KCAI GALLERY: Center for Contemporary Practice

Our new KCAI Gallery has arrived! 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.


Current Exhibition

We are excited and honored to open this new space with Revolution in Our Lifetime, An Exhibition in Three Parts featuring works by Emory Douglas, the African American Artists Collective (AAAC), and KCAI Students on view September 23 – December 5, 2020. 

Revolution in Our Lifetime is organized in collaboration with artist Emory Douglas, KCAI students, KCAI Faculty, and members of the AAAC. It is presented with cooperative support from the Center for Contemporary Practice and Current Perspectives Lecture Series programs at KCAI. 

Emory Douglas created the visual identity for the Black Panther Party and his iconic images and graphics came to symbolize the struggles of the social justice movement. As the Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the 1980s his work was characterized by strong graphic images of young African American men, women and children. He used the Black Panther community newspaper’s popularity to spur people to action, portraying the poor with empathy, being unapologetic and ready to struggle for basic human rights. Douglas continues to create art with social and political concerns making art that transcends borders.

Works by Emory Douglas will be on view from September  23 – December 5, 2020

The African American Artists Collective, founded in 2014, is a growing group of artists unified in identifying and catalyzing their practice as a means to support the African American and Black Arts movement in Kansas City and beyond. AAAC members advocate for other artists, advance professional development, build networks and provide mentorship. Ongoing initiatives include generating exhibitions and performances, developing an endowment and securing digital resources. Membership in the AAAC is open to African American artists of all disciplines.

Works by AAAC members will be on view from September 23 – October 24, 2020. 

KCAI Students
As a project of the Center for Contemporary Practice program at KCAI Gallery, Emory will serve as a virtual artist in residence this semester and conduct a special poster workshop with select Graphic Design, Printmaking and Illustration students. The collaborative outcomes of this workshop will then be exhibited in the gallery next to Douglas’ works.

Works by KCAI Students will be on view from October 30 – December 5, 2020. 


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. Additionally, all visitors will need to reserve tickets in advance.

Reserve your time today!

The KCAI Gallery is open with timed, ticketed entry Wednesday through Saturday, 12 – 5 pm.

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 gallery@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!

Keep It Movin’ – Artists & Activism – Registration coming soon
Online – Panel Discussion with the African American Artists Collective
Congressman Emanual Cleaver II, members of the AAAC and guests.
Saturday, October 3 at 12 p.m.

Emory Douglas: Some American History
Online – Current Perspective Lecture Series 
Thursday, October 29 at 7 p.m.