ARTNotes for Jan. 26

January 26, 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.
Feb. 19: Sarah K. Rich, associate professor of art history at Penn State University, 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. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit
Feb. 25: Kelly Shindler, associate curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 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. The lecture is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit
March 6: T.N.T. (The Noon Thing), a gallery talk with curatorsRaechell Smith, Artspace director and David Cateforis, professor of art history, University of Kansas, begins at noon at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St.

Alum Jay Schmidt wins Zahner sculpture competition

Jay Schmidt (’74 sculpture) had his concept, “MOMOCON,” narrowed down from among 12 finalists to earn the grand prize by the A. Zahner Company, an internationally acclaimed engineering and fabrication company best known for its use of metal in the world of art and architecture. His work will be featured in the live auction during KCAI’s 2015 Art and Design Auction, which raises funds for student scholarships. The auction will take place June 6 on the KCAI campus.
“MOMOCON” was selected for its challenge of creating the artist’s line-work on the sculpture’s surface. Schmidt presented his concept as a small wooden model, which was hand-drawn with an intricate pattern, and described his hope that the process of creating the work would be a collaboration.
Unlike previous years, the contest was open to students as well as alumni of KCAI and featured an open format and popular vote. The general public selected the 12 finalists’ entries. These 12 entries were reviewed, and the jurors made the decision through consensus.
In addition to Schmidt, finalists included Ben Gould (senior, sculpture) and Alison Trent (’13 sculpture). Judges for the competition included Matthew Hufft, founder and creative director of Hufft Projects and co-founder and creative director of Edwin Blue, a furniture company that focuses on handmade modern furniture; Porter Arneil, director/public art administrator for the City of Kansas City, Mo.; Jo Ann Mendenhall, production manager for Zahner; Tom Zahner, vice president of operations for Zahner; and Brigette Chirpich, director of sponsorship and events, KCAI.
Production of the piece will begin immediately. Plans call for the sculpture to be completed and delivered to KCAI by mid-May, so that prospective buyers will be able to view it on the KCAI campus prior to the auction. For more information, visit Pictured: Jay Schmidt with his conceptual piece “MOMOCON.”

KCAI collects 222 pounds of food for Harvesters

Because of a generous outpouring by KCAI faculty, staff and students this winter, 222 pounds of food, equaling 172 meals for the community, was collected during the school’s food drive. Harvesters helps 141,500 people throughout the Kansas City area each month. Amy Gross, special events assistant in advancement, spearheaded the drive.

Student profile – ninth 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: Amaad Delmar
Year/Major: Senior/digital media
Where did you grow up? I grew up in St. Louis where I was born and spent my entire life until moving to Kansas City.
How did you choose KCAI? Around my junior year of high school, I really started to consider going to college for art, whereas before I was set on doing something with chemistry or engineering. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with art or what the possibilities were, I just knew that I loved doing it. In my AP Studio Art class, Jonah Criswell, who was then an admissions counselor, visited and gave a presentation on KCAI. Looking into KCAI and other schools such, I gained some insurance that art was a viable option.
How did you decide to major in digital media? Honestly, games are what got me into art, and game design is part of the digital media program at KCAI. Choosing a major directly related to my field of interest seemed like the best thing to do.
What do you like best about your major? To me, games are the amalgam of the arts. From board games to video games, there exists an intricate marriage of the visual, literary and especially interactive arts that must act in unison to meet the goal of game design, that is, to invite the player to willingly participate in an experience. I love that with my major I am allowed to explore each of these subjects in addition to my main focus of creating the game system. Of course, it’s a huge plus that studying means playing games.
What do you like best about living in Kansas City? The best thing has to be $4 matinee movies on the Plaza. But a close second would be the art culture Kansas City seems to revolve around and pride itself on.
Who or what inspires you? I literally find inspiration everywhere. It’s funny, but really kind of fitting that inspiration can come from anywhere when designing games. For example, one of the games I’ve worked on with fellow students started off as a shopping game, and it was inspired by the experience of shopping at a department store. The mechanics were built off of things like trying to find items within the departments or stealing and trying not to be caught by the secret shoppers. Just as easily though, I’ve been inspired by movies whose plots I have translated into game mechanics or games whose mechanics gave me ideas for my own variations.
Favorite movie or video game and why? My favorite video game is definitely The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. The game literally defined the 3-D action adventure genre and did it better than any game has attempted since it was created. There are literally too many reasons to explain why I think it’s the best game ever created, but the fact that I play it at least once every year for a little inspiration and reminder of what video games can be says a lot more than I ever could.
Favorite app? My favorite app is Snapchat from both a social and design perspective.
Something you always carry? I want to say my phone, but really its purpose as the vital tool can be mimicked by my sketchbook and often is. With inspiration coming from seemingly everywhere, I always need something that I can quickly whip out and jot down an idea.
All-time favorite creative tool? In game design, I strongly believe that one of the most important things is rapid prototyping. Though not very exciting, my favorite tool is simply paper and pencil. In three minutes, I can tear up some paper and create a card game, adjusting it in another two minutes to fit the feedback of a quick play-test. The closest technological equivalent would be a program called Stencyl, which allows users to create 2-D games rapidly, using a simple system of visual coding. With Stencyl, it’s not difficult to get a game up and running within 30 minutes, ready to be played and quickly updated.
Pictured: (top) Amaad Delmar. (bottom) “Superhero Swap Gameplay,” Amaad Delmar.

