ARTNotes June 15

June 15, 2015

KCAI news

Deviation—The 2015 Art and Design Auction

On June 6, more than 500 people gathered on the KCAI campus to experience Deviation—the 2015 Art and Design Auction. The silent auction and the exciting live auction, led by a circus-ring master, showcased artwork by over 170 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of KCAI. The event exceeded its goal and raised more than $448,000 for student scholarships. The Auction Committee, led by Liz and Nate Orr, took the theme of “deviation” to heart and created a truly daring and dazzling event. Guests entered through the entrance tunnel in the shape of a large mouth followed by a busy registration area full of actors in black and white Victorian-era costumes. Throughout the evening, attendees enjoyed circus-themed entertainment that included a woman dancing on stilts, a miniature strong man and a conjoined-twin vocal duo. For dinner, guests were served gourmet “TV dinners,” made by chef Patrick Ryan of Port Fonda, through giant "televisions." Pictured (clockwise from top left): the auction entrance; auction guests; "MOMOCON," Jay Schmidt  (’74 sculpture), steel, paint and sealant, 144 inches by 54 inches by 24 inches; performer on stilts.

Exciting Renovations to the Ceramics Building

Renovations are currently underway in the Richard J. Stern Ceramics Building to repurpose the vacated “old kiln room” into a dynamic space that improves access to technology and equipment, enhances safety and provides additional workspace. This renovation will benefit the entire student body by increasing the availability of elective courses for non-ceramics majors and expanding coursework in industrial and digital methods for ceramics majors. Construction began in May and will conclude by late July—just in time for the Studio Nong residencies to begin. For additional information about the renovation, please email advancement@kcai.eduPictured at top: a recent photo of the renovation; pictured at bottom: an architectural rendering of the completed project.

Sign up for ARTventure Summer Camp

ARTventure summer camp classes in art and design for kids ages 6-14 have begun! Nearly every medium is offered during camp, and students will learn fine arts skills through discovery and imagination. Campers can navigate their own ARTventure by taking a different class each week, all summer long. High school summer classes are also available. Sign up now at

Upcoming Events

June 28:
The 2015 Art of the Car Concours will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the KCAI campus, where more than 200 vintage, classic and special-interest vehicles and motorcycles will be on view. Proceeds benefit KCAI’s scholarship fund. For details and to purchase tickets, visit Pictured: 2014 Art of the Car Concours event photo

July 13: KCAI students and faculty, CPS instructors and local art educators are invited to attend the Opening Reception and Welcome event for the National Art Education Association’s five-day SummerStudio: Design Thinking for Art Educators conference. The reception will be held in Vanderslice Hall at 5 p.m. To find out more, visit


Student, Alumni & Faculty News

Senior Exhibitions

Emmett Merrill’s
(’15 printmaking) senior thesis exhibition, “The Bridge,” will be on display  through June 27 at the Opie Gallery in the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. Pictured: “See Bhutan First State 4,” Emmett Merrill, relief print, 22 inches by 30 inches.

Student Updates

Congratulations to Lila Ferber (junior, sculpture) for her acceptance into the AICAD Mobility program at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Ore. AICAD Mobility participants study for one semester of their junior year at a participating AICAD school, while remaining a KCAI student. For more information on this program, email or visit
Angelina Yang (senior, ceramics) received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which she is using to travel to Hungary with George Timock's Faculty-Led Travel Program. ​The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship awards over 2,700 scholarships of up to $5,000 per academic year for U.S. citizens to study or intern abroad. For more information on this award, contact

Alumni Updates

In her solo exhibition “Transposed Concepts,” Melanie Sherman (’14 ceramics) displays three ceramic pieces alongside three large photographs from June 4 through July 18 at the Goodwin Fine Art Gallery in Denver, Colo. Pictured: “Plate with Antler, Flowers, Egg shells, Onions and Fish,” Melanie Sherman, archival pigment print, 36 inches by 36 inches.


