ARTNotes for Jan. 12

January 12, 2015


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

Upcoming events

Feb. 6: An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St., for “Making Histories.” The exhibition explores a recent impulse in contemporary art to recall the past and revisit history. Organized by the H&R Block Artspace at KCAI, the exhibition is co-curated by Raechell Smith, Artspace director, and Dr. David Cateforis, professor of art history at the University of Kansas. The exhibition continues through April 4.
Feb. 10: “What if/in KC/CT” begins at 7:30 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium located in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus. The performance features Daniel Morel, Ken Steen and Gene Gort. The performance is part of the ArtSounds series, a collaboration between KCAI and the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The event is free and open to the public.

SAVE THE DATE: KCAI’s 2015 Art and Design Auction set for June 6

The KCAI campus will transform into a one-of-a-kind art and party destination when the college hosts its 10th biennial Art & Design Auction June 6. The theme for this year’s event is Deviation.
Liz and Nate Orr will serve as chairs for the auction, and Linda and Topper Johntz will serve as honorary chairs.
Gain access to the work of notable KCAI faculty and alumni from around the world. Two hundred works of art will be for sale in silent and live auctions, along with classic design pieces acquired with assistance from local design and architecture firms.
Proceeds benefit student scholarships. More than 98 percent of KCAI graduates receive some form of financial assistance. The ability to award scholarships and keep higher education affordable is vital as KCAI seeks to attract the most talented art and design students.
To purchase tickets or for sponsorship information, visit Pictured: Invitation for KCAI’s 10th biennial Art & Design Auction.

Spend winter months expanding your creativity with CPS classes

KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies has two class offerings to help cure the winter blues. The first is “Introduction to Kansas City Galleries” with instructor Hannah Lodwick from noon to 3 p.m. every Saturday Feb. 7-28. During this class, students will get to know the Kansas City art community, find out where to go on First Fridays and discover new local artists. The other class is “Watercolor” with Ed Fenendael. It’s offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday Feb. 14 through March 7. Both classes are located at the CPS building, 32 E. 46th St. Visit for more information or to enroll. Pictured: “The Simple Life,” Ed Fenedael, watercolor.

KCAI closed for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

KCAI will be closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this year. In observance of the day, staff and faculty are being encouraged to use the day as a way to give back to the community or any other way they see fit to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

Student profile – eighth in a series

Throughout the year, KCAI’s communications department will feature student profiles in ARTNotes as a way for the KCAI community to get to know some of the students who attend the college. An edited version will appear in ARTNotes, while the full version will be posted on KCAI's tumblr page at If you would like to recommend a student for a profile, contact Brian Spano at
Name: Nick Howland
Year/major: Senior/graphic design.
How did you pick KCAI? After graduating from community college, I traveled around to numerous schools in my home state of Illinois as well as around the country in the hopes of finding a structured program that would push me to better understand design. After visiting the school and feeling its comfortable and intimate vibe, as well as hearing how intense the design program is, I knew that it was the place for me.
What do you like about studying at KCAI? I appreciate the diversity of personality, talent, passion and overall professionalism.
What do you like best about your major? Once again the professionalism, but also the opportunities provided to students through their truly unique instructors. We’re pushed hard in the design department but that’s to better us as people and as designers and ultimately help us secure a job. Students in the design department also take all of their major classes together in the same room, so a support system is established from day one. We really have become a family.
Who or what inspires you? Music, comics, my friends, my family, wrinkles in the carpet, a leaf on a tree. Anything can be inspiring if you’re in the right mindset.
What do you like best about Kansas City? The Midwest atmosphere with big city opportunities. The city continues to grow and so does its appreciation of the creative community here. There’s also a stellar music scene.
Favorite artist? Music: The Decemberists.Illustration: Dan from Valhalla is a king.Design: While our aesthetics don’t match, Stefan Sagmeister questions everything and ensures even the smallest element of a design has meaning, and that is incredibly important.
Where did you grow up? Godfrey, Ill.
Best advice you ever got? “Work hard, stay humble.”
Describe a recent triumph: Over the summer I interned at Salesforce in San Francisco doing user interface design work. I worked on some pretty exciting future-facing projects as well as work for a company that matched my morals. About a month ago, I received a job offer from the company. I’ll be starting work there a few months after I graduate.
Pictured: (top) Nick Howland. (bottom) “Donut Holes,” Nick Howland.

Alumni updates

Jack Knox (‘78 photography) has a book coming out in the next 18 months detailing his photographic journey through Central Europe. Pictured: Image of Jack Knox as he shoots photographs for his upcoming book.
Holly Wilson (’92 ceramics) was named one of five Native American artists to earn the title of 2015 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellow from the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Her work will be honored with a $25,000 unrestricted grant and a major group exhibition, which will open Nov. 14, 2015, and run through Feb. 14, 2016. The Eiteljorg Museum, in Indianapolis, features the world’s foremost collection of contemporary Native American art. Pictured: “The Rider,” Holly Wilson, bronze, patina and wood, 21 inches by 63 inches by 5 ¾ inches.

Local KCAI-related exhibitions

Belger Crane Yard Gallery – Lauren Mabry (’07 ceramics) is showing work in “Passages” Feb. 6 through April 11 at Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave. An opening reception is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 6. The exhibition of painterly sculptures highlights passages in surface, color and composition. Pictured: “Spilling Pipe,” Lauren Mabry, 2014, earthenware, 15 inches by 15 inches by 8 inches.
Blue Gallery – “Wonder Wall” is open through Jan. 31 at Blue Gallery, 118 Southwest Blvd. It features several KCAI alums, including Amy Abshier-Reyes (’97 illustration), Cynthia Bjorn (’85 graphic design and painting), Rich Bowman (’91 design), Bernal Koehrsen (’93 ceramics), Lori Raye Erickson (’89 design) and Rachel Stuart-Haas (’98 design and illustration). Pictured: “Midwest Air,” Cynthia Bjorn, 2013, oil/alkyd on canvas, 10 inches by 10 inches.
Darling Yoga Studio – Karrie Marie Baxley (attended) is showing original artwork from her book “Dancing With A Thousand Bees” through Feb. 2 at Darling Yoga Studio, 11711 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.
Red Star Studios at Belger Crane Yard Gallery – The broad range of styles found in Islamic architecture provides the inspiration for Asheer Akram’s (’07 sculpture) ceramic platters, metal domes and illuminated sculptures in the exhibition “Sacred Spaces.” The show is open through Jan. 24 at Red Star Studios at Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave. Pictured: “Luminous Girih,” Asheer Akram, 2014, steel, stoneware, glaze and enamel, 49 inches by 4 inches by 87 inches. Photo courtesy of Belger Crane Yard Studios.
Studios Inc. – “StudiosInc: 2015” is an exhibition featuring Ricky Allman (attended); Jill Downen, assistant professor of sculpture; Miles Neidinger (’00 sculpture); Brett Reif director of the foundation year at KCAI; Debra Smith (’93 fiber); and Gerry Trilling (’90 painting). It is on view through Feb. 15 at Studios Inc., 1708 Campbell St. Pictured: “Cloudy,” Brett Reif, 2013, tile, mixed media, 55 inches by 37 inches and 10 inches.

Calls for artists

Artist applications are available for the 11th Annual KC Fringe Festival July 16-26 in the categories of performing arts, visual arts and film. The application deadline is March 15. For more information about the KC Fringe Festival or to download an application, 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 career opportunities list here. Download the job opportunities list here.


Upcoming events at KCAI

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