ARTNotes for March 23

March 23, 2015


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

Upcoming events

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 Bingo Night nets more than $2,000

The KCAI staff and faculty Annual FUNd Committee raised more than $2,000 during Drag Queen Charity Bingo Night March 11 at Hamburger Mary’s. All proceeds benefit the KCAI annual fund. During the evening, a raffle was held with prizes such as a weekend package at the Raphael Hotel, a Brio Tuscan Grille gift basket and a CPS class being awarded. Next, the committee is planning for the Annual FUNd Week, set for April 27 through May 1. Several activities are planned such as “Dress as Your Favorite Faculty Member,” a bake sale, “May Day Daisies” sale and “Buy Your Birthday Off.” Pictured: Daisy Bucket (pronounced “Bouquet”) led KCAI’s Bingo Night. Many KCAI faculty, staff and students attended the event.

Five ceramics students receive McKeown Special Projects Awards

The KCAI ceramics faculty have selected five winners of the 2015 McKeown Special Project Awards. The awards are named for donors Byron McKeown (’60 design) and his wife, Deanne McKeown (’60 painting), who live in Sedona Ariz. The couple annually underwrite awards in sculpture and ceramics. This year’s ceramics department recipients:
  • Taylor Baker, senior, $360 for an extruder kit and ceramic filament for his 3-D printer to create complex ceramic printed forms.
  • Nathan Neufeld, senior, $500 to purchase a shop vacuum and an extended bit for his CNC router to aid in making molds for creating service-ware for a modernist dining experience in collaboration with Chef Mike Delena.
  • Dia Saunders, senior, $160 for the purchase of fabric and sewing materials to create sculptural garments for two life-size clay figures for the 2015 Annual B.F.A. Exhibition and the ceramics department end-of-semester show.
  • Jose Serrano, senior, $580 for travel expenses to the San Diego/Tijuana border to collect forgotten items and garments left behind by illegal immigrants crossing the border. He will use these items in his work with ceramic tile and glass beading to bring them new life in a new context.
  • Chase Travaille, senior, $400 to purchase parts for an armature and mixed media supplies for a large scale figurine he will create for the 2015 Annual B.F.A. Exhibition.

CPS takes part in Access Art event at Mid-Continent Public Library

The Mid-Continent Public Library is hosting Access Art, beginning at 9 a.m. April 18 at the Woodneath Library Center, 8900 N.E. Flintlock Road in cooperation with KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The all-day, all-ages event with multiple opportunities for participants to create new artworks is free and open to the public. Some events have limited class sizes and require advance registration. For more information and online registration, visit Pictured: Logo for Access Art.

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 issue of ARTNotes will be published on April 6, and the deadline is April 1.

Student profile – Karolina Akimov

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
Name: Karolina Akimov
Year/major: Junior, 2016/illustration and art history
What set KCAI apart in your college decision? Being from Georgia, I had never heard of KCAI until an admissions counselor came and visited my high school. When I visited the campus, I was particularly impressed with the illustration department. I was so awed by how prosperous and professional the department was that I quickly ranked KCAI higher on my choice of colleges.
What do you like about studying at KCAI? The environment encourages learning and exploration. It’s about process and bettering yourself rather than just striving for a product.
How did foundation affect your work? Foundation opened me up to trying new processes and mediums. It broadened my approach to projects, especially conceptually, and taught me to keep one eye on the details and another on the larger picture.
How has your double major in art history expanded your creative process? Art history provides a grander context for my art. Through art history, I have gained a greater knowledge and appreciation of the technical and conceptual aspects of art throughout the ages. Moreover, I have learned what I am personally interested in, giving me both direction and historical credibility in my creative process.
What opportunities beyond KCAI have you participated in (internships, residencies, study abroad, community programs, etc.)? I am required by my illustration major to take on an internship, and I plan to do this next year. I hope to intern at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, so I am able to apply my art history knowledge and practical skills in a suitable environment.
How have your ideas of creative careers changed since coming to KCAI? Since coming to KCAI, I have gained a larger scope of what creative careers are available to me after graduation, whether those careers are art history related, storyboarding, advertisement or anything else; the opportunities seem endless.
Favorite animal? Elephant shrew
Favorite food? Manti dumplings
Favorite app? Duolingo
Favorite artist? Bernini has always been one of my favorites, but currently I really like Roman Muradov.
Favorite restaurant in KC and why? Cheesecake Factory; I just really like cheesecake.
Favorite thrift store in KC and why? Goodwill — classic and cheap.
Favorite material and why? (I’m not sure if material means art material or fabric material?) Cotton, it breathes. (Alternative: watercolor, I really like precision and spontaneity you can achieve with it.)
Something you always carry? Questions
What book are you reading? “Monsters of Our Own Making”
Where did you grow up? Georgia
Best advice you ever got? “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
Describe a recent triumph: I got all As on my midterms.
Who or what inspires you? Stories inspire me. It’s no coincidence illustration and art history both depend on stories to make outstanding pieces. I am fiercely interested in the way stories reflect life and become a separate form of life on their own. And the best part is, there is no shortage of stories. There are stories of big and small, of absurdity and seriousness, stories about people, objects and locations. There are real stories, there are made up stories, there is no end. All you have to do is listen.
Pictured: (top) Karolina Akimov; (bottom) “The Magician Wine Label,” Karolina Akimov.

