November 18, 2021

English Jueju Poetry and Chinese Printmaking

Assistant Professor Eleanor Lim-Midyett is bringing a contemporary take on a traditional Chinese compositional technique to her Modern Chinese Narratives class. Jueju poetry is the Chinese cousin of the more familiar Japanese Haiku that originated during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) The ancient artform is experiencing a revival led by Professor Jonathan Stalling of the University of Oklahoma who is working to adapt the traditional form to English for American culture.

Students in Professor Lim-Midyett’s class crafted English jueju poems following the guidelines of 5 or 7 syllable quatrains which adhere to an AABA rhyme scheme. Dr. Stalling visited her class in order to workshop the poems. 

“During the pandemic, I turned to composing classical jueju poetry in English as a form of self-reflection and cultivating a sense of inner-peace,” Lim-Midyett said. “As I started researching the jueju form, I came across resources from Professor Jonathan Stalling who teaches Chinese literature at University of Oklahoma and also happened to have an exhibition called the Poetics of Invention at UMKC’s Miller Nichols Library that addressed jueju literary composition, printmaking and translation. Professor Stalling accompanied me on a tour of his exhibition during a summer visit to UMKC, and we started collaborating on plans to bring this knowledge and technology to KCAI.”

In China, poetry composition was once a skill that demonstrated learning for those hoping for a career in government and was a component of the imperial examinations. “The ability to harmonise the world and language through poetry reflects one’s ability to do the same in human affairs and government. The strict rules of jueju became a form of competitive wordplay for aspiring and established Chinese statesmen” according to The Poetics of Invention.

Dr. Lim-Midyett selected two of her students’ poems that she transliterated into Chinese characters using Stalling’s app, Pinying, which he developed to help native Chinese speakers learn how to pronounce English words using Chinese characters. While in Kansas City, Dr. Stalling and his associate, Chen Wang, from California State, Fullerton, created illustrator files that were used to carve woodblocks of the Chinese characters for the poems at Beals Studio. Associate Professor and Chair of Printmaking Miguel Rivera’s sophomore printmaking class created illustrated woodblock prints to accompany the poems. Students envisioned the sentiment from each poem and created sketches and graphic final images of the core idea from each poem. Melding both ancient Chinese and modern printmaking technologies, Rivera’s class adapted tradition and innovation using the poems as a bridge from poetry to art.

January 26, 2022

Welcome Back, Students!

Here we go again!  This isn’t the way that we hoped to start the new year, but the highly contagious Omicron is bringing new challenges to our campus community. With precautions in place, we’re starting the semester cautiously optimistic. Our COVID protocols have been designed with one goal in mind – keeping our campus community safe.  Some of the spring 2022 guidelines include: Masks are required indoors on campus. Each student was given a K95 mask at the beginning of the semester.  KCAI strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated and boosted.  We will continue to offer free vaccine and booster clinics for our community.  Review all the current Covid protocols at Our current plan is to host two in-person graduation — one for 2022 graduates and another for the 2020 and 2021 graduates who weren’t able to graduate in person, due to the pandemic.  Both ceremonies will be on Saturday, May 14 and more details will be shared soon.  We know this hasn’t been easy, and we thank you for your diligence and patience. With your help, we’ve been able to navigate this ongoing , ever changing pandemic. We’ll continue to meet regularly with the  Kansas City. Missouri Health read more…

January 26, 2022

Join us on June 4 for Art & Design Auction

Art & Design Auction June 4, 2022 Visit the Event Page Fabulous art, festive food & drink, inspired entertainment, and the iconic KCAI campus will set the stage for the Art & Design Auction on June 4, 2022. Julia Irene Kaufman will serve as Honorary Chair while Meyer and Mindy Sosland are Co-Chairs of this signature fundraising event. Attendees will browse and bid on hundreds of live and silent auction items donated by faculty, alumni, and friends of KCAI. Through an exciting collaboration with A. Zahner, 15 student designs will be selected through a competition to have their concept turned into reality and auctioned that night. ADA also features a “Marketplace” shop featuring handcrafted jewelry, art, textiles, and ceramics available for purchase. And it’s all for a good cause!   “We are honored to serve as this year’s Art & Design Auction event chairs for this biennial tradition, which raises funds for student scholarships. The incredible work generously donated by KCAI alumni, faculty, staff, and friends represents some of the best artists in Kansas City. Along with Honorary Chair Julia Irene Kauffman, we can’t wait to welcome you to the KCAI campus for this special evening,” said Meyer and Mindy Sosland, read more…