ARTNotes for March 9

March 9, 2015


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

Upcoming events

March 9: Craig Richardson; artist, curator, writer and scholar; will speak at 7 p.m. in Irving Amphitheatre 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 10: The ArtSounds performance series presents “Analog Drift,” the story of an artificial intelligence and its journey to learn the audio-visual language of its creators. 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. For more information, visit
March 12: Elana Herzog, an installation artist and sculptor, will speak at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus as part of the colleges “Current Perspectives” lecture series. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit
March 26: Artist Dawn Clements 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
April 2: Joshua Mosley, artist, animator, and professor and chair of fine arts at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, 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
Through April 4: The exhibition “Making Histories” is on view at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St. 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 exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

KCAI installing solar panels to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint

KCAI has installed 100 solar panels on the roof of the East Building in an effort to reduce energy costs and become better stewards of the environment. With support from interim president Tony Jones and the KCAI board of trustees, the East Building installation is part of a project to use solar power to meet 5 percent of the college’s energy needs in a two-building complex.
“We believe the campus will take pride in being part of this,” Jones said.
Faye Davis, treasurer of the KCAI board of trustees, concurred. “It’s the right thing to do,” she said.
“I’ve been involved in the installation of solar power in many projects and am excited now to have KCAI reduce its carbon emissions via this new installation,” said Pat McCown, CEO of McCown Gordon Construction and also a member of the KCAI board of trustees.
In addition to the East Building, which houses studios and classrooms for photography, filmmaking and printmaking, the Irving Building also will be linked to the project. Irving serves students majoring in animation and graphic design, as well liberal arts students attending lectures in Irving Amphitheater.
“The move to solar power is particularly important in buildings with students who use digital technology,” said Larry Dickerson, vice president and Chief Information Officer for KCAI. “We want to provide for the growing needs of our students in digital areas without consuming additional resources from carbon sources.”
Dickerson noted the project takes advantage of a rebate offered by KCPL, which provides financial assistance for every watt up to 25 kilowatts. He said the panels and installation would have cost $76,000 before the rebate but instead will cost the college $38,000.
“Implementing green solutions with a projected net investment of zero is a win all around,” said Laura Snow, vice president and Chief Financial Officer of KCAI.
KCAI partnered with SunSmart Technologies of Gladstone, Mo., on the project. Dickerson noted that KCAI will own rather than lease the installation. He said a monitoring system will provide real-time data via a Web interface to ensure that the system is working up to peak efficiency and will provide a means of sharing information about the use of solar energy to students, faculty and staff.
Dickerson said site plans have been developed to add solar panels to two additional buildings, the Student Living Center and the Stern Ceramics Building. The panels on the SLC would also provide energy to Vanderslice Hall, the college’s main administrative building. A proposal is being developed for the trustees to consider in March. Pictured: (left) Tony Jones, interim president of KCAI; Larry Stuckey, director of facilities; and Larry Dickerson, vice president and chief technology officer.

KCAI students accepted to various off-campus study programs

Last semester, eight KCAI students applied for and were accepted into various off-campus study programs for the Spring 2015 semester. Off-campus study programs include International Exchange, AICAD Mobility, AICAD's New York Studio Residency Program, and other study abroad schools located around the world. The students are:
  • Tessa Canon (senior, graphic design), International Exchange: National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland
  • Zoa Smalley (junior, digital media, creative writing and Asian studies), International Exchange: Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, New Zealand (Recipient of New Zealand Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics Excellence Award)
  • Taylor York (junior, animation and creative writing), International Exchange: Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Taylor Fourt (junior, illustration) International Exchange: Osaka University of Arts in Osaka, Japan (Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship recipient)
  • Gabriella Lacza (junior, painting) AICAD Mobility: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Joseph Tuzzolino (junior, digital filmmaking and creative writing), AICAD New York Studio Residency Program (NYSRP), selected by KCAI’s Mobility Committee for participation
  • Jennifer Green (junior, sculpture and art history), Study Abroad: University Arts London in the United Kingdom
  • Michael Ingersoll (junior, sculpture), Study Abroad Consortium: Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence, Italy.

