ARTNotes Aug. 10

August 10, 2015


The School of the Foundation Year Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

KCAI celebrates the 50th anniversary of its School of the Foundation Year with the exhibition "Onward: Kansas City Art Institute," now on view until Sept. 26 at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. This exhibition will feature over 60 artists from across the United States, who taught in the college's celebrated first-year foundation program at some point since its inception in 1965. In conjunction with this exhibition, KCAI will also host a "Regional Alumni Gathering Celebration" with Interim President Tony Jones in attendance at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center on Friday, Sept. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to all KCAI alumni. For more information about the alumni gathering, please email Pictured from left: "Heart Teapot: Internal Combustion Metamorphosis" by Richard Notkin (71 ceramics); "Animal Shelter" by Willem Volker (2013), neon, wood, found objects; "K.C. Way" by Robert Stackhouse (1996), watercolor and charcoal on paper, mounted on canvas.

KCAI's Post-Baccalaureate Program Graduates its First Class of Students

The new Post-Baccalaureate Art Education Certification program at KCAI graduated its first class in May 2015. All five graduates are alumni of KCAI’s B.F.A. program, and we are thrilled to report that the majority of them have secured full-time employment in public schools. This certification allows graduates to teach K-12 art classes in any private or public school in Missouri and reciprocating states. This initiative was launched with help from Sheri Klein, Ph.D, who designed the program in 2014, and Melinda Robino, M.S.Ed., who now coordinates it. Pictured from left: Shellie Kacillas; Jennifer Madrigal and Samantha Kroll. Graduates not pictured: Alison Miller and Kate Earl.

ArtSounds Presents its Tenth Anniversary Season

ArtSounds enters its tenth anniversary season with collaborative performances by composers, performers and visual artists. Initiated by faculty from KCAI and the UMKC Conservatory and co-directed by Mara Gibson and Paul Rudy, ArtSounds explores cross-media expression through creative concert-making. In ArtSounds performances, vision informs hearing and hearing guides sight in this essential dialogue at the messy intersections of human experience. ArtSounds performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in KCAI’s Epperson Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. Performances are free and open to the public. To find information on the 2015-16 performance series, click here. Pictured: past performances.

Ceramics Department Featured in the Local News

KCAI received outstanding media coverage on the recent activity in the ceramics department, namely Studio Nong, an international sculpture collective and residency program, and the renovations to the “old kiln room.” Below are links to the news stories. We anticipate more media coverage to come.

To learn more about Studio Nong and the renovations to the ceramics building, visit:, and follow the ceramics department on Facebook at Pictured: Studio Nong artists working in the Richard J. Stern Ceramics Building.

Upcoming Events

  • Studio Nong artists Zhenhai He and Shanwu Huang will present a master class entitled “Ancient Traditions and Contemporary Form: Calligraphy and Mishima” to be followed by a public lecture at the Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy Ave., on Aug. 15. The lecture begins at 7 p.m.
  • The Current Perspectives lecture “Master Sculptors from the GuangXi Arts Institute and Studio Nong Collective” will take place in KCAI’s Epperson Auditorium on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.
  • A gallery talk and reception for the exhibition opening of “SunSet|SunRise: Work from Studio Nong” will take place at Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave., on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m.
  • The opening reception for “In Pursuit: Kansas City Art Institute Faculty Biennial” at the H&R Block Artspace will be held on Aug. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • A First-Friday event will be held on Sept. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center for  "Onward: Kansas City Art Institute," celebrating the 50th anniversary of the School of the Foundation Year.
  • The ArtSounds performance “Bird-like,” on Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m., explores the human tendency to anthropomorphize and features work by Mark Allen, Cooper Ottum and Cara Strever. The performance will take place in KCAI's Epperson Auditorium.

