Overview & History

The Artspace opened Nov. 13, 1999. Since then, we have worked with 67 young, enthusiastic students as interns and gallery assistants. Their contributions to the Artspace program have been real and huge and inspiring. As Artspace alumni, they have gone on to infiltrate the art world and creative community at large.
We have presented the work of more than 1,764B.F.A. degree candidates at the Kansas City Art Institute in the annual B.F.A. exhibition. KCAI alumni, faculty and students have participated in more than 60 percent of Artspace exhibitions and almost 50 percent of Artspace programs have benefitted from partnerships with KCAI's academic program as well as professional organizations including the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), the Surface Design Association (SDA), SGA, the Southern Graphics Council (SGC) and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
Kansas City artists have enriched the program by their participation in six iterations of The Kansas City Flatfile, which we began in 2000 with Joe Amrhein and the Pierogi Flatfiles; six collaborations with the Charlotte Street Foundation; 17 Project Walls; and countless other programs and opportunities, including the Visiting Critic and Curator Program. We have organized and presented 119 exhibitions and public art projects. To complement the public program, the Artspace has hosted a wide range of visiting artists and scholars and more than 29 exhibiting artists-in-residences. These visits engage the community of artists, students and art lovers, and these visitors become ambassadors on behalf of KCAI and the Kansas City art community.
The Artspace has initiated other annual programs that celebrate distinguished achievement, excellence and innovation at KCAI including student mentorship awards, B.F.A. exhibition awards and the distinguished alumni speaker series.
Artspace programs thoughtfully address many of the college’s strategic initiative priorities –– in particular, community engagement, globalization and diversity.
The Artspace is so fortunate to be part of such a dynamic art community as we look back on these accomplishments and partnerships and take the first steps toward the next ones!
The Artspace Staff

H&R Block Artspace
Kansas City Art Institute
September 2014