ARTNotes for April 20

April 20, 2015


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

Upcoming events

April 23: Artist Casey Whittier 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. For more information, visit The event is free and open to the public.
April 28: The ArtSounds performance “A Soul Awake,” presented by Stacy Busch, explores the perpetual flow and sudden change of emotional states. 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.
April 30: Artist Richard Hull, Distinguished Alumni Speaker, 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. For more information, visit The event is free and open to the public.
May 8-10: KCAI’s “End-of-semester student exhibition and sale” will take place May 8-10. The exhibition and sale showcases contemporary student artwork from various departments. Exhibition and sale hours are 5 to 8 p.m. May 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 9 and noon to 5 p.m. May 10. Students will display their pieces in their studio departments located throughout the campus. For a map of KCAI, visit The event is free and open to the public.
Through May 16: The 2015 Annual B.F.A. Exhibition is on display at the H&R Block Artspace at KCAI, 16 E. 43rd St. The exhibition features works by more than 116 B.F.A. candidates from KCAI. A closing reception is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. May 15. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Two KCAI students awarded Windgate Fellowships

Two KCAI students, Max Adrian Belanger (senior, fiber and creative writing) and Siara Berry (senior, sculpture and creative writing),have won 2015 Windgate Fellowships. The $15,000 fellowships are awarded annually to 10 senior students nationwide working in the field of craft. The fellowship program is supported and administered by the Center for Creativity, Craft and Design, based in Asheville, N.C.
Belanger thrives in collaborative settings and aspires to create artistic opportunities that rely on collaboration to accomplish poignantly engaging feats of creativity that speak to important issues of morality and the human experience — feats that ask questions and generate curiosity, wonder, introspection and conversation among diverse communities of people.He will use his fellowship for hands-on studies of stagecraft with particular attention to theatrical prop making, costume construction, puppetry and set building. Belanger will attend the 2015 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, intern in Redmoon Theater’s Build Shop and attend the 2016 Prague Summer Theatre School.
Berry’s work seeks to trigger psychological associations to the domestic structure, emphasizing the importance of one’s relation to their surroundings. Force, balance and support are constant themes throughout her work, utilizing the inherent qualities in material to illustrate such concepts. She will use funds to travel to London to learn the art of furniture making and upholstery. These skills will build upon Berry’s desire to use both soft forms and rigid structures in her work, while adding content to specific construction processes. In addition to furniture making and upholstery, Berry will take an architectural tour of the Netherlands to see the innovative ways wood is used as a traditional and contemporary material. Her trip will span a total of five months beginning in October.
Pictured: (left) “Togetherness,” Siara Berry and (right) “The Ceremonial Graduation Cap,” Max Belanger.

Crystal Bridges Museum curator to speak at commencement

Chad Alligood, curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., will speak at KCAI’s 2015 commencement ceremony, set for 10 a.m. May 16 at Unity Temple on the Country Club Plaza. Alligood joined the museum in 2003, and most recently curated the exhibition “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now,” which appeared Sept. 13, 2014 through Jan. 19, 2015, at Crystal Bridges. Born and raised in Perry, Ga., Alligood earned his bachelor’s degree in history of art and architecture from Harvard University and his master’s degree in art history from the University of Georgia and has completed his Ph.D. coursework at City University of New York. Alligood served as adjunct professor of art history at Brooklyn College, received the Kress Foundation Fellowship through the Smith College Institute for Art Museum Studies and came to Crystal Bridges from Cranbrook Art Museum, where he was the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow. Alligood’s ongoing work at Crystal Bridges focuses on the collection, presentation and scholarship of American art, with an emphasis on the period from World War II to the present. Pictured: Chad Alligood.