Student News

The following students successfully completed summer internships at these organizations:

Jodi Ann Brewer (senior, graphic design) Ferrellgas
Larry Fulcher (senior, graphic design) AdFarm
Molly Garrett (senior, animation/art history) Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kiana Henley (junior, sculpture/art history) Caleb Taylor Art
Kyle Jordan (senior, digital filmmaking) Subsect Skateshop, Inc.
Madison Kludy (senior, photography) Art in the Loop
Marie Krikorian (senior, graphic design) Kansas City Healthy Kids
Gabriella Lacza (junior, painting) Spencer Art Library
Janie Marino (senior, graphic design/creative writing)    Anthropologie
Anna Minnick (senior, photography/art history) Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Sydney Monteer (senior, illustration) Survival Letterpress
Cory Montero (junior, illustration) Kansas City Star
Hunter Pace (junior, ceramics) Studio Nong
Zoe Polando (senior, animation/creative writing) BkMk Press
Teal Sather (senior, animation) Wonderscope Children’s Museum
Robert Woodworth (junior, sculpture) Hufft Projects

Faculty News

Jill Downen (’89 painting), assistant professor in sculpture, received one of The Charlotte Street Foundation’s 2015 visual artist awards, which includes $10,000 in unrestricted cash. Visual art and performance awardees are selected by panels of local and national curators and directors during a competitive process that starts with an open call for applications. Pictured: Jill Downen in the studio.

The Charlotte Street Foundation also selected Cory Imig, lecturer in fiber, to attend the prestigious Art Omi International Artists Residency, a four-week program in upstate New York, this summer. Pictured: "Buoyant Loss" by Cory Imig (2014), artist tape, balloon and hellium, 120" x 180" x 120."

Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor in graphic design, recently spoke on KCUR’s Central Standard with Mo Dickens, director at the Belger Arts Center, and Catherine Futter, senior curator of European arts at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, about the definitions of folk art. To listen to the program, click here.

“Downpoor,” a solo exhibition of recent work by Brett Reif, associate professor and director, School of the Foundation Year, opens Aug. 23 at The University of Kansas Art & Design Gallery, Lawrence, Kan. The show highlights Reif’s interest in household materials and textures, such as bathroom tile, wallpaper and other household fixtures. Pictured: “Plop, beige” by Brett Reif (2015), tile, mixed media, 40" x 32" x 30."

Alumni News

“Glazed and Diffused,” on view until Aug.16, features new works by Bobby Silverman (’80 ceramics) and Lauren Mabry (’07 ceramics) at Ferrin Contemporary in North Adams, Mass. For more information, visit Pictured: “‘Tirana’ (inspired by Rama)” by Bobby Silverman (2015), commercial porcelain, vinyl-backed wallpaper, wood, 10' x 15.'

Gallery C in Raleigh, N.C. presents new artwork by Josh George (’97 illustration) in the exhibition “Rawhides and Rodeo Queens: The Art of the Wild West,” on display through Sept. 10. For more information, visit or Pictured: “Giddyup Buttercup (after Freddy Remington)” by Josh George (2015), mixed media on wood panel.

Ann Suellentrop M.S.R.N. (’97 photo/video) collaborated with the University of Missouri–Kansas City to present the exhibition “Hiroshima-Nagasaki: Seventy Years Beyond the Bombings,” on view until Oct. 4 at the Miller Nichols Library on the UMKC campus. For additional information on the exhibition and related events, click here.

The article “Ties that Bind” in the August/September 2015 issue of American Craft highlights work by Shenequa A. Brooks (’14 fiber) and includes photographs by Silvia Abisaab (senior, photography). To read an excerpt of the article, click here. Pictured: “Rec-Triangular Cut” by Shenequa A. Brooks (2014), cotton, yarn, wooden beads, synthetic hair, 34.5" x 9."

Stanley Whitney’s (’68 painting) solo exhibition “Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange,” on display at The Studio Museum in Harlem until Oct. 25, features 28 paintings and works on paper created between 2008 and 2015. Pictured: “Dance the Orange” by Stanley Whitney (2013), oil on linen, 48” x 48.”

The University of Houston-Clear Lake Gallery presents the solo exhibition, “Blooming Dreams and Fading Memories” by Bernadette Esperanza Torres (’91 ceramics) from Aug. 14 through Oct. 22. For additional information, click here. Pictured: “Shadow Dreams” by Bernadette Esperanza Torres (2015), ceramic, glaze, lampwork glass, wire, epoxy and mixed media.

