KCAI GALLERY: Center for Contemporary Practice

Launched in 2016 in the Crossroads District and relocated to the Tony Jones Studios on the main campus, the KCAI Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice serves the mission of KCAI through collaborative, curriculum-based engagements with students, faculty, community and artists in residence. Our new campus gallery presents curatorial outcomes of these engagements that include exhibitions, screenings, lectures, readings, and conversations. This site and related programs hold space for critical thought, reflection, and dialog about current social issues and global challenges in our world.

The KCAI Gallery will continue to work closely with all departments and explore new community partnerships. Our prime location will help facilitate a collaborative, integrated space for KCAI students and offer the public a new destination nestled between the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the H&R Block Artspace.



Out in the Open

Hailianne Schawo (’23 Graphic Design)

November 10, 2022 – March 5, 2023
Curated by Sarah Walko

The Photo Pro-Practice: Exhibition Development course allowed us as students, artists, and emerging curators to engage with the art practices of our peers and effectively respond to the craft, quality, and function of the work. We found the connections each of the artists have to the recurring themes of Nature, Belonging, and Material/Function. These key elements remain universal in our understanding and engagement with an artist’s practice regardless of medium or concept. As a result, the works were consciously curated based on each artist’s interpretation and response to the world around them as shown through the formal qualities of the work. These installations, sculptures, video works, paintings, and photographs embrace sustainability whether it be cultural or environmental in reaction to these constraints. We chose these themes as outlets to navigate and understand space. 

The selected works are navigating space internally and externally. Internally, these are referencing the artist’s thoughts or feelings. Externally, they represent and reproduce natural or man-made forms. These artists show us what it means to  take up space within a gallery or institutional setting. Our team collaborated with courses: The Digital Line , Designing Ceramics for Personal Use: Objects of Purpose, and Cultivation: Drawing Intentional Relationships with Plants and selected artists to investigate the breadth and depth of space.

ArtistsCam Amys,  Jack Brooks, Victoria Cairns, Miles Callahan, Kira Dimarco, Roach Elias, Savannah Giang, Zak Gorsuch, Ezra Howat, Gage Macias, Meranda McDermott, Lucky Moe, Molly Porter, Riley Rouse, Chris Ruckman, Catherine Ryback, Hailianne Schawo, Mars Thomas,  Riley Valentine, and Ambs Welch

Public Reception
November 10, 5-8 p.m.
Free snacks and beverages served

Public Program and Artist Talk
November 17, 12 p.m.

Visitors Guide

KCAI Gallery is open to the public with free timed-entry tickets. To protect the well-being of visitors and the KCAI community, the Gallery will limit the number of guests.

Thursday | noon – 5 p.m.
Friday | noon – 5 p.m.
Saturday | noon – 5 p.m.
Sunday | noon – 5 p.m
Other days by appointment, email gallery@kcai.edu.

Protect yourself and others: maintain a safe distance of 6’ between you and other guests, use the designated entrance and exit, and follow the designated path that leads you through the exhibition. The path through the galleries is marked with arrows.

For your safety and ours, KCAI requires all individuals on campus to wear a mask during their visits. Please wear your mask both inside and outside of campus buildings. If you find yourself without one, KCAI and the gallery have a limited supply for visitors.

Surfaces are sanitized throughout the day and hand sanitizer is available at the front desk.

You can email us at kcaigallery@kcai.edu if you have questions or need to make special arrangements for your visit.

Public Online Programs
The KCAI Gallery is excited to engage artists and audiences in new ways through a series of online programs. Please register for these programs here!

Past Exhibitions


Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts

Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts

08/18/2022 - 10/30/2022

2022 Annual BFA Exhibition

2022 Annual BFA Exhibition

04/15/2022 - 05/14/2022


2021 Annual BFA Exhibition

2021 Annual BFA Exhibition

04/16/2021 - 05/15/2021