Art in the UK. He is the co-founder of Morse-Brown Creative, a brand development and design agency in south Kansas City.
  • Merrick Henry completed an M.F.A. in Graphic Design at Kansas State University. He began his career as an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. Launching a teaching position at the art school helped to broaden his experiences as an instructor and artist. Read more.


  • Kyle Strahm has been a freelance comic book artist since 2006. In that time he has worked for Marvel Comics, DC Entertainment, Todd McFarlane Productions, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, Dynamite, Valiant Entertainment, Black Mask, Boom! Studios and others.
  • Johne Richardson has been illustrating for more than 30 years, creating animation and design work for the Kansas City Royals, greeting card illustration for Hallmark Cards, and mural work for Samsung headquarters, among others.
  • Elizabeth Baddeley is a freelance illustrator based in Kansas City, Mo. She earned her M.F.A. in illustration as visual essay from the School of Visual Arts in New York and has an undergraduate degree in design from the University of Kansas.
  • Frances Baszta brings over 35 years’ experience as a graphic designer, event planner, gallery manager and corporate design director working for clients in retail, consumer, agri-business and business-to-business arenas.
  • Jeremy Luther has acted as graphic designer, illustrator, art director, and production director for several publications while also practicing fine art, running Tiny House Creative with his wife, and building a tiny 160 square-foot house on wheels.
  • Joe Hoffman comes to the Kansas City Art Institute with more than 20 years of experience in the interactive and online industries as a graphic designer, illustrator, creative/art director and user-experience specialist. Read more.

 Liberal Arts and Art History

  • Michele Valentine is an adjunct professor with the Kansas City Art Institute, Metropolitan Community College, and Kansas City Kansas Community College. She works at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as the local program coordinator for the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship and the department assistant for South and Southeast Asian Art.
  • Loren Whittaker is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas, where she also earned her M.A. Her major area of interest is Italian renaissance art, with minor areas of concentration in Roman art and archaeology of the Augustan period, and American art (1865-1945).
  • Licia Clifton-James, Ph.D., a life-long resident of Kansas City, Mo., received her doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2016. In addition, she holds a Master’s of Art History, as well as a B.A., from UMKC.
  • Hui Wang Martin, PH.D. will teach the courseSurvey of Asian Art” in the fall semester. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Kansas. Her Ph.D. major studies focused on later Chinese Buddhist art, and her minor areas were western collecting of Chinese art and later Chinese Buddhism. Read more.


  • Lilly McElroy grew up in southern Arizona, surrounded by cliché representations of her own experiences. There were cowboys riding bulls, coyotes howling on moonlit nights, and beautiful sunsets. She’s translated those experiences into epic photographs and playfully antagonistic videos. Lilly performs for the camera, enacting gestures that reflect a desire for control over subjects as ungovernable as nature. Read more.


  • Amanda Maciuba, a native of the Buffalo, N.Y. area, graduated from the University at Buffalo with a degree in visual studies and a concentration in print media. She has shown her work in the Buffalo area at the Carnegie Art Center, The Western New York Book Arts Collaborative, and the University at Buffalo Art Gallery.
  • Mike Lyon’s early exposure to the paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints and photography of his parents and their consistent praise of his artwork motivated him to be an artist. He has two degrees in art, a B.A. in architecture and fine art (sculpture) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973, and a B.F.A. in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1975. Read more.


  • Joey Grimm earned his M.F.A. from University of Delaware and B.F.A. from KCAI (’10 sculpture). Grimm is co-founder of Made in Americana, a design and build firm started in Brooklyn, NY and now based in Kansas City. Read more.

potbelly-corp-logoKCAI Night at Potbelly on the Plaza

Take your friends and family to Potbelly on the Country Club Plaza from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 and 25% of your purchases will go toward KCAI’s annual fund, which benefits general scholarships, technology and more.  This is the kick-off to the 2016 Staff and Faculty Annual FUNd drive.

Alumni News

OverTheGardenWall_02_A_Main-watermarked-675x1024Jim Campbell wins Oscar of the comic world

Jim Campbell (’99 illustration) won big at ComicCon in San Diego on July 22 when he took home the Will Eisner Award for his “Over the Garden Wall” comic book.

The comic book is based on the Emmy Award winning cartoon miniseries by the same name that ran on Cartoon Network in November 2014. Campbell was also the storyboard artist on the prime-time cartoon, which chronicled the epic adventures of two half-brothers Greg and Writ. The comic books series is split in two, with Campbell telling the story of Greg and his frog and Amalia Levari and Cara McGee covering the story of Anna the Woodman’s daughter. Read more.

 Vote for Breakout KC designed by Cass Lyons (’15 filmmaking)

Cass Lyons, was the scene and experience designer for Breakout KC, one of USA Today’s top ten escape rooms.  Help Cass secure the number one spot by voting for Breakout KC at

 Calder Kamin and Jennifer Chenoweth awarded Mid America Art Alliance Innovation Grant

 Calder Kamin (’09 ceramics and art history) was awarded a grant for her exhibition “Calder Kamin: A Call to Action,” her largest and most ambitious solo endeavor to date. The exhibition includes all new works in multiple mediums across the 1800-square-foot space of Women & Their Work in Austin, Texas, from September through November. Thematically focused on climate change, synthetic material in the environment, and how we can be better stewards of the earth and its animals, Kamin will present and collect content for this show during SXSW Interactive, Darwin Day at Texas A&M, National Citizen Science Day, and the 45 fest at Cunningham Elementary.

Jennifer Chenoweth (’91 painting) was awarded the grant for “The XYZ Atlas,” her way of mapping emotional experiences that create meaning in people’s lives. Project participants share the most powerful emotional events—their highest highs and their lowest lows—experienced in the city. The responses are collated and condensed into data points that convey critical pieces of information: the GIS coordinates map the precise locations where these extreme emotions were experienced (X and Y axis), and the “height” or the magnitude of the felt emotions. At the invitation of Texas A&M University, she has created gallery talks, an exhibition, and mapping event to bring the project to the cities of Bryan and College Station to explore historical relationships between the two abutting cities. The project aims to show how experiences can be literally mapped onto the landscape, not just in our hearts.

16-ShadowsDreamsAlumna’s sculpture featured on Potters Council calendar

Bernadette Esperanza Torres’ (’91 ceramics) wall sculpture “Shadow Dream” is featured on the cover of the Potters Council 2017 calendar.  The calendars are now available online at

Student News

Abby Swaringam, Madonna, Oil on wood panel, 20in x 16 in 2016Abby Swaringam awarded The Elise Hoelzel  Scholarship

Congratulations to Abby Swaringam (junior, painting) who was recently awarded The Elise Hoelzel Scholarship in Painting.

The Elise Hoelzel Scholarship was established in 2005 with a gift from Mrs. Gwendolyn Marinos, who wanted to create a scholarship fund for her aunt, Elise Hoelzel. Elise taught at KCAI and worked with Thomas Hart Benton. During her life, Elise overcame numerous obstacles and used her determination and curiosity to travel the world, teach, paint and enjoy life. She served as an inspiration to her niece, who hopes that through this scholarship Elise’s legacy will inspire future generations.

Call for entries for juried show at The Four Chapter Gallery

How do the lives of Madonna, the mother of Jesus, and Madonna, the boundary-pushing musician, intersect? What ideas of womanhood arise from these two women’s lives? Create artwork exploring this topic and submit it by Oct. 1 for a chance to have your work showcased in the “Madonna/Madonna” show at Four Chapter Gallery. Three artists will be selected for awards of $1,000, $750 and $250. To apply go to

Bizz & Weezy, Lead Bank Make Delectable DuoBiz&Weezy

Bizz & Weezy Confections and Lead Bank are teaming up to create an exclusive holiday chocolate bar that will be sold during the month of December. For every box of chocolate bars sold in December, Lead Bank will donate $5 to KCAI. Call for Sweet Artists! Artists will have their artwork on display in the gallery space next to Bizz & Weezy for three months and the top two designers will have their art reproduced on the chocolate bars and their bio on the box. The two finalists will each receive 50 cents royalty from each box of chocolate art sold.

Submit your art by Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. For more information, go to


Five students win the Lester Goldman Drawing Award

Congratulations to the following students who were chosen as the winners of the 9th Biennial Lester Goldman Drawing Award:

First Place $1,000                   Claire Dain (senior, painting)IMG_3678

Second Place $600                 Sierra Brown-Faust (senior, sculpture)

Third Place $300                     Wolfgang Pierce (’16 painting)

Honorable Mention $120          Justin Gray (’16 painting)

Honorable Mention $120          Julia Monte (junior, painting and creative writing)

Dedicated to the memory of long-term and beloved faculty member of the painting department Lester Goldman (1966-2005), KCAI thanks Kathrin Goldman and the generosity of the Goldman family for creating this amazing award, which honors Lester’s memory. Portfolios were submitted by over 30 students from painting, sculpture and fiber. Visit the Dodge Painting Gallery for an exhibition highlighting work from the winning student’s portfolios. Next spring, the artwork will return to KCAI accompanied by work from students at CCA and MICA as part of the Disegno exhibition series. Jurors for the 9th Biennial Lester Goldman Drawing Competition were: Laura Berman, professor of printmaking; Julie Farstad, chair of painting; Jessie Fisher, professor of painting.

KCAI Undergrads Underground Gallery Call For Submissions

KCAI Undergrad Underground Gallery at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center is now accepting proposals for two exhibitions this fall.  Shows are three weeks long in November and December and each has a First Friday opening reception. The submission deadline is Sept. 22 at noon. For more information email Kim Eichler-Messmer at