Seniors, start sending in those end-of-semester exhibitions

Seniors, if you have an end-of-the-semester exhibition you would like publicized in ARTNotes, send your information to Brian Spano at Be sure to include the dates and location of your exhibition. Mention if there’s an opening reception, and be sure to give a brief description of the exhibition. If you send an image of your work, include the name of the piece, year it was made, medium(s) and size. ARTNotes is published every other Monday during the academic year. The deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday before publication. The next ARTNotes is March 23, and the deadline is March 18.

CPS to offer summer camp scholarships

Each summer a limited number of need-based camp scholarships are available for youth and high school students through KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies. Scholarships afford students an opportunity to attend a full week of their choice during ARTventure camp. The deadline for submitting 2015 scholarship applications is April 10. For more details or to apply, download the scholarship application at For more information, visit

Hamburger Mary’s to host Bingo Night as a fundraiser for KCAI

The staff and faculty Annual FUNd Committee is presenting Drag Queen Charity Bingo Night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 11 at Hamburger Mary’s new location, 3700 Broadway Blvd. (south of the Uptown Theater). All proceeds benefit the KCAI annual fund. A donation of $10 or more is suggested for 10 rounds of bingo. A raffle also will take place during intermission with 10 prizes such as a weekend package at the Raphael Hotel, a Brio Tuscan Grille gift basket with a bottle of wine and $100 gift card, a CPS class and much more. Raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5. Seats will be limited for this event, so organizers are asking all bingo participants to arrive early.

KCAI students asked to participate in photo shoot for auction

Photographer Tom Styrkowicz will be taking photographs of any KCAI student willing to participate, along with one piece of their art, for the 2015 Art and Design Auction from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 25 and 26 in the Vanderslice Reception Rooms. These photographs will be used at the auction to help guests gain a visual representation of KCAI students. Color photos of the students will be hung throughout the event to give students and their art a presence at the auction. As a “thank you” to the students, the photographer has agreed to provide each student with an electronic file of their color photo for their personal use. Students are encouraged to participate, as their photo will be in front of more than 400 local art enthusiasts.

Art store having a sale

The Art Store on the KCAI campus is having a storewide sale March 25 through April 25. Patrons can take 25 percent off all purchases of $25 or more. For more information, contact Jennifer Boe,

Student profile – Edwing Mendez

KCAI’s communications department is featuring student profiles in ARTNotes as a way for the KCAI community to get to know some of the students who attend the college. Both versions will appear on KCAI’s tumblr page at and in ARTNotes. If you would like to recommend a student for a profile, contact Brian Spano at
Year/major: Senior/graphic design

How did you pick KCAI? I applied to a bunch of schools expecting to not be able to afford an art school. KCAI made a lot of effort to help me financially.

What set KCAI apart in your college decision? Size. It was a smaller school, which I felt would help make my education feel more personalized to what I wanted to do.
What do you like about studying at KCAI? The city! KC has been a great place to study design. Miami doesn’t have a design community as awesome as KC’s.
In what ways has KCAI met or exceed your expectations? I transferred in as a junior from a community college so the concept-heavy approach really made me realize how much I didn’t know about design.

What do you like best about your major? The graphic design program focuses more on the “design” part, which goes beyond the graphic side and begins to get into interactive, experiential, spatial and social design—fields I never thought about going into! There’s so much more I want to do now.
Talk about a faculty person who has personally impacted your experience at KCAI: Michael Kidwell is an incredible educator and such a unique character. He always pushed me past my limits and influenced me to explore the weird stuff I wanted to do. I think we both share a love for knowledge, which has made him an incredible mentor.
Who or what inspires you? Culture has been a huge part of my inspiration. Miami and surprisingly KC are both incredibly cultural cities, and diversity is important to me. Sometimes people don’t realize how important diversity is to promote innovation. Incredible things happen when different cultures can interact in an open way.