Through October, Dan Frueh’s (’94 photo/video) photographic installation “Down around the Corner” will be prominently displayed outside the Missouri Bank parking garage on 11th St. just off of Main St. To read or listen to Frueh discuss this work during a segment on KCUR about Art in the Loop projects, click here.

The InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH) welcomes Matt Krawcheck (’06 painting) as a visiting instructor and exhibiting artist during August. Krawcheck will teach the life drawing class “Sketch Night: Considering Perspective with Matt Krawcheck” on Aug. 19 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Also, you can visit with Krawcheck and view his exhibition “Perspectives” at the Third Fridays Local Life event at the IUAH, 8001 Conser Street, Suite 290, Overland Park, Kan., on Aug. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information and to register for IUAH events, visit

On Thursday, Aug. 20, William Bradley (’14 sculpture) and Joey Watson (’14 ceramics) will stage the sound performance “SOLLUS,” a long-tone composition based upon the orbital patterns of our solar system’s celestial bodies, in Oppenstein Park at 12th and Walnut St. in downtown Kansas City from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m., as part of Art in the Loop’s 2015 lunchtime performances.

To read more moments and milestones in the lives of our alumni, click here.

Local KCAI-related Exhibitions

Beggar’s Table Church & Gallery – Madeline Gallucci’s (’12 printmaking) exhibition “SOFT-SERVE,” which runs through Aug. 22 at Beggar’s Table Church & Gallery, 2010 Baltimore Ave., concludes her year-long studio residency at Hotel Phillips and investigates the experimental nature of working in a storefront window in downtown Kansas City. Pictured: Artwork by Madeline Gallucci.

Belger Crane Yard Studios The exhibition “SunSet|SunRise: Work from Studio Nong” highlights the work created during the current Studio Nong residency and will be on view Aug. 28 through Sept. 18 at Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave. Pictured: The 2015 Studio Nong collective.

H&R Block Artspace — The exhibition “In Pursuit: Kansas City Art Institute Faculty Biennial,” opens Aug. 29 and features work by retiring faculty as well as recent works created by faculty members during their sabbatical leave. The show will feature work by Cary Esser, Julie Farstad, Dwight Frizzel, Richard Mattsson, Karen McCoy, Jason Pollen, Brett Reif, Warren Rosser, Jim Sajovic, Gary Sutton and Pauline Verbeek-Cowart. Pictured: “Ocean Deep” by Warren Rosser (2014), oil on linen.

Hilliard Gallery – The exhibition "Through the River, Under the Woods by Michael Brake" features a new series by Michael Brake (’91 painting) of dream-like, abstract images. The show is currently on display through Aug. 28 at Hilliard Gallery, 1820 McGee St. For more information, visit Pictured: “Vehicle” by Michael Brake (2015), giclée print on archival paper with poured, flame-treated resin.

Underground Gallery – The solo exhibition “corner core” by Jessica Simorte, an instructor at KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies, is on display in the Underground Gallery of the Kansas City Artists Coalition, 201 Wyandotte St., until Aug. 20. Simorte’s work focuses on drawing and painting as a means of navigating physical and intangible places. For more information, click herePictured: “Untitled (Orchre Textile)” by Jessica Simorte (2015), acrylic, graphite and spackle on panel.

Calls for Artists

The R.G. Endres Gallery will host its 9th annual juried competition “State of The Arts 2015” during October. Deadline for entries of 2-D and 3-D artwork of any media is Aug. 14. Applications can be submitted here. Cash awards total $3,500.

The Charlotte Street Foundation now accepts programming submissions on a rolling basis. Applicants can be artists (of any discipline), curators or cultural producers wishing to partner with Charlotte Street. Proposals may be for contemporary arts projects, including visual art exhibitions, installations, original live performances, video screenings, literary readings/events, public programs and collaborative projects. For more information, click here.

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.

In Memorium

Lloyd Schnell, professor at KCAI from 1965­ to 1983, passed away on June 12, 2015, at the age of 87. Schnell was a dedicated contributor to the college’s mission and its surrounding community. Condolences or personal notes to his widow, Shirley, may be sent to Nancy Noble, administrative assistant of academic affairs, at


Upcoming events at KCAI

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