KCAI illustration students create posters for the Coterie

The KCAI illustration department debuted a new elective this semester called “The Idea Collective.” It operated as an in-house “micro-agency” composed of select senior students, led by assistant professor David Terrill.
Performing the typical tasks of a small creative firm, conceptualizing, designing, illustrating and presenting the work, their first client was the Coterie Theatre, a professional equity theatre based in Kansas City.
The students created six promotional posters for the upcoming 2015-2016 theatrical season. The posters were designed for “The Miracle Worker” by Kendall Quack, “And Justice for Some: The Freedom Trial of Anthony Burns” by Kendall Quack, “Tomas and the Library Lady” by Kristopher Martin, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Taylor Smith and Kendall Quack, “Dreamworks Madagascar: A Musical Journey” by Rosie Ruzicka and “The Magic Treehouse: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens” by Kelsey Borcherding, opening during the 2016-2017 season.
“The partnership has proven to be a success for both the students and the client,” said Terrill. “Students were responsible for preparing and delivering final artwork to the client ready for production. Through this exposure, students received hands-on experience working with the Coterie in a professional manner culminating in tangible results.” Pictured: Posters created by “The Idea Collective” illustration class for the Coterie Theatre.

Annual FUNd campaign begins April 27

Get ready for a fun week of activities beginning April 27, to build awareness and raise funds for the KCAI Annual FUNd campaign. A full set of activities is planned throughout the week. This year’s campaign chair, Amy Gross, says all employees will have the opportunity to support the Annual FUNd through payroll deduction or by participating in several activities. All activities are listed below:
  • Buy Your Birthday Off: Full-time staff members can gain an additional day off for a $25 donation.
  • Purchase May Day daisies for delivery on April 30
  • Tuesday, April 28 – Dress as your favorite faculty member
  • Wednesday, April 29 – Silent Auction in Vanderslice Reception Rooms
  • Friday, May 1 – Lunch on the Lawn: Weather permitting, we will brown bag it on the campus green. Bring your picnic blankets and a Frisbee. Additionally, there will be a kickball tournament, pin the ear on Van Gogh and a pie in the face game.
The KCAI annual fund is a general operating fund the school uses to address the funding gap between what students pay for tuition and actual costs. The annual fund offsets expenses that include general scholarships, equipment needs, technology and facility upgrades, faculty and staff salary and benefit expenses and much more. This year the advancement department is charged with raising $1.6 million for the annual fund. The goal for the faculty and staff portion of the campaign is $7,000. The remainder will come from trustees, foundation grants, corporate partnerships, private support and alumni. Faculty and staff are advised to watch their email for additional information or contact Amy Gross, special events assistant in advancement at 816-802-3463 or

Spring sale to benefit Kansas City Urban Potters

The Kansas City Urban Potters will host its inaugural spring invitational pottery sale from 5 to 8 p.m. May 8, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 9 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 10 at the Historic City Market Kansas City, 400 Grand Blvd. Functional and decorative ceramics made by local and nationally renowned potters will be on display and available for purchase.Visitors can meet the artists and see demonstrations while shopping for handmade gifts and functional service ware in a variety of styles and prices. Six ceramic artists from outside the Kansas City area will join the seven KCUP members. Participating artists are: Bede Clarke; Mark Cole; Chandra DeBuse; Paul Donnelly, assistant professor of ceramics at KCAI; Jana Evans; Rain Harris; Meredith Host (’01 ceramics); Erica Iman; Brenda Lichman; Amy Santoferraro; Albion Stafford; Kyla Toomey; and Alex Watson. For more information visit Pictured: “Pitchers and Cup,” Paul Donnelly and Rain Harris, 2015, porcelain, pitcher 10 inches by 7.5 inches by 6 inches, cup 4 inches by 4 inches by 5.25 inches.

