Dedicated to artists, art and ideas since 1999, the H&R Block Artspace serves the mission of the Kansas City Art Institute as a dynamic teaching museum, engaging students and introducing audiences to important contemporary art and artists. For the 2018-2019 exhibition season, we present a new initiative that focuses our exhibitions and programming into year-long blocks of themed inquiry, speaking directly to timely and topical issues relevant to KCAI, Kansas City and the world.

The momentum of technology in a digital age has revolutionized how information is gathered, manipulated, stored, retrieved, classified and sharedall influencing how we see our world, tell our stories and relate to one another. Information Processing suggests that both the creation of art and the encounters art enacts can be understood in relation to theories of cognition and computation. This year our programming will explore a myriad of online, offline, hands-on and subversive strategies in order to examine how art can effectively encourage critical thinking, enable civic duty and restore public trust in a post-truth culture.


Tuesday – Saturday: 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday – Monday: Closed

Upcoming Exhibitions

2019 Annual BFA Exhibition
April 5–May 4, 2019

The 2019 Annual BFA Exhibition features new work by candidates earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and majoring in Animation, Art History, Ceramics, Creative Writing, Fiber, Filmmaking, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interactive Arts, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture.

Program schedule:

First Friday Meditation: Friday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.
A one-hour guided meditation led by Lisa Murphy, inspired by the exhibitions on view.

Opening Reception: Friday, April 5, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Sponsored by the Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts

Current Perspectives: KCAI Distinguished Alumni Speaker, Mel Ziegler (’78 Sculpture):
Thursday, April 11, 7:00–8:00 p.m. (Epperson Auditorium, KCAI campus)

TNT (the noon thing): Fridays, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3rd 12:00 p.m.
Noon-time public engagement series offering additional context to the exhibitions on view.

PDF Club: Thursday, April 18, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Reading and discussion group inspired by the exhibitions on view.
Click here to access a PDF Digital Commons to see an archive of PDF Club and/or to participate in an online commenting and discussion.

Artspace After Hours: Friday, April 26, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
End-of-Semester Show Open House

Closing reception: Friday, May 3, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Open House during the KCAI End-of-Semester Exhibition & Sale

Artspace Project Wall: Stanley Whitney
March 29 – August 30, 2019
Guest curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah

(above) Stanley Whitney; No to Prison Life, 2019. Courtesy of Stanley Whitney Studio)
(below) Stanley Whitney; Larry Ossei-Mensah, The Medium Group, LLC (Photo: Andy Boyle).

Stanley Whitney was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1946, and now lives and works in New York City and Parma, Italy. He holds a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute as well as an MFA from Yale University and is currently Professor emeritus of painting and drawing at Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Whitney has been exploring the possibilities of color since the mid‐1970s. His works exhibit a masterful pictorial balance with an underlying tension; conflict and resolution between  colors and forms simmer within each painting. Whitney’s work is included in public collections around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Albright‐Knox Art Gallery, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

Larry Ossei-Mensah, MOCAD’s Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator uses contemporary art as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. The Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic has organized exhibitions and programs at commercial and nonprofit spaces around the globe from New York City to Rome in addition to documenting cultural happenings featuring the most dynamic visual artists working today such as Derrick Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Federico Solmi, and Kehinde Wiley. Ossei-Mensah is also the co-founder of ARTNOIR a global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class.

In 2017, he was the Critic-in Residence at ART OMI  and in 2019 he will serve as a curatorial mentor at the VisArt in Rockville, MD. He recently co-curated the solo exhibition of Allison Janae Hamilton’s work with Susan Cross at MASSMoCA entitled PITCH. Ossei-Mensah is also the recent recipient of the Warhol Foundation grant for $50K for his upcoming exhibition in spring/summer 2019 at MOAD in San Francisco entitled Coffee, Rhum, Sugar, Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox co-curated with Dexter Wimberly. Follow him on Instagram/Twitter at @youngglobal.