What opportunities beyond KCAI have you participated in (internships, residencies, study abroad, community programs, etc.)? I’m currently an intern at Barkley, which has been such a cool place to work, and hopefully I can get a full-time gig pretty soon. I also am currently the president of the Latino Organization for Culture, Arts and Language on campus, which has opened up projects with a ton of Latino organization around KC.

What do you like best about Kansas City? Food! I love food. I thought I was going to die without all of the Latin-American food that Miami has, but KC has such a great variety of food.

Favorite animal? I never gave that much thought. I like cats a lot. Not as a pet but more as how crazy that cats always seem to be an important figure through history from Egyptian gods to being the most popular internet meme.

Favorite food? My mom’s authentic Mexican food, although KC BBQ is a runner up.

Favorite app? That’s not a fair question! As a designer, I rely on a variety of apps to help me be more productive.

Favorite artist? José Posada’s work has a big impact in understanding my heritage. His work greatly influenced a lot of Mexican culture and artistic styles. I used to have questions like “Why do we do this as a culture?” and Posada answered a lot of those kinds of questions.

Something you always carry? My Macbook is basically an extension of my body. I rarely leave it at home.

What book are you reading? Right now? None. I read a lot of articles about design and technology, probably like eight a day.

Where did you grow up? Miami

Best advice you ever got? Never stop learning.

Describe a recent triumph: Making my parents proud during my senior show. They have sacrificed a lot and worked hard so that I could pursue my dream.
Pictured: (top) Edwing Mendez; (bottom) Poster for Folly Theatre show, Edwing Mendez.

Student updates

Lexie Johnson (senior, fiber) won the Juror’s Choice Award at The 47th Annual Clay, Fiber, Paper, Glass, Metal, Wood National Exhibition in Ames, Iowa. Her collaborative work with Kadie Nugent (senior, fiber) entitled “Multi-Functional Quilts,” will be on display through April 4. The show features the artwork of 65 artists from 12 states. This year’s juror, Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, professor and chair of fiber, selected 65 pieces from a total of more than 300 submitted images. Pictured: Lexie Johnson (left) and Kadie Nugent in front of their exhibition “Multi-Functional Quilts;” 2014; rayon, cotton, MX dye, vat dye, polyester batting, polyester thread; 60 inches by 80 inches.
As part of Kelly Ludwig’s Human Centered Design class project for the Folly Theater, students were asked to design a poster, program and 15-second promotional video for the Folk Alliance Winter Music Camp. Samantha Yates’ (junior, graphic design) work was chosen from among three finalists as the official Music Fair artwork. Her artwork was used for the Folk Alliance program book; merchandise, including shirts and jackets; banners throughout the event; the Folk Alliance website; postcards; and the Folk Alliance Music Fair Program Guide inserted in The Pitch. Galadriel Thompson (senior, animation) captured and edited video for The HillBenders album “TOMMY: A Bluegrass Opry.” To view the video, visit Pictured: Sam Baker performs in front of the poster designed by Samantha Yates at the 2015 Folk Alliance Music Fair.

Alumni updates

Paul Briggs (’96 illustration) can claim another piece of Hollywood hardware for his collection as “Big Hero 6” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film on Feb 22. He served as co-head of story and provided the voice of the street thug Yama, who appeared early in the movie. Briggs was the story supervisor for “Frozen,” which won for Best Animated Feature Film last year. To read more about Briggs win, visit Pictured: Paul Briggs (right) with editor Tim Mertens.

Senior exhibitions

Dylan King (senior, sculpture), Brandon Kintzer (senior, sculpture and art history) and Steven Zelnio (senior, painting) are showing their senior work in an exhibition entitled “Two of One, Four of Another” April 3-24 at Vulpes Bastille, 1737 Locust St. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. April 3. Pictured: “In Multiples of Three,” Brandon Kintzer, 2015, rope, paper and adhesive, 12 feet by 24 feet.