Student profile – Nicholas Olivares

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 or visit to fill out an online questionnaire.
Year/Major: Freshman/foundation student
Where did you grow up? Technically, I grew up in Austin, a hellish pit of heat and wonderful people. However, if you were to come up to me on the street, I would quickly respond to this question by saying that I didn’t grow up in a specific place. I grew up in my mother’s arms, in the green grass of my neighbor’s backyard or in the bottom of the coffee pot my grandfather brewed every morning the summer he moved in with us. Nowhere in particular, maybe even everywhere. That’s where I grew up.
How has KCAI lived up to your expectations? It has surpassed any expectations I kept before I came here. Time moves differently here. I am not even sure if it exists. We joke that it has felt like we’ve been here for years. I have learned more here in my first few months than I have at any other institution. We were told that foundation would be a life-altering program, and I thought they were just being facetious. They weren’t.
What do you like best about your major? My instructor says that you can only describe something to a certain extent. You can explain how you did something a million times, but it’s nothing compared to what you get out of it. A lot of what you learn in foundation is kept secret: this huge sheet of information that you have to fold up and put in your pocket. These experiences that the foundation program offer nourish us completely. We must go forward and take all that we have learned and apply it to the workings of our lives. I don’t think I have ever experienced a year as fruitful as the foundations year.
What do you like best about living in Kansas City? Strangely it feels like home. That’s probably my favorite thing. It feels as though at any moment, if I wanted to, I could walk out the door to my friend’s house and feel every color of his ceiling. It’s a feeling attained, most likely, by the family that has built itself around me. I now have brothers and sisters, all of which live in this little, secret place with me. Kansas City.
Favorite food? My favorite restaurant in Kansas City is the Living Center Cafeteria. My friends and I sit down every day and have a Thanksgiving dinner. We have come to love everyone who works there, and in a way, it feels like all of our extended family has come over to our house to cook. It’s the warmest kitchen in town.
Who or what inspires you? I have a friend who I have been close to for many years. She went to a wonderful school on the east coast. My sense of space has been altered. She is there. I am here. It’s really only a stone’s throw. These are the things I am thinking when reading the journal she keeps online.
Something you always carry? It’s a secret. My mother gave it to me. It reminds me of her. Of her deep black curls. I keep it in th — oh wait! I shouldn’t be so forthcoming with this particular bit of information.
Best advice you ever got? I like to keep people around. They surround me with information. Oftentimes I feel like a vessel that must be filled. I have really only arrived at this location in life with the people that have poured themselves into me. I take their stories, their lives, their knowledge and synthesize it all. I admire each part fully, until the sediments of them all bind themselves together into a single unit: a culmination of nutrient.
Pictured: (top) Nicholas Olivares; (bottom) “Brothers Map: Dream Drawing 3,” Nicholas Olivares.

Senior exhibitions

Florentino Diaz (senior, photography) and Patricia Bordallo Dibildox (senior, photography and art history) are displaying their senior thesis exhibition “Mexican, American,” from 8 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Red Lady Gallery, 1229 1/2 Union Ave. Additionally, Bordallo Dibildox has accepted an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy for three months in the fall of 2015. Pictured: “La China Poblana y El Charro,” Patricia Bordallo Dibildox and Florentino Diaz.
Tyler Dutton (senior, ceramics), Brandon Kintzer (senior, sculpture and art history) and Austen Ortiz (senior, printmaking) are presenting their senior thesis exhibition “Midwest of Here” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 1 at Alpha Gallery, 2014 Main St. Pictured: “Untitled 3 (Planks),” Austen Ortiz, 2014, Silkscreen Monotype, 19 inches by 24 inches.
“Photographic Vicissitudes,” featuring the works by Katie Jett (senior, photography) and Emily Smith (senior, photography) will be on view April 24 through May 18 at Got Art Gallery on Third, 18 SW 3rd St., Lee’s Summit, Mo. An opening reception is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. April 24. Pictured: Work from Katie Jett’s and Emily Smith’s exhibition “Photographic Vicissitudes.”

Student updates

Meghan Brauner (junior, photography) has been accepted to the 2015 Yale/Norfolk Summer Program in the Arts. Nationally competitive, the Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk, Conn., is an intensive residency that curates a group of juniors from selected institutions across the country to take part in this singular program.

Alumni updates

Several KCAI alums are participating in the 2015 Open Studios Weekend hosted by the Charlotte Street Foundation Residency Program, including William Ellis Bradley (’14 sculpture), Shenequa Brooks (’14 fiber), Hannah Carr (’14 fiber), Mariah Gillespie (’14 fiber), Lauren Sobchak (’14 fiber), Joey Watson (’14 fiber) and Jennifer Wilkinson (’14 ceramics). The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. April 24 and noon to 5 p.m. April 25 at Paragraph Gallery 23 E. 12th St., pARTnership Place, 906 Grand, 13th floor and the Town Pavilion, 1100 Walnut, 6th floor. For more information, visit
Chuck Kelton (’75 photography) was recently featured in a blog post on the New York Times website. Visit to read the article.
Amy Finkbeiner (’90 painting) is showing new work along with Rita MacDonald through May 3 at Projekt722 in Brooklyn, N.Y. For more information about the exhibition, visit

