ARTNotes for March 24

March 24, 2014


To submit information for upcoming issues or to subscribe, contact Brian Spano, communications manager, at or 816-802-3532.

Upcoming events

March 26: Maria Buszek, associate professor of art history in the College of Arts and Media at the University of Colorado in Denver, will speak about the “Saints Stars & Selfies” exhibition at noon at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St. For details, call 816-561-5563.

March 27: Nonfiction writer Lawrence Weschler will speak at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus as part of the college’s “Current Perspectives” lecture series. Weschler was a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than 20 years. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 816-802-3426 or
Through April 2: “Saints Stars & Selfies” at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St., features recent work by Juan Capistran, Kathleen Gilje, Nina Katchadourian, Hendrik Kerstens, Liane Lang, Vik Muniz, Mark Newport (’86 fiber), Jaimie Warren (’02 printmaking) and Kehinde Wiley. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, call 816-561-5563 or visit
April 3: Dan Ibarra will speak at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus as part of the college’s “Current Perspectives” lecture series. Ibarra is co-founder of Aesthetic Apparatus, a commercial art and printmaking studio based in Minneapolis. For more information, contact816-802-3426 or Pictured: Aesthetic Apparatus studio space.
April 8: The ArtSounds performance series presents Anne Boyer's Neo-Benshi. In the practice of Neo-Benshi, collaborators will provide live alternate voice-overs to existing film footage as a way of storytelling. The event will include performances by Dana Ward, Emily Kissner, Jordan Stempleman, Cyrus Console and Anne Boyer. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus. The performance is free and open to the public.

Former director of Nelson-Atkins Museum to speak at commencement

Marc Wilson, former director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, will speak at KCAI’s 2014 commencement exercises, set for 10 a.m. May 17 at Unity Temple on the Country Club Plaza. During his nearly 40-year tenure, Wilson oversaw the expansion of the museum and the addition of the award-winning Bloch Building. Wilson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, focusing on Chinese studies and Asian art history. In 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from KCAI. Pictured: Marc Wilson.

Two ceramics students awarded Regina Brown Undergraduate Fellowships

Two seniors from KCAI’s ceramics department, Melanie Sherman and Joey Watson, have been awarded Regina Brown Undergraduate Fellowships from the National Council for the Education of the Ceramic Arts. NCECA awards six fellowships annually, three to undergraduates and three to graduate students. This year, for the first time, two students from one undergraduate program received fellowships. Sherman and Watson were recognized during the NCECA conference, which took place last week in Milwaukee. The Regina Brown Undergraduate Fellowships are named after the late Executive Director of NCECA.Students in the KCAI ceramics department have been awarded Regina Brown Fellowships in five of the last six years, but having two winners in one school year is unprecedented, according to department chair Cary Esser. Sherman, from Grayslake, Ill., will use her fellowship funds to research 18th century European porcelain. She plans to visit Dresden, Germany, home of the Meissen porcelain factory, and other historical sites. Watson, from Phoenix, has an interest in ceremonial objects of ancient and contemporary cultures. He will travel to New York and study the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History and other institutions. Pictured: Joey Watson and Melanie Sherman.

KCAI’s North Campus celebrates fifth anniversary

This month, KCAI’s North Campus is celebrating five years serving the Northland community. The School for Continuing and Professional Studies staff invites you to take a tour of this location and learn more about the classes offered here. Email Sonja Garrett at to ensure the campus is open for a visit. Standard office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The North Campus is active with classes in the daytime, evenings and weekends, and the space is especially busy during summer camps. Year round, the schedule includes youth, high school and adult fine arts classes, as well as certificate programs and classes for art educator’s. The North Campus is located at 1801 N.W. Platte Road, Riverside, Mo.

Daguerreotype expert leads workshop on KCAI campus

KCAI photography students had an opportunity earlier this month to participate in a two-day workshop with daguerreotype expert Jerry Spagnoli. Spagnoli, who lives in New York, was in Kansas City to speak March 13 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in connection with an exhibition of more than 50 daguerreotypes the museum has acquired since 2007. The exhibition, entitled “In the Looking Glass,” continues through July 20. For more information, visit or Pictured: Patricia Bordallo Dibildox (junior, photography and art history), Silvia Abisaab (sophomore, photography) and (far right) Tori Meyers (senior, photography and creative writing) with Jerry Spagnoli.

Artist talk set for March 25 in Epperson Auditorium

Performance artist Leone Anne Reeves (’03 ceramics) will appear at 7 p.m. March 25 in Epperson Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Her visit to the KCAI campus is co-hosted by the KCAI photography department and SPECTRA, which describes itself as “a nomadic initiative that introduces contemporary time-based artworks to Kansas City.” SPECTRA was organized n 2013 by Kansas City-based artists Yann Aguirre (’08 interdisciplinary arts), Tim Amundson (’09 digital filmmaking), Crystal Ann Brown, Jeff Eaton (’07 photography and art history) and Robert Howsare (’09 printmaking). The presentation by Reeves will explore her ongoing interests in vernacular aesthetics, celebrity, race, popular culture, identity and Hollywood B movies. After completing her B.F.A. degree from KCAI, Reeves earned an M.F.A. degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a full-time visiting artist in the College of Arts and Sciences at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. For more information, visit Pictured: Leone Anne Reeves.

