September 24, 2021

Nerman family shares private art collection at KCAI Gallery

For the first time, Kansas City art lovers can view work from the renowned private contemporary art collection of Lewis and Sue Nerman. 

All Things Being Equal: Selections from the Nerman Collection at the on-campus KCAI Gallery now through October 17, showcases rarely seen critical works by artists of color, including Nick Cave (’82 Fiber), Rashid Johnson, Titus Kaphar, Simone Leigh, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Harold Smith, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Fred Wilson, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. 

The sixteen spectacular works include a sequined and beaded, eight-foot Soundsuit by Alumni Nick Cave. Another memorable work is Refusal by Hank Willis Thomas. Made from the coating commonly used in stop signs, it is designed to be viewed in different ways. When you shine a flashlight on it, an image appears of a man at a 1936 Nazi rally refusing to salute Hitler. 

The Nerman family has a motto — “search, secure and share” — and although they share individual pieces with museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art,  this is the first time they have shown a curated exhibition of their home collection. 

“Sharing our collection with the college is very important for the students and the community. We chose pieces that would represent the disciplines  at KCAI and be relevant to the students and faculty,” said KCAI Board of Trustees Chair Sue Nerman.

Sue and Lewis have been longtime supporters of KCAI and the arts in Kansas City. In 2016, the Nerman Family endowed the president’s position at KCAI, the first of its kind. 

Register to visit the exhibition

Gallery publicity

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Community Voices

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…