Faculty updates

The KCAI board of trustees has announced the recipients of the special biennial faculty awards and promotions.
Special biennial faculty awards:
In 1989 the board of trustees established three special faculty awards to be offered biennially. The awards are the Excellence in Teaching Award, the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Outstanding Project Award. Each award has a monetary value of $5,000. An ad hoc faculty committee considers nominations, that committee makes a recommendation to the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for academic affairs makes a recommendation to the president and the president makes a recommendation to the board of trustees’ academic affairs committee. There is an extensive vetting process in reaching recommendations on these awards.
The award recipients are:
  • Rush Rankin, professor in liberal arts, Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, professor in fiber, Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Karen McCoy, associate professor in sculpture, Outstanding Project Award
Faculty promotions:
  • Jonah Criswell, instructor of painting, has been approved for promotion to assistant professor.
  • Caleb Taylor, instructor in foundation, has been approved for promotion to assistant professor. 
  • Trey Hock, instructor of photography, has been approved for promotion to assistant professor. 
  • Cyan Meeks, assistant professor of photography and digital filmmaking, has been approved for promotion to associate professor. 
  • Paul Donnelly, assistant professor of ceramics, has been approved for promotion to associate professor.
  • Jim Woodfill, assistant professor of painting, has been approved for promotion to associate professor. 
  • Karen McCoy, associate professor of sculpture, has been approved for promotion to full professor. 
  • Miguel Rivera, associate professor of printmaking, has been awarded tenure.
Karen McCoy, associate professor of sculpture, hosted the “Sound and Sight Walk” March 8 in New York’s Central Park. The walk was based on contemplation of place, with emphasis on its sound as the focusing element. It provided a variety of soundscapes from hardscape and traffic to birdsong and rushing waters. Participants focused on discrete sounds by using hand-carved wooden listening trumpets.
Three KCAI faculty members, Jessie Fisher, associate professor of painting; Scott Seebart, lecturer in painting, drawing and sculpture at both KCAI and the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Misty Gamble, assistant professor of foundation, are on the cover of the March/April edition of KC Studio. Visit and turn to Page 30. And on Page 23, there is a story about four local artists including Jill Downen, assistant professor of sculpture.

Local KCAI-related exhibitions

Belger Crane Yard Gallery – Lauren Mabry (’07 ceramics) is showing work in “Passages” through April 11 at Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave. 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.
The Epsten Gallery – “Women to Watch: 2015 (Women, Nature & Art),” an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Greater Kansas City Area Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, runs through March 22 at The Epsten Gallery, 5500 W. 123rd St., Overland Park, Kan. The exhibition features work by five artists based in Kansas City: Rain Harris; Diana Heise, assistant professor of digital filmmaking; Linda Lighton (’89 sculpture); Sonié Joi Ruffin; and Lara Shipley. Pictured: (left) Still from “Your father growing flowers for your mother,” Diana Heise, 2013, single channel video and (right) “Untitled,” Linda Lighton, 2014, low-fired clay and glaze.
H&R Block Artspace – “Devil’s Promenade,” created by Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal, runs 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.

Calls for artists

Grant money has been established in memory of KCAI alum Jaymes Leahy for the Magic Sock Fund. This grant may be used for expenses related to mounting an exhibition, materials and supplies or other academic projects. The grant is open to any KCAI student currently enrolled in the B.F.A. program. Priority is given to proposals that explore issues of gender or cultural diversity. Names should not be included on proposals, as they are judged anonymously. The full grant is $372 and may be awarded to one winner or dispersed among several top proposals. All proposals are due by 5 p.m. March 26 to Erin Jones in the admissions office. For more information or to receive an application, email
The Art in the Loop Foundation is seeking artists to engage the Downtown Kansas City community through a series of art installations and performances in and around Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park, 12th and Walnut streets, from June 1 through Sept. 30. This call is open to local artists, musicians, poets, dancers and performance artists. More information and an application are available at Applications are due April 15.
“Glassworks,” the literary magazine of Rowan University’s master of arts in writing program, is inviting students to submit artwork to be considered for publication. “Glassworks”publishes art digitally and in print, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, hybrid pieces, craft essays and new media. It is seeking new, unpublished artwork for possible feature in both its online and print editions, to pair alongside its literature pieces. 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 job and career opportunities list here.


Upcoming events at KCAI

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