December 9, 2020

Tony Jones Receives AIAKC President’s Award for Advocacy

Nerman Family President Tony Jones’s unwavering support of the local architecture community was recognized yesterday when he received the President’s Award for Advocacy of Architecture from The American Institute of Architects Kansas City (AIAKC).

Over the past five years, KCAI has used local architects and contractors for five major campus projects including the Barbara Marshall Residence Hall, Wylie Dining and Café Nerman (Helix); Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall (Hufft); The Tony Jones Studios (Gould Evans); David T. Beals Studios for Art & Technology (Gould Evans); and the restoration of historic Vanderslice Hall (GastingerWalker&). The campus transformation caught the attention of AIAKC Board of Directors President Ryan Warman who created a special award to celebrate Jones.

“We honor the Kansas City Art Institute as advocates of architects and architecture, as they demonstrate the value of collaborating with design professionals in our community to enhance the experience for their students, faculty, and staff,” said Warman.

Helix Principal Alissa Wehmueller admires Jones’ devotion to Kansas City architects and his collaboration with neighborhood and community groups. “Tony is the best kind of client in the way he both challenges and trusts the people he works with. It’s a gift that he gives his trust to local design firms and allows us to create these beautiful projects on the KCAI campus, which truly is a Kansas City treasure,’’ she said.

According to Jones, using Kansas City firms was integral to the campus transformation plan. “KCAI believes strongly in supporting the brilliant local talent we have in our city and region – and has commissioned architects to do their best work in creating state-of-the-art facilities for our students and faculty. To receive this recognition from AIA is such a marvelous endorsement signal honour –  we’re a bit overwhelmed ! – many, many thanks,” said Jones.

KCAI has been receiving accolades from the local and national design community. Earlier this fall, AIAKC recognized Barbara Marshall Residence Hall, Wylie Dining & Café Nerman as Project of the Year and awarded DeBruce Hall with a Design Excellence Award. This was followed by a Gold honor for DeBruce Hall and the Vanderslice restoration from the KC Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Recently, the Architect’s Newspaper awarded an Honorable Mention Design Award to DeBruce Hall.

December 9, 2020

Julie Farstad Awarded The Rosser Biennial Faculty Fellowship

The Rosser Biennial Faculty Fellowship Endowment was created by Professor Emeritus Warren Rosser to promote the advancement of individual artistic practice and its application to the pedagogy of painting at KCAI. Its purpose is to encourage and support individual research in one’s studio practice and to develop outcomes that relate and promote excellence in one’s teaching practice. This year’s recipient of the Rosser Fellowship is Associate Professor of Painting, Julie Farstad! Julie’s proposal for the Marlborough Native Plants and Pollinator Public Art Project aims to make her Marlborough neighborhood become a place full of color, art, and nature. In recent years, Julie has been researching and practicing ornamental and native gardening and using her plants as subjects for paintings. “Unfortunately, the area I live in has empty concrete lots, boarded-up houses, and vacant storefronts. People dump their garbage on these sites thinking it won’t matter or no one will notice. These visual signifiers overwhelm the identity of our community, and I want to change that,” said Julie. She hopes to replace the visual symbols of blight using native flowers and pollinators as motifs. According to Julie, “I would love to collaborate with other artists, schools, and community centers in the read more…

November 23, 2020

Graphic Design Alumna creates Biden campaign branding

Aimee Brodbeck (’08 Graphic Design)  The following story is a celebration of the exceptional career of an alum of KCAI and should not be viewed as a political endorsement.  Social impact work has always been important to Graphic Design Alumna Aimee Brodbeck, so when she got the chance to lead the design for the Biden campaign, she jumped on it. She volunteered her time and designed the iconic, patriotic red, white, and blue logo. And, she didn’t stop there. She created a complete marketing suite of SWAG, GIFs, yard signs, emails, and other materials that helped to position Biden for the win. The brand was used by the campaign from April 2019 until Kamala Harris joined the ticket in September. How did you get involved with the Biden campaign? I was working for the ad agency Mekanism, and I received a text from Tom Lyons during a meeting asking me, “how do you feel about politics?” The opportunity came through the agency’s relationship with Creative Alliance, a foundation that donates creative efforts to social impact work. They previously worked on the It’s On Us campaign, an Obama-Biden initiative that raised awareness and fought against sexual assault on college campuses for read more…