Recipients of the 2015 Rocket Grants include Ben Hlavacek (’12 photography and creative writing), Megan Mantia (’06 printmaking and art history), Leone Reeves (’03 ceramics and creative writing), Carrie Riehl (’14 illustration), Emily Kenyon (’14 fiber) and Hannah Carr (’14 fiber). To learn about their projects and Rocket Grants, visit

Carrie Beene
(’82 painting) will lead the workshop “Professional Photo Retouching: Step-by-Step Strategies” from July 12 through 17 at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. To find out more, visit

Join Jessica Kincaid (’92 fiber) from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24 for a beginner’s lesson in beadwork at the InterUrban ArtHouse, 8001 Conser St., Suite 290, in Overland Park, Kan. She will teach you the same technique she uses in her beaded tapestries, while you create your own work of art! To sign up, visit

Faculty Updates

The exhibitions “Art Dialogues 2014-15” and “Recent Portraits, Nudes, and Still-lifes by Jessie Fisher & Scott Seebart,” on view until June 25 in Florence, Italy, feature work by Jessie Fisher, assistant professor of painting. For more information, visit and Pictured: artwork by Jessie Fisher. 

Two paintings by John Ferry, assistant professor of illustration, are part of the juried show OPEN15 at FRONT art space, 118 Chambers St., New York. Pictured: “Decatur #2,” John Ferry, oil on canvas, 5 inches by 8 inches. 


Local KCAI-related Exhibitions

Leedy-Voulkos Art CenterThe exhibition “Art of KC Voices” continues through June 27 at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave., and features work by Claire Brankin (’13 illustration and creative writing), Emily Connell (’12 ceramics), Dean Kube (’93 design) and Thomas Luna (senior, painting). Pictured: "Urban pioneer," Dean Kube, acrylic on birch, 36 inches by 36 inches.
Also at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, work by Mary Elmusa (’78 painting) will be on display through June 27 in “Midwest Metaphors: Studio Art Quilt Associates Regional Members Showcase.”

Paragraph Gallery
The exhibition “displacement/thisplacemeant,” on display through July 11 at the Paragraph Gallery, 23 E. 12th St., features work by the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Studio Resident artists Melanie Johnson (senior, ceramics) and Gillian Tobin (’09 painting and art history). Pictured: “Slowness,” Gillian Tobin.


Belger Crane Yard Gallery
– Meredith Host’s (’01 ceramics) newest exhibition “Translated Pattern” showcases a body of work inspired by her 2014 residency in Jingdezhen, China and runs through July 25 at the Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave. Pictured: “Floral Print Platter,” Meredith Host, 2015, porcelain with decals, 1 3/4 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches.

In Memoriam

Andrew Lenzini (’96 illustration) passed away June 1. Lenzini was a gifted artist, photographer and musician. His family and friends ask that memorial gifts be donated to KCAI, so that a fund may be established in his memory. If you would like to contribute, please visit and click on Andrew Lenzini in the drop down box next to “Designation.”

Calls for Artists

The Municipal Art Commission invites artists living within 50 miles of Kansas City, Mo. to submit proposals for the 2015 Washington Square Park “Art in the Square” installation. The deadline for submission of entries is noon on June 19, 2015. Five proposals will be chosen. Each recipient will receive a $6,000 production grant towards realizing their respective projects and will retain their installation once the exhibition is over. For application guidelines, email
ArtsKC is seeking to commission a Kansas City artist to create six works of art to present to metro-area businesses and individuals in recognition of their leadership in the arts at their ArtsKC Awards—AMPLIFIED! event. The commission includes an exhibition of the artist’s work, the opportunity to speak at the event, $6,000 for the six awards and $2,000 for 50 centerpieces. The deadline to apply is July 9, 2015. Visit for details and an application.
The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society invites oil and acrylic painters to submit artwork for their “Best of America” 2015 exhibition. Selected works will compete for over $10,000 in cash and sponsorship awards. Deadline for submission is July 30, 2015. To learn more, 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.