Student updates

Shenequa Brooks (senior, fiber) will display work during a solo exhibition beginning with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. April 4 at the Silver Screen Salon, 1718 Wyandotte St. The exhibition, entitled “Synthetic Ties,” focuses on heightening and beautifying the undertone of synthetic hair in the African-American hair culture while exploring the interaction of African-American women and their hair. Salon hours are 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Monday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. The exhibition runs through April 29. For more information about Brooks, visit Pictured: “Hair Embodiment,” Shenequa Brooks, 2013. Photo by Silvia Abisaab.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is hosting “The Artist Is In,” an event held in the museum store highlighting a local artist. Kimberly Davidson (senior, sculpture and art history) will speak at the next event May 11 on woodturning. This is an opportunity for the public to see the handmade process of an artistic piece and allows insight into how much time and attention goes into creating each piece. Davidson will show a video demonstrating her studio process and share creative ideas on how to engage the audience by bringing carving tools so they are able to visualize the physical work of making a wooden bowl.
Brittany Plachecki (senior, illustration) won this year’s National Ag Day poster competition with artwork she describes as reminiscent of “a quilt pattern, with the Earth as the sun, playing a critical role in feeding the entire world.” The winning artwork will be on display March 25 at National Ag Day events in Washington, D.C. Copies of the work can be ordered online at The National Ag Day Poster Art Contest is sponsored by Meredith Agrimedia and the Agriculture Council of America. Entries were reviewed by a nine-member jury. Finalists were featured online, and the winner was determined by online voting. In addition to having her artwork selected for the 2014 poster, Plachecki received a $1,000 Successful Farming magazine scholarship. Pictured: the 2014 National Ag Day poster.

Alumni updates

Karen Keifer-Boyd (’78 painting) will receive the June King McFee Award from the Women’s Caucus of the National Art Education Association at the organization’s national convention in San Diego March 29-31. Keifer-Boyd is a professor of art education and women’s studies at Penn State. According to a statement from NAEA, the award honors “an individual who has made distinguished contributions to the profession of art education with an exceptional and continuous record of achievement in scholarly writing, research, professional leadership, teaching or community service.” For more information, visit  Pictured: Karen Keifer-Boyd.
Skye Livingston (’12 fiber) will have work featured in “Homebones” a solo exhibition opening March 27 at The Hown’s Den at 2024 Esterly Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Livingston’s experiential installation continues her investigation of nourishment within the process of self-reparation and autonomy. The work will be on view through March 30 by appointment, with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. March 27. Pictured: "Homebones," Skye Livingston, 2014 ink on paper, 20 inches by 12 inches.
A glass-walled labyrinth designed by sculptor, conceptual artist and writer Robert Morris, who studied at KCAI in the late 1940s, is under construction in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The installation marks the beginning of a six-month-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the park. The 62-by-62-by-7-foot-tall labyrinth, which weighs more than 400 tons, will be fully installed by May 22, when a public celebration will be held. According to a news release from the museum, Morris helped start the Process Art movement, using industrial materials such as aluminum, steel, felt, string, mirrors and dirt to create sculptural works. “Glass Labyrinth” is the first permanent Robert Morris labyrinth installed in the U.S. To learn more, visit Pictured: Construction of Robert Morris’ glass-walled labyrinth design. Photo by Kalie Hudson.

Local KCAI-related exhibitions

Haw Contemporary – Wilbur Niewald’s exhibition of “Still Life-Figure-Landscape” will be showing through April 5 at Haw Contemporary, 1600 Liberty St. Niewald is professor emeritus at KCAI where he studied, taught and for 28 years, served as chair of the painting and printmaking departments. Pictured: “Pine Trees in Loose Park XIV,” Wilbur Niewald, 2012, oil on canvas, 26 inches by 32 inches.
Subterranean Gallery – Rachel Gregor (’12 painting) will showcase “Barred Meadows” through April 15 by appointment at Subterranean Gallery, 4124 Warwick Blvd., Apt. B. This is an exhibition of new oil paintings, exploring ideas of nostalgia and feminine identity. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Melaney Mitchell at Pictured: Untitled Self-Portrait No. 20, Rachel Gregor, 2013 oil on linen, 13 inches by 12 inches.
Todd Weiner Gallery – Hugh Merrill, professor of printmaking, and Jim Sajovic, professor of foundation, are showing work in “The Gallery Show,” running through March 31 at the Todd Weiner Gallery, 115 W. 18th St.. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit

Calls for artists

The Homestead National Monument of America, a National Park Service site outside of Beatrice, Neb., is accepting applications for its artist-in-residence program. Artists of all specialties are invited to apply through March 31. Residency periods are approximately two weeks long and take place April through October, depending on the preferences of the artist and the availability of park housing. Through this program, artists channel their individual talent into pieces inspired by the homestead story and prairie environment. In addition, the artists will share their talent through a public program and through general interaction with park visitors.For more information, visit, or contact Molly Watters at 402-223-1719 or

Opportunities list

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


In a story about two KCAI alumni who worked on the Oscar-winning film “Frozen,” Scott Peters major was incorrect in the March 10 edition of ARTNotes. He graduated in 2002, majoring in photo/new media. Peters also taught as a special instructor in the animation department from 2006-2008.


Upcoming events at KCAI

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