ARTNotes Oct. 12

October 12, 2015


Kansas City Regional Alumni Gathering

Fifty-seven years of alumni were represented at the recent Kansas City Regional Alumni Gathering, where attendees celebrated the School of the Foundation Year's 50th anniversary. Talented guests, who traveled from as far as California, Arizona, Montana and Illinois, filled the room, and the central image above is just one example. From the left stands Meredith Strauss Jackson (’78 fiber), an artist who recently showed her work with textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen; Jay Jackson (’75 photo/video), an animator for Disney since 1979 who has worked on at least 12 Disney films; and Jenny Frederick (’78 fiber), an artist and educator who is represented in over 14 private and public local collections. During the event, Steve Whitacre (pictured on the left), professor and chair of foundations, gave remarks on the history and meaning of our esteemed first-year program, and Interim President Tony Jones shared his inspired vision for the future of KCAI. To watch Jones' speech, visit

KCAI in Sunflower Journeys
A recent episode of KTWU's Sunflower Journeys, Kansas’ longest running local history television program, featured KCAI. The story explores the college’s history from 1885 to the present. The show will air on KCPT at a later date. You can watch the full episode here: Please note that the second half of the episode features Johnson County Community College's (JCCC) Culinary Arts program, so when you visit the link, the main video thumbnail will be a still from JCCC's footage.

Upcoming Events

CPS Classes Still Available:

  • “Fundmentals of 2D Animation,” instructed by Joel Jenkins, Oct. 13-Dec. 9, Tuesdays 6 to 8:30 p.m., $425 for credit
  • “Tuesdays with Sharon: Watercolor, Still Life,” instructed by Sharon Hunter-Putsch, Oct. 15-Nov. 19, Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon, $199
  • “Sculptural Ceramics,” instructed by Maura Wright, Oct. 24-Dec. 5, Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon, $199 + $63 fee

Oct. 13: The ArtSounds performance series presents "As I See You" at 7:30 p.m. in the Epperson Auditorium. This performance event, created by composer Stacy Busch, spoken word artist Sarah Mundy and video/sound artist Cody Kauhl, bridges the gap between the concert hall and film theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Oct. 15: Oleksandr Mykhed, Ukrainian writer, literary scholar and curator of collaborative multimedia art projects, will speak at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium as part of the "Current Perspectives" lecture series.

Oct. 22: As part of the "Current Perspectives" lecture series, Scott Noel, professor of painting and drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, will speak at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium.

Oct. 23: "The 2015 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Awards” exhibition opens at the H&R Block Artspace with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and runs through Dec. 16. The exhibition features new work by Jill Downan (’89 painting), assistant professor of sculpture, Rashawn Griffith and Misha Kligman.

Oct. 24: KCAI will again host the region's annual National Portfolio Day. Representatives from 27 other nationally accredited art and design schools and university art departments from around the country will be on campus to review artwork by prospective students and discuss their undergraduate programs.

Oct. 29: Joshua Shannon, associate professor of art history and theory at the University of Maryland, will give the talk "Photorealism: A History of Surfaces" at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium as part of the "Current Perspectives" lecture series.

Oct. 29: ART of the PUMPKIN — Dozens of pumpkins and gourds carved by KCAI’s foundation students will be on display at George, A Lifestyle Store, 315 E. 55th St. Come see the talent and creativity of our students, enjoy drinks and light bites and shop in one of Kansas City’s best local stores from 5 to 8 p.m.!

Nov. 5: Simone Leigh, a contemporary artist whose work is influenced by feminism, African art and ethnographic research, will speak at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium as part of the "Current Perspectives" lecture series.

Student News

For the second year, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey commissioned a KCAI student to create an award for their annual gala celebration. This year, Damien Randolph-Spader (junior, sculpture) created an original artwork for the gala. According to Randolph-Spader, “My design captures the fluid motion of the dancer's arms and legs in bronze.” Mr. Brian Williams accepted the award in honor of the work and dedication of his late partner, C. Stephen Metzler, who was a founding member of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and former chair of the KCAI board of trustees.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art selected Nicholas Olivares (sophomore, painting and art history) and Isabel Vargas (sophomore, painting and art history) as this year’s Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows. KCAI students have received three of the four fellowships offered by the Nelson-Atkins. Established in 2013, this fellowship program aims to expand the diversity of the curatorial staff at American art museums by providing two years of specialized training in the curatorial field for American students from diverse backgrounds. Colin Mackenzie, senior curator of Chinese art, will mentor Olivares, while Kimberly Masteller, curator of South and Southeast Asian art, will mentor Vargas.

Faculty News

KCAI warmly welcomes Steve Snell, the new assistant professor of foundations, who began this August. Professor Snell has an M.F.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and came to us from Hastings College in Neb.

"Fernweh," an exhibition of drawings by Jonah Criswell (’05 painting), instructor of painting, will open this month at the ReTramp Gallery in Berlin, Germany. Pictured: “The Cottage” by Jonah Criswell (2015), pencil on paper, 30 inches by 40 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist and EG Schempf.

Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor of graphic design, and Reed Anderson, associate professor of art history, will make a presentation entitled “Art in the Heartland: Lucas, Kansas and the Grassroots Art Movement” at the 29th Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists, taking place Oct. 21 to 23 at the Warwick New York Hotel.

Alumni News

Work by Paul Shortt (’09 painting) will be on view at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC from Sept. 25 - Oct. 22. Shortt’s work is also currently on view at School 33 in Baltimore, Md. through Oct. 3 and at The Luminary in St. Louis, Mo. through Nov. 6. Pictured: “Reserved for Loitering” by Paul Shortt, vinyl banner. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Kahlil Irving (’15 ceramics and art history) will present the talk “Art is ... 21st-century Sculpture: The Life and Work of Judith Scott” at the 29th Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists, taking place Oct. 21 to 23 at the Warwick New York Hotel. Her work will also be on view in the exhibitions “Pentimento” at Art Slant in Saint Louis, Mo. through Oct. 21, with a reception on Oct. 18, and “Alternative Currencies” at Vox Populi in Philadelphia until Nov.1.

Stanley Whitney
(’68 painting) solo exhibition “Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange” is on display at The Studio Museum in Harlem, N.Y. until Oct. 25. The show includes 28 paintings and works on paper created by the artist between 2008 and 2015. Pictured: “Dance the Orange” by Stanley Whitney (2013), oil on linen, 48 inches x 48 inches. From the collection of Frederick and Merle Fish. Photo courtesy of the artist and team gallery, inc.

Through Dec. 22, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedalia, Mo. will showcase the three-person exhibition “Kindred Virtuosities: Recent Work by Miki Baird, Garry Noland, and Susan White,” featuring new work by Susan White (’96 sculpture). Pictured: “Dwelling III” (detail) by Susan White (2015), bronze, 12 inches by 12 inches by 18 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Work by Matthew Krawcheck (’06 painting) will be on view in the exhibition “Project 837” at VisArts in Rockville, Md. from Oct. 28 to Dec.13.

The collaborative artists Megan Mantia (’07 printmaking and art history) and Leone Anne Reeves (’03 ceramics and creative writing), who operate under the pseudonym BLANKET, received a Rocket Grant to bring “The Venice Biennale” to Kansas City. Now open to the public, “The Mini Vinnie Bini” is a massive recreation of the biennale in venues across the city. Public programs include talks, debates, readings, performances, tours and holiday-themed events. For more information, visit

ArtsKC selected Molly Kaderka (’11 painting and art history) as an Inspiration Grant recipient. The award covers Kaderka’s travel and tuition to a four-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center in January 2016. She also received a merit-based Artist/Writer Grant for the residency from the Vermont Studio Center. Pictured: “Venus” by Molly Kaderka (2015), oil on canvas. Photo courtesy of the artist and Clear Bright Matter.

The major retrospective of Nick Cave’s (’82 fiber) career “Here Hear” at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield, Mich. closed yesterday. To listen to a feature aired on NPR’s Studio 360 about the exhibition and the artist’s career, click here.

The Midwest Innocence Project recently hired Summer Farrar (’05 fiber) to coordinate a review of criminal cases that may have been impacted by microscopic hair analysis, a test now considered to be faulty. Farrar says her arts training makes her uniquely qualified to examine the work of forensic investigators. To read a KCUR article about Farrar and her new position, click here.

Beth Deel (’00 painting), a businesswoman and performance artist in Roanoke, Va., now manages art galleries at Aurora, a three-story structure in downtown Roakoke, Va. Deel selected Rachel B. Hayes’ (’99 fiber) work “Call and Response” to be one of the first pieces in Aurora’s permanent collection.

Local KCAI-related Exhibitions

Belger Crane Yard Gallery — “Suites,” a solo exhibition by Peregrine Honig (attended), will be on view at the Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave., through Dec. 19. Also, the solo exhibitions “Christopher Kurtz” and “Schema: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery” of work by Christopher Kurtz (attended) and Melanie Sherman (’14 ceramics), respectively, both open Oct. 2. Pictured: “Vase, Platter, Cup with Brie, Knife, Radish, Pork Belly” by Melanie Sherman (2013). Photo by E.G. Schempf.

Blue Gallery — The solo exhibition “Blankets + Brambles” of recent work by Kelly Porter (’97 printmaking) continues at the Blue Gallery, 118 Southwest Blvd., through Oct. 31. Thirty percent of the proceeds from the sale of her work in the exhibition will be donated to the Rose Brooks Center, Kansas City’s domestic violence shelter. Pictured: “Performed Vibration,” by Kelly Porter, acrylic and ink on canvas, 44 inches by 90 inches.

H&R Block Artspace — "The 2015 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Awards” exhibition opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 23 and runs through Dec. 16. The exhibition features new work by Jill Downan (’89 painting), assistant professor of sculpture, Rashawn Griffith and Misha Kligman. Pictured: “Alignment” (detail) by Jill Downen (2014), plaster.

Kansas City Central Library — In honor of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the library will present “Intimate Riot,” an exhibition  guest curated by Peregrine Honig (attended) and featuring work by Leo Esquivel (’95 printmaking), Catherine Clements (’11 painting and art history) and Marcus Cain (’98 painting and printmaking). The show runs through Jan. 17, 2016. For additional information, click here. Pictured: “Being is both large and small” by Marcus Cain (2015), acrylic, ink, latex, spray paint on wood panel, 10 inches by 8 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist and Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art.

Kemper at the Crossroads — The exhibition “The Center is a Moving Target: If You Lived [T]here,” on view through Jan. 6, includes work by Jill Downen (’89 painting), assistant professor of sculpture, and James Woodfill (’80 painting), associate professor of painting. The show addresses the elusive modern definition of “regionalisms” in contemporary art. Pictured: “Block and Support Arm” by Jill Downen (2009), lumber, plaster, polystyrene, latex, variable dimensions. Photo courtesy of the artist and Bruno David Gallery.

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center — Solo exhibitions by Scott Seebart, lecturer in painting and ceramics, and Jessie Fisher, associate professor of painting, will be on display through Nov. 28 at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center. A First Friday opening for these shows will take place on Nov. 6. Also, the KCAI Undergrads Underground Gallery will feature the exhibition “Dreaming in Magyar: Study Abroad in Hungary” of work by six ceramics students who traveled to Kesckemét, Hungary this summer with George Timock, retired professor of ceramics. The exhibition closes Oct. 31. Finally, Jeff Burk (’79 photography) will present his first local solo exhibition “Sense of Place” on Nov. 6, for which a reception is scheduled on Nov. 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. Pictured: “Onions with Red Obi,” by Scott Seebart (2013), oil on linen mounted on panel, 16 inches by 20 inches.

Missouri Bank — Artboards, the bank’s double-sided billboards above its Crossroads location at 125 Southwest Blvd., now feature large-scale images by Charlie Mylie (’09 interdisciplinary arts and art history) and Maria Ogedengbe (’06 painting). The works will remain on view through the end of November 2015. Pictured: The Artboards with “Painting Contest: MO real” by Maria Ogedengbe. Photo courtesy of the artist.

PLUG Projects — The exhibition “…or the stories we tell ourselves,” created by Marie Bannerot McInerney, assistant professor of fiber, remains on view at PLUG Projects’ Local Solo space, 1613 Genessee St., through Oct. 24. For her new installation, McInerney constructed a pyramidic form of roughly two thousand collected books set against an atmospheric sound piece.

Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art — Jeff Aeling’s (’80 printmaking) solo exhibition “Landscapes, Figures, Flowers” will be on display through Oct. 24 at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, 2004 Baltimore Ave. Pictured: “Crab Apple” by Jeff Aeling, oil on panel, 34 inches by 48 inches.

Studios Inc Exhibition Space — The exhibition “Site Unseen: Architectural Installations,” on display through Oct. 16 at Studios Inc Exhibition Space, 1708 Campbell St., showcases sculptural miniature rooms by resident artist Jill Downen (’89 painting), assistant professor of sculpture. For additional information, click here. Pictured: “The Room Under My Skin” by Jill Downen (2015), mixed media, 14 inches by 11 inches by 18 inches. Photo courtesy of E.G. Schempf.


Tomahawk Ridge Community CenterThe “Ceramics and Sculpted Wood Exhibit,” on view through Nov. 13 at Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell Ave., Overland Park, Kan., features new photographic work by Howard Harris (’71 design). For additional information, click here. Pictured: “Man of the Moment” by Howard Harris, mixed media photograph, 24 inches by 20 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.

UMKC Gallery of ArtTaking the form of both a book and an exhibition, “Transmissions/Signals” examines the history of dialogue between Warren Rosser, William T. Kemper Distinguished Professor of Painting and chair of painting, and James Woodfill, associate professor of painting. The exhibition will be on display through Oct. 16 at the UMKC Gallery of Art, 5015 Holmes St. Pictured from left: James Woodfill and Warren Rosser in Jim Woodfill’s studio (2015).

Calls for Artists

Volunteers are needed to carve Jack-o-lanterns at Powell Gardens on Oct. 15 from 6-9 p.m. and Oct. 16 for shifts from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., noon-4 p.m., 3-7 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. To sign up, email

Art Saint Louis seeks entries to its annual juried exhibition. Artworks in all media, techniques and styles around the theme of creatures, critters and beasts–real or imagined–are encouraged. All artists at least 21 years of age who live within a 200-mile radius of St. Louis may apply. Entries must be submitted by Oct. 24 at

Applications for the 2016 Charlotte Street Visual Artist Awards will be accepted until Nov. 16. The awards recognize three exceptional visual artists based in the five-county Greater Kansas City Metro area with unrestricted cash awards of $10,000 each. To apply, visit

The City of Olathe seeks entries to its Downtown Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit. Entries must be received by Jan. 4, 2016. Artists will receive a $1,500 honorarium for each work selected. For more information, click here

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.

Upcoming events at KCAI

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