Alumni updates

Ed Gallucci (’13 photography) has been selected as a new member of “The Market Gallery,” a coop of 26 local artists in Roanoke, Va. Gallucci will be the featured artist March 31 through the end of April. For more information, visit
Time McClendon (’74 sculpture) of Sherman Oaks, Calif., received first prize for sculpture at the Beverly Hills ArtSHOW, which took place in October. A sculptor and jewelry designer originally from Kansas City, Mo., McClendon started his career as a hat designer in his mother’s millinery studio. Ultimately, his hats were sold in more than 100 boutiques and collected by hat aficionados in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia, including celebrities Vanessa Williams and Kristen Chenoweth. More recently he has focused on sculpture and jewelry, combining “TimeWare” — a polished metal resistant to tarnish — with Swarovski crystals. In addition to the award he received in Beverly Hills, he has received recognition at the La Jolla, Calif., Art and Wine Festival, among other awards. Most recently he was commissioned by Marriott to sculpt a saxophone, trumpet and guitar for a hotel lobby in Nashville. “Every morning when I wake up, I’m excited about what I do — excited that I can express the gift God has given me through my art,” McClendon said in a news release. “Art is a way of life for me; it’s who I am.” Pictured: Time McClendon with his first-place sculpture at the Beverly Hills ArtSHOW.
Bill Rakocy (’51 painting) showed a collection of his work in an exhibition entitled “The ‘Rak’ is Back,” which ran through Jan. 25 at the International Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas. A resident of El Paso for more than 30 years, Rakocy has carried on the traditions of masters such as Van Gogh and El Greco in the spirit of American Regionalism. His works present a true love of Southwest people, places and culture in vibrant color. For more information, visit Pictured: “Francisco Madero Camp,” Bill Rakocy.

Faculty updates

Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, professor and chair of KCAI’s fiber department, was the juror for the 47th Annual Clay, Fiber, Paper, Glass, Metal, Wood National Exhibition at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames, Iowa. This national, all-media exhibit will be on display through the end of April. Verbeek-Cowart selected 65 pieces from the 323 works submitted for the Octagon Center exhibit. For more information about the exhibition, visit
Michael Wickerson, chair of KCAI’s sculpture department, is hosting a Make Trybe School of Transformative Design open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 7-8 at 3930 Pomeroy Dr., Kansas City, Kan. The event is for anyone who has ever considered taking a course, who has had interest in the school or Wickerson Studios in general. For more information, visit Pictured: Promotional piece for Michael Wickerson’s Make Trybe School of Transformative Design.

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.
H&R Block Artspace – Artist-in-residence Tim Youd is engaged in a multi-year project to retype 100 novels. He retypes each novel on the same make and model typewriter used by the author and in a location germane to the novel itself.Throughout the exhibition “Retyping 100 Novels,” Feb. 7-21 at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St., Youd will be retyping Evan Connell’s “Mrs. Bridge” and “Mr. Bridge.” Connell was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., and set these two novels in and around the Country Club Plaza.For more information about the artist, visit Pictured: Tim Youd typing Ernest Hemmingway’s “A Farewell to Arms in Piggot, Ark., Feb. 2014.
H&R Block Artspace – “Devil’s Promenade,” created by Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal, runs Feb. 7 through April 4 in the Resource Room of the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St. The exhibition explores the distinct mix of folklore, superstition and history that shapes Ozark culture in certain rural communities in southern Missouri. For more information, visit Pictured: “Apparition,” Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal, 2014, archival ink jet print. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Leedy-Voulkos Arts Center – Haley Chaffin (junior, animation) is showing work in the exhibition entitled “Compos Mentis. Fiat Lux” Feb. 6-28 at the Leedy-Voulkos Arts Center, 2012 Baltimore. An opening reception is scheduled from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 6. Pictured: “Pod,” Haley Chaffin.
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.
Subterranean Gallery – “ENTERFACE” is an exhibition of new work by Justin Beachler (attended) of digital collages in a decorative environment alongside curated YouTube videos, running Feb. 7 through March 6 by appointment at Subterranean Gallery, 4124 Warwick Blvd., Apt. B. The works will be presented in both the physical gallery space and online via Second Life. An opening reception will be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Feb. 6. Pictured: One of Justin Beachler’s digital collage’s from his exhibition "ENTERFACE."

Calls for artists

The Art House, located in Chicago, is now accepting submissions for the Art by America 2015 juried exhibition, a national review of two-dimensional contemporary art scheduled for June 1-30. This exhibition will feature 250 American artists working in the two-dimensional mediums of painting, drawing, printmaking and/or mixed media. Artists participating in this project will have their work reviewed and curated by an insightful and professional panel of jurors and artists. The deadline to register is March 13. For more information and to apply, visit
The call for applications for the sixth round of Rocket Grants Project Awards is open at Deadline for completed applications is March 23; funds will be available to selected projects in June. Rocket Grants receive support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and are developed and implemented though a partnership between the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., and the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. For more information, 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.