Throughout the academic year, KCAI students have opportunities to meet, work with and hear lectures by a wide range of campus visitors, many of whom are celebrated artists and designers. Often, they conduct workshops during their stay. Some take time to talk with students one-on-one and critique their work.

We invite you to join us for Current Perspectives. Lectures are FREE and take place in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus unless noted.

Spring 2019 Current Perspective Guest Speakers

About the Speakers

Sans Façon – January 31
Sans façon is an art practice that responds to the relationship between people and place. Working internationally, their approach renews awareness and tempts interaction with the surroundings, and is realized through networks of communities, organizations and individuals. Their projects range from ephemeral performances, temporary installations in public space and large scale permanent artwork to collaborating with design teams on major infrastructure projects and developing city-wide strategies involving artists in discourse with a city. The majority of their work tempts interaction with the surroundings and is often realized in close collaboration with communities, corporations and individuals including city councils, scholars, architects, engineers and designers.

Established in 2001 in Glasgow, Scotland, the practice moved to Calgary in 2011 to be lead artists for the innovative public art project Watershed+, integrating artists and creativity within the City’s Utilities & Environment Protection department.

Amy Franceschini – February 7
Amy Franceschini lives and works in San Francisco and Gent, Belgium. She is the founder of Futurefarmers, an international group of artists, activists, farmers and architects with a common interest in creating frameworks of participation that recalibrate our cultural compass. Their work uses various media to enact situations that disassemble habitual apparatus. Through public art, architecture, museum installations, publications and temporary educational programs inside institutions, they have transformed public policy, urban planning, educational curricula and public transportation plans. Futurefarmers’ work often creates relational sculptures and tools for audiences to gain insight into deeper fields of inquiry- not only to imagine but also to participate in and initiate change in the places we live.

Wardell Milan – February 21
Painter Wardell Milan currently lives and works in New York City. He recently opened his first West Coast solo exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, which was reviewed as “Critic’s Pick” this past month by Glen Helfand. He has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions over the years at various institutions including The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Queens Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Crystal Bridges, among others. Works by Milan may be found in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Nicky Nodjoumi – February 27 at H&R Block Artspace
Join Artspace Director Raechell Smith, and Dr. David Cateforis, professor and chair of art history at the University of Kansas, for a conversation with artist Nicky Nodjoumi to discuss his solo exhibition “Nicky Nodjoumi: The Long Day.” Nicky Nodjoumi was born in 1941 in Kermanshah Province, a mountainous region in the western part of Iran. He received a BA degree from Tehran University of Fine Arts, moved to the United States during the late 1960s, and received an MFA degree from the City College of New York in 1974. Nicky Nodjoumi’s works are in several prominent institutional collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London, Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi, the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, and the National Museum of Cuba.

Stephen Addiss – March 14
Stephen Addiss, scholar-artist-poet, is Tucker-Boatwright Professor Emeritus in the Humanities: Art at the University of Richmond.  In earlier years he was part of the international folk music duo, Addiss & Crofut, performing in Asia, Africa and Europe as well as the United States, and recording 9 records.  Forming an abiding interest in Asian art and culture, Addiss then studied at the University of Michigan where he earned an MA and PhD in East Asian Art History and Musicology. He has a special interest in the conjunction of text and image, as in Zen painting, literati painting, and haiga.

His own haiku, as well as translations from Japanese, have appeared in many magazines, journals, and books, and his calligraphy and paintings, including haiga, have been exhibited in China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, England, France, Germany, Austria, and many American venues.  The many books that he has authored or co-authored include A Haiku Menagerie;  The Art of Zen;  Haiga:  Haiku-Painting;  The World of Kameda Bosai;  Haiku People;  A Haiku Garden;  Haiku Humor;  Haiku Landscapes;  How to Look at Japanese Art;  Zen Sourcebook;  77 Dances:  Japanese Calligraphy;  Zen Art Box;  The Art of Chinese Calligraphy;  John Cage: Zen Ox-Herding Paintings;  The Art of Haiku;  The Sound of One Hand: Paintings and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin; and Haiku:  An Anthology of Japanese Poems.



Tommy Kha – March 20
Photographer Tommy Kha takes the selfie to the next level. In his words, “it’s all about the self in self-portrait, the portrait in self-portrait, and the hyphen in self-portrait.” He is a recipient of the En Foco Photography Fellowship, the Jessie and Dolph Smith Emeritus Award, and a Magenta Foundation Flash Forward emerging photographer, as well as a former artist-in-residence at Center for Photography at Woodstock, Light Work, Fountainhead, and Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York. In December 2015, Kha published his first monograph, A Real Imitation, through Aint-Bad. 



Lauren Frances Adams – March 21
Lauren Frances Adams is a painter and installation artist who teaches at Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her B.F.A. at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and completed her MFA in 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University. She was born in Snow Hill, North Carolina, on a pig farm. She lives and works in Baltimore. Her work engages political and social histories through iconic images and domestic ornament. She has exhibited at Nymans House National Trust (Sussex, England); The Walters Museum in Baltimore; The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri. Recent projects include Smack Mellon in Brooklyn and a site-specific collaborative public art project with Stewart Watson at a historic tavern museum in Alexandria, Virginia. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and has held residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Sacatar Foundation in Brazil. She is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation M.F.A. Award, and a 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award. She is the winner of the 2016 Trawick Prize. Her work has been reviewed in Frieze Magazine, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Artslant, and Hyperallergic. Lauren is a founding member of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a project space in New York.

Jon Rubin – March 28
Jon Rubin is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions into public life that re-imagine individual, group, and institutional behavior. Rubin is an associate professor in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and Chair of the Contextual Practice area. Projects include Conflict Kitchen, The Last Billboard The Royal Danish Protesters, and The Independent School of Art. He has exhibited at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Guggenheim Museum; The Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; The Shanghai Biennial; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; The Carnegie International; as well as in backyards, living rooms and street corners.


Mel Ziegler – April 11
Mel Ziegler began his undergraduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, later transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute to complete his BFA in 1978. He earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1982. It was in Kansas City that he met Kate Ericson, his future artistic collaborator of 18 years. Together, Ericson and Ziegler made influential site-specific installations and objects concerned with mapping trajectories, questioning history, and highlighting the specificity of places and communities. After the tragic and premature death of his partner Kate Ericson in 1995, Mel Ziegler has continued to show works nationally and internationally. Ziegler earned a Loeb Fellowship for study at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 1996-97. He continues to lecture and exhibit throughout the United States, Europe and South America. He is currently a Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.


Christie Hodgen – April 18
Christi Hodgen is the author of books of fiction. Her most recent novel, Elegies for the Brokenhearted, was hailed by The New York Times Book Review as “the literary equivalent of a hand grenade.” Elegies was an Editors’ Choice selection in both The New York Times Book Review and Booklist and was released in 2014 its German translation. Her second book, Hello, I Must Be Going, was featured by Barnes & Noble in their “Discover Great New Writers” series. A Jeweler’s Eye for Flaw, Hodgen’s collection of short stories, won the 2001 AWP Award for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award.

Hodgen has also published short works of fiction and nonfiction in over a dozen literary journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Conjunctions, New Stories from the South, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. Two novellas, Special Problems and The History of Baseball, have been published as Kindle Singles. Her work has received several national awards, including two Pushcart Prizes, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship.