We love hearing from alumni about how they are putting their artistic skills into practice. Many are already making a name for themselves in their various artistic disciplines.
We have so many successful alumni that we can’t possibly share all of their stories but you can read about a few KCAI grads we’ve chosen to spotlight here.
Whitney Manney ('12 Fiber)
Whitney Manney is translating the aesthetics of street art and the effect of the cultural movements on the current urban landscape into ready-to-wear wearable art and textile design with her Whitney Manney label. Her designs are featured in Peacock's sitcom Bel Air. Her garments and accessories are worn by characters Ashley Banks played by Akira Akbar, and Lisa played by Simone Joy Jones.
Roberto Lugo ('12 Ceramics)
Fine Artist and Professor at Tyler School of Art
Roberto Lugo is an potter, social activist, spoken word poet, and educator. Lugo's work as a social activist is represented in his artworks, where he draws together hip-hop, history, politics and his cultural background into formal ceramics and 2D works.
Paul Briggs ('96 Illustration)
Originally from Texas, Paul started his animation career working on Mulan. He has worked for Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, and Disney. Most recently, he was the Story Supervisor for Frozen and Big Hero 6.
Nick Cave ('82 Fiber)
Fine Artist and Professor at SAIC
In addition to teaching at SAIC, Nick Cave is a performer and fashion designer. He creates Soundsuits, which are elaborately designed assemblages of unexpected materials that emit sound as the person wearing them moves.
Laura Foster Nicholson ('76 Fiber & Design)
With a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, she has lectured, taught, and exhibited internationally. Her artwork is in museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Denver Art Museum among others. She's been awarded an NEA fellowship, the Leone di Pietra prize at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, three Illinois Arts Council fellowships, and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Research in the Fine Arts.
Matt Bollinger ('03 Painting & Creative Writing)
Matt Bollinger is an artist living in Ithaca, NY who works across painting, animation, sculpture and music. His work has been exhibited in solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and London and in institutions like the South Bend Museum of Art, the Schneider Museum and Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Saint-Étienne Métropole. In 2016 and 2021, he received NYFA grants in Painting.