Student updates

Doryan Nelson (senior, animation) spoke in January to a group of first-grade students at Parkwood Elementary School in Hazelwood, Mo. His visit was to help introduce the students to the field of animation and even help create their own animated characters. Nelson also was featured in the Pattonville School District newsletter. To read about Nelson’s visit with the class, visit Pictured: Doryan Nelson with the Parkwood Elementary first-grade class.
Clint Walker (senior, illustration) won the third annual National Ag Day Poster Art Contest. Walker will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Meredith Agrimedia. His original art will be displayed at the National Ag Day event in Washington, D.C. Walker’s entry, created with ink line work and digital coloring, is a cornucopia spilling forth a bountiful harvest. It surrounds the earth to signify the feeding and sustaining of future generations and conveys the theme for this year’s National Agriculture Week, March 15-21, “Agriculture: Sustaining Future Generations.” Pictured: Clint Walker’s winning National Ag Day poster.

Alumni updates

Will Staley (’04 graphic design) and Terrance Clark (’05 graphic design) are the founders of Thrive, a non profit organization, located in Helena Ark., that offers affordable strategic planning and marketing services to local small businesses and non-profits. In 2014, Thrive celebrated its fifth anniversary. Abby Carr (’13 graphic design) has recently joined the organization. For more information about Thrive, visit
Aaron Wuerker (’92 painting) has a solo show of recent landscape paintings throughout the month of March at the Sagebrush Art Center in Sheridan, Wyo. Also in March, he has a painting included in a group exhibition at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Mont., and recently had two paintings in a group exhibition at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyo. His work is included in the upcoming book, “Artists of the Rocky Mountain West,” which will be available on Amazon. Pictured: “Portal,” Aaron Wuerker, 2015, oil on canvas, 36 inches by 36 inches.

Faculty updates

Cary Esser, professor and chair of ceramics, was featured in the February issue of Ceramics Monthly in an article titled “A Vital Geometry,” by Glen R. Brown, a professor of art history at Kansas State University. To view the article, visit
Jordan Stempleman, lecturer in creative writing, has a collection of poems entitled “Wallop” currently available for preorder at for $10. Free shipping is included. Pictured: The cover for “Wallop.”

Staff updates

Raechell Smith, chief curator and founding director of the H&R Block Artspace at KCAI, has been named by the George Kaiser Family Foundation as one of seven panelists who will serve as the selection committee for the inaugural Tulsa Artist Fellowship in Oklahoma. The panel includes curators, community arts leaders and scholars from across the nation.

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.
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.
Paragraph and Project Space Galleries – The Charlotte Street Foundation presents “1 Infinite Loop” March 26 through May 2 at its Paragraph and Project Space Galleries 21 and 23 E. 12th St. The exhibition features several KCAI alums, including Shenequa Brooks (’14 fiber), Hannah Carr (’14 fiber), Mariah Gillespie (’14 fiber), Joey Watson (’14 ceramics), Jennifer Wilkinson (’14 ceramics) and Annie Woodfill (’11 painting). An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. March 26 at the gallery. Additionally, exhibiting artists will be available for a walkthrough and artist commentary at 2 p.m. April 25 as part of the Open Studios weekend. Pictured: “Tribe Grouping,” Joe Watson, Zig-Zag Straw, Stirrup Vessel, Ultra Cup.

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.