In 2015, Margaret Silva; alumna, former board member, and longtime supporter of the Kansas City Art Institute, generously gifted 1819 Grand Boulevard, the building that housed Grand Arts for 20 years, to KCAI. The facilities include two galleries, a large cross-disciplinary studio and an artist-in-residence apartment. Renamed KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice, the space provides an exciting opportunity for the college to be a part of the popular Crossroads Arts District. We envision programs that expand the academic curriculum by offering students a cooperative and cross-disciplinary learning environment. The site will also be the location for a new KCAI artist-in-residence program. Director Michael Schonhoff will guide the site’s programs, while a faculty group, the Center for Contemporary Practice Committee, will build the curricula for this location.

Patrick Jacobs: Nocturnes


January 11 – March 2, 2019

The KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice is pleased to present Nocturnes, by Patrick Jacobs. This exhibition presents a room of special lens dioramas, a.k.a., Nocturnes created by Jacobs during his residency at KCAI. Each nocturne, or moonlit landscape, is constructed in miniature, mounted within the walls of a freestanding room and viewable through circular glass lenses. Inspired in part by the mysterious landscapes of artists Hercules Segers and Ralph Blakelock, the exhibition explores the idea of landscape as a construct of human desire.

Recreated ‘moonlight’ provides the primary light source for panoramic, tightly cropped, intimate scenes.  Some depict subject matter naturalistically, while others will verge on abstraction. This room within a room installation will reveal the unfinished structure as well as the exposed backsides of each diorama. These hallucinatory gardens of the imagination reflect a strange and wondrous beauty. Confronted by a fusion of dissimilar images, we are drawn into spaces at once determinate and infinite, natural and contrived, prosaic and otherworldly. Reality is de-familiarized, and the uncanny is supplanted by the commonplace.

For over seventeen years, Jacobs has created miniature scenes while looking through a pair of biconcave lenses.  He discovered this process by placing a small concave lens in the wall of an architectural model. By peering into the model with an altered sense of reality, he discovered a vivid visual transport within that constructed space.

Using tweezers, pliers, brushes, and knives, he builds landscapes often with the help of assistants, creating by hand over a period of time, each petal, blade of grass, and twig. He improvises with scraps of aluminum foil mounted to shaped plywood to form distant bodies of water. White cat hairs painstakingly cut and glued together become dandelion seed heads.


Michael Schonhoff


Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Schonhoff’s experience as an arts professional extends nationally including projects involving exhibitions, collections, living artists, and publications. Curatorial projects include The Position We’re In, KCAI: Crossroads Gallery, Center for Contemporary Practice, Sunday Painter: Kansas City Plein Air Coterie, Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst University, You’re Such A Good Sport, Paragraph Gallery, Charlotte Street Foundation, Black & Blue, University of South Dakota, and Colleen Burner, The Skin That Forms On The Surface, Project Wall, H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute. He is the co-founder of Kunstraum KC, an artists’ studio initiative located in Kansas City, Missouri and currently, he serves as the Director of KCAI Gallery.

His artwork has been presented in solo and group exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally and his works appear in numerous public and private collections including the Nerman Museum of Art at Johnson County Community College, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, the John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation in Missouri, AGB Graphics Collection in Wisconsin, and the Studio Place Arts in Vermont. Schonhoff also completed a studio residency at takt kunstprojektraum in Berlin, Germany through the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program and a curatorial residency at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, through KCAI.

As a musician and songwriter Schonhoff has written, toured, and recorded with the bands Male NurseBoba FettishWelton Founderstartruck, and thee DEVOTION.

Schonhoff earned his MFA in Visual Art at the State University of New York at Buffalo receiving an academic art scholarship. His BFA was completed at Iowa State University where he was awarded the Helen Beresford/Frances Seeds Scholarship in Art. He lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.

Contact: mschonhoff@kcai.edu

Hours and Location

Noon – 5 pm Tuesday through Friday
Open 6 – 8 pm on First Fridays (except January)
Saturday by appointment

1819 Grand Boulevard, KCMO 64108
Call us at 816-914-5394

Facebook Instagram

Browse the KCAI Crossroads Gallery exhibition archives