Admissions Team

We look forward to meeting with you, reviewing your work, answering your questions, and assisting you in the admissions process. Schedule a campus visit.

Julia Welles

Senior Admissions Specialist

Julia received her B.F.A from KCAI and her M.F.A from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She worked in the non-profit art organization sector and taught at the college level before joining the KCAI Admissions staff, which she has been a part of for over 15 years.

Territories: all transfer, international and spring applicants

Contact Information: jwelles@kcai.edu or 816-522-4705

Darcy Deal

Senior Director of Admissions

First-time Freshmen Territories: St. Louis, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan
Transfer Student Territories: Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin

Contact Information: ddeal@kcai.edu or (816) 982-5344

Josie Eckerman

Admissions Counselor

Josie Eckerman has lived and worked in Kansas City for the past 7 years. Relocating several times throughout her childhood to cities from Alaska down to Chicago and in between, she continues to explore the country as an Admissions Counselor seeking out passionate young artists like herself. Since graduating from KCAI in 2019 with a degree in Fiber, she continues her studio practice but now creates through the lens of analog photography. With an eye for color and working with her hands, she has also begun to explore the art of tinkering with furniture design through structures made of wood, tile, and grout. In the future, she aims to inspire others and in turn find equal inspiration from the talented future students of KCAI. 

Territories: Local and Southern Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska

Contact Information: jeckerman@kcai.edu or 816-802-3528

Caroline Honas

Admissions Counselor

Territories: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Caroline Honas is from Wichita, Kansas, but has called Kansas City her home since attending KCAI. She majored in Painting with a Social Practice minor, receiving her B.F.A. at KCAI in 2022. Primarily an oil painter, she is interested in the intersection of art and science– particularly the native botany of the prairie region. Outside of her art practice and time working with creative students, Caroline is interested in regenerative growing practices and works at community gardens in the KC metro area.

Nina Littrell

Admissions Counselor

Territories: Local Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont
Nina Littrell is a Kansas City based artist who is interested in merging art and fashion. She is an environmental activist, maker, natural dyer, and a quilter who works through the medium of garment design. She honed in on her passion for sustainability and craft while attending the Kansas City Art Institute. She graduated from the Fiber Department in 2019. She is currently an artist in residence at Charlotte Street Foundation.
Nina looks forward to meeting young artists around the country and helping them with their journey to higher education.

Gregory Thurmond

Admissions Counselor

Gregory Thurmond is originally from central Iowa and relocated to Kansas City to attend KCAI. They graduated from KCAI with a B.F.A. in Sculpture in 2020. Their studio practice is centered around their own experience as an LGBTQIA+ individual. This work includes performance, installations, and figurative sculpture. Outside of working with future KCAI students, Gregory enjoys playing and watching soccer – especially Sporting Kansas City!

Territories: Local Missouri (zip codes starting with 641), Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Non-Local Kansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont
Contact Information: gthurmond@kcai.edu or 816-802-3418