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ARTNotes January

January 11, 2016



NCECA Preparations Underway

The 50th Annual Conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) comes to Kansas City in March 2016 and will draw attention to  our esteemed ceramics program and its accomplished alumni. The conference is expected to attract over 5,000 attendees from across the world. Exhibitions and programming related to the conference are already underway, including the exhibition “Every Semester: Collecting KCAI Ceramics 1995 - 2015,” on display at the Belger Arts Center through March 19. KCAI’s Paul Donnelly, assistant professor of ceramics, serves as one of the on-site conference liaisons. Donnelly and co-conference liaison Amy Duke believe that, “On this milestone anniversary, NCECA will enrich the greater Kansas City community by bringing people together in myriad ways to celebrate the ceramic arts in its many forms.” For more information on the conference, click here.

Pictured from left: Works now on view at the Belger Arts Center in the exhibition “Every Semester: Collecting KCAI Ceramics 1995 - 2015.” “Five Diamonds” by Shae Bishop (2011),  earthenware glaze, Nychrome wire and polyester string, 32” x 14.5” x 9”, Belger Collection, photo courtesy of Belger Arts Center; “Untitled” by Sasha Alexandra (2013), red earthenware, wire, luster, and underglaze, 7" x 10" x 10, Phillip T. Eirich & Melanie Sherman Collection, photo by EG Schempf; “An Aristocratic Black” by ManPaul Anthony Smith (2009), stoneware, glaze, and copper pennies,  30” x 23” x 12”, Belger Collection, photo courtesy of Belger Arts Center.

KCAI T-Shirt Competition
The KCAI Art Store and the Alumni Relations Department are hosting a competition for all students and alumni to submit innovative two-dimensional designs for new KCAI t-shirts. Please contact Jennifer Boe (’01 painting), KCAI Art Store employee, for more information at 816-802-3349 or Submissions are due Feb. 1, 2016 at 5 p.m.

Thank You
KCAI thanks all who organized and attended the Potbelly Night on Nov. 21 and the Holiday Mart and Silent Auction on Dec. 11. These lively events, hosted by the Faculty and Staff Annual FUNd Committee, successfully raised money for the Annual Fund.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, KCAI closed
Jan. 22: Last day of winter intersession classes, Student Living Center opens
Jan. 25: First day of spring semester classes
Feb. 9: ArtSounds performance "Celestial Metamorphosis" at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium. This collaborative audio-visual performance will depict the various interactions between light, nature and humans with the sky.

CPS classes starting in January
Art Sofa: Impressionism through Surrealism, instructor Donna Houtteman
Jan. 13 - Feb. 17, Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. $129 + $20 material fee
Learn about the great painters from Georges Seurat to Salvador Dali.

Art Sofa: Late Renaissance through Realism, instructor Donna Houtteman
Jan. 14 - Feb. 18, Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. $129 + $20 material fee
Discuss the Romanticism, Baroque, Rococo periods, and more!

High School Portfolio Preparation, instructor Kendell Harbin (’13 printmaking and art history)
Jan. 23 - March 12, Saturdays 9 a.m. to1 p.m. $350/$400 for credit + $40 material fee
Students will add to their college portfolio by studying life, portrait, contour and figure drawing.

Faculty & Staff News

On Dec. 27, 2015, a book review of “Garments Against Women” by Anne Boyer, assistant professor of creative writing, was featured in the Sunday Book Review section of the New York Times. According to the author and critic Maureen McLane, “She [Boyer] has written a sad, beautiful, passionate book that registers the political economy of literature and of life itself.” To read more, click here.

The recently published book “George McGovern and the Democratic Insurgents: The Best Campaign and Political Posters of the Last Fifty Years” by Hal Wert, Ph.D., professor of liberal arts, can be purchased online here.

Alumni News

The gallery M+B in Los Angeles presents the solo exhibition “Ellen Carey: Polaroid 20 x 24 Self-Portraits” through Jan. 16. The show is Ellen Carey’s (’74 printmaking) first exhibition with the gallery and her solo debut in Los Angeles.

Three photographs by Donald Anderson (’72 industrial design) were selected for inclusion in the “32nd Annual Five State Photography Exhibition” at the Hays Arts Center in Hays, Kan., which will be on display through Jan. 21.

The exhibition “Learning to see Color,” on view at the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery from Jan. 14 to March 6, features two works by Tim Hahn (’75 painting).

The works “Victory” and “Sport Panels” by Michael Dillon (’90 sculpture) were recently installed at the Bell Memorial Park in Milton, Ga.

Christopher Willits (’00 photo/new media), with the organization ENVELOP, successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to build and launch a 3-D sound and light system at The Midway in San Francisco. Once completed, ENVELOP at The Midway will host immersive audiovisual performances and parties, deep listening events and educational workshops. For additional information, visit   

The Mulvane Museum at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. recently established the Rita Blitt Archive of paintings, drawings and sculptures by Rita Blitt (’53 painting). The works will be displayed in rotating exhibitions within a new building on the Washburn University’s campus, to be opened in 2017

Local KCAI-related Exhibitions

Belger Crane Yard Gallery — The exhibition “Every Semester: Collecting KCAI Ceramics 1995 - 2015,” organized by Cary Esser, professor and chair of ceramics, continues through March 19, 2016 and celebrates the history and diversity of objects created in the ceramics department since 1995. Through Jan. 23, the gallery also presents the solo exhibitions “Schema: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery,” of work by Melanie Sherman (’14 ceramics), and “Christopher Kurtz” of work by Christopher Kurtz (attended).

Kansas City Central Library — In honor of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the library presents “Intimate Riot,” an exhibition guest curated by Peregrine Honig (attended) and featuring work by Leo Esquivel (’95 printmaking), Catherine Clements (’11 painting and art history) and Marcus Cain (’98 painting and printmaking). The show runs through Jan. 17, 2016. For additional information, visit

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center — The solo-exhibitions “Cure,” showcasing work by Dylan Mortimer ('02 painting), and “love, loss and violence,” displaying work by Ada Koch (attended), continue through Feb. 13, 2016.

In Memoriam

Robert Kalthoff (’64 painting) passed away on Dec. 17, 2015. Services were held at Drexel Hall on Jan. 2, 2016.

Calls for Artists

BkMk Press invites entries to its contest for the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry and the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Winners will receive $1,000 and publication of their book. The submission deadline is Jan. 15, 2016. Click here for contest guidelines.

The Orange County Public Art Review Board seeks artists or artist team(s) to create artwork appropriate for the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Flo. The project budget totals $87,000. The deadline for application is Jan. 21, 2016. For more information, click here.

The Civic Arts Commission of Pleasanton, Calif. seeks qualifications from artists interested in creating a work of public art to help identify the city's Cultural Arts Building. Applications are due Jan. 29, 2016 at 3 p.m. C.S.T. For more information, click here.

The Charlotte Street Foundation now accepts programming submissions on a rolling basis. Applicants can be artists (of any discipline), curators or cultural producers wishing to partner with Charlotte Street. Proposals may be for contemporary arts projects, including visual art exhibitions, installations, original live performances, video screenings, literary readings/events, public programs and collaborative projects. For more information, click here.

For information on artist residency opportunities, visit

Opportunities List

KCAI’s Academic Advising and Career Services office publishes creative opportunities and career opportunities lists with employment, freelance, volunteer and RFQ listings for students and alumni. Download the current creative opportunities list here. Download the current job and career opportunities list here.

Upcoming events at KCAI

Check out a listing of all upcoming events at the Kansas City Art Institute.