November 16, 2021

Roberto Lugo (‘12 Ceramics) returns to KCAI to inspire students

Urban potter and social activist Roberto Lugo (’12 Ceramics) is having a moment. 

In the last month, he’s been featured on CBS This Morning, PBS News Hour, and in the New York Times. He also has 26 pieces in Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room, which opened Nov. 5 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He’s crazy busy, but he still spent two days this month meeting with KCAI students and sharing his ideas about life as an artist.

During his visit, he led a roundtable with Ceramics students and faculty. He also spoke about his life experiences at an evening lecture in Epperson Auditorium attended by 75 students. They were so inspired to hear from not only an alumnus who is receiving national recognition for his work, but also from someone who understands what it’s like to be an art student, that they lined up afterward to get his autograph.

Roberto conducted ten studio visits with students across disciplines and spent time getting to know their motivation and process. The visit was pivotal for Carlos Heredia (Senior, Ceramics). “I felt like I was a little bit stuck before he came. He asked me some deep questions that I had to think about. Now, I’m reprocessing why I am working with clay and work the way I do. He made me take a big picture view, and it helped me,” he said. 

According to Career Readiness Coordinator Cory Imig, giving students a chance to interact with alumni and hear how they navigate their career paths  is important. “It can be the difference between a student thinking their goals and dreams are unattainable versus a student who becomes determined to achieve what they thought was impossible. The energy coming from the student body after Roberto’s visit was invigorating and inspiring. The stronger we can make the KCAI network, the more successful our students will be,” she said.  

Roberto describes himself as “a potter, activist, culture-maker, rapper, poet, and educator.” In 2015, he was named an emerging artist by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and a United States Artists Fellow in 2016. He’s the recipient of numerous awards including the Pew Fellowship and the Rome Prize. He is currently an assistant professor at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook or visit his website at

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…