Faculty updates

Anne Boyer, assistant professor of creative writing, has written a book entitled “Garments Against Women,” published by Ahsahta Press. Also, a study of Boyer’s work is examined in Piotr K. Gwiazda’s “US Poetry in the Age of Empire, 1979-2012,” published by Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter five of the book is titled, “Dreams of a Common Language: Mark Nowak, Anne Boyer, Rodrigo Toscano.” Additionally, Ryan MacDonald (’08 creative writing and painting) published his first book. It is a book of minute fictions titled “The Observable Characteristics of Organisms,” published by FC2.
Julie Farstad, chair of painting, was featured in a Q&A on the blog MW Capacity. To read the article, visit

Local KCAI-related exhibitions

Belger Crane Yard Gallery – Meredith Host (’01 ceramics) newest exhibition “Translated Pattern,” featuring a body of work inspired by her 2014 residency in Jingdezhen, China, runs May 1 through July 25 at the Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave. An opening reception is schedule from 6 to 9 p.m. May 1. Pictured: “Floral Print Platter,” Meredith Host, 2015, porcelain with decals, 1 3/4 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches.
Haw/Contemporary – Warren Rosser, the William T. Kemper Distinguished Professor of Painting, is showing work in and exhibition entitled “Folding Space-New Monoprints” through May 2 at Haw/Contemporary, 1600 Liberty. Pictured: “Circuit #3,” Warren Rosser, 2015, monoprint on custom-made twin rocket paper, 15 inches by 11 inches.
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center – Several KCAI alums and current students are participating in various exhibitions throughout April and May at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore. Jennie Frederick (’78 fiber) and Adriana Luna (’11 printmaking) will be showing work in “Directions in Paper” through April 25. Ben Davis (senior, sculpture), Daiana Oneto (senior, printmaking and art history) and Peyton Pitts (senior, printmaking and art history) are featured in “The Stillness of a Former Hour,” open through April 25. This show is a culmination of all three artists' undergraduate bodies of work from the Kansas City Art Institute and is connected through implications of the human form, space, and history. And finally, “Heat,” running through May 30 features “Blanket,” a performance partnership between Leone Reeves (’03 ceramics, creative writing) and Megan Mantia (’07 printmaking, art history), Shenequa Brooks (’14 fiber), Cecilia Curry (’13 illustration), Andrew Erdrich (’10 sculpture, art history), Alison Moyna Green (’03 fiber), Linda Lighton (’89 sculpture) and Cecilia Otero (’13 illustration). Pictured: “Bloom Gold IV,” Adrianna Luna, archival paper, dye and cotton crepe paper, 15 inches by 15 inches by 3 inches.
Paragraph and Project Space Galleries – “1 Infinite Loop” is open through May 2 at the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Paragraph and Project Space Galleries, 21 and 23 E. 12th St. The exhibition, curated by Jeff Eaton (’07 photography and art history) lecturer of photography, 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). 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.
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art – Jane Booth (attended); Anne Austin Pearce (attended); Mary Ann Strandell, former KCAI faculty member from 1997-1999; and Caleb Taylor, special instructor in foundation, are among the artists showing work in the exhibition entitled “In Good Company” running through May 23 at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, 2004 Baltimore Ave. Pictured: “Constructively Place I (After FVB),” Caleb Taylor, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 66 inches by 60 inches.
Subterranean Gallery – Michael Rose (senior, printmaking) has an exhibition of sculptures, prints and various digital media entitled Z-SPEC running through May 15 by appointment at Subterranean Gallery, 4124 Warwick Blvd., Apt. B. Pictured: Promotional card for Michael Rose’s exhibition Z-SPEC.
Todd Weiner Gallery – Jim Sajovic, professor of foundation, is showing work in “Besame…” through April 25 at 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. Pictured: “Besame,” Jim Sajovic, 2014, pigmented inks and acrylic on canvas, 64 inches by 58 inches.

Calls for artists

The 21st Annual ANA Regional Juried Art Exhibition, a regional competition hosted by the Artists of Northwest Arkansas to support the work of artists in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri is seeking entries. The general application fee is $50, and membership application fee is $40 for up to three images per application. Additional images are $10 with a limit of five total images. The deadline to enter is July 12. 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.