ARTNotes for Sept. 6

September 6, 2011

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Calendar of events

Now-Oct. 1: “Answers to Questions: John Wood and Paul Harrison” is on view at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St. John Wood and Paul Harrison, a British collaborative duo, make single-channel videos, multipart video installations, sculptural objects and works on paper that elegantly fuse advanced aesthetic research with existential comedy. For more information, visit

Sept. 7: “Current Perspectives” will kick off its fall lecture series with a presentation by Mierle Ukeles at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium. Ukeles gained national recognition for her ongoing 30-year-long artist’s residency in the New York Department of Sanitation. For details, visit

Sept. 15: Mags Harries and Lajos Héder of Harries/Héder Collaborative will give a “Current Perspectives” lecture at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium. The focus of their collaboration is to activate public space through art. Since 1990 they have worked together on more than 25 major public commissions. More information is available at

Student exhibition on view in Dodge Building

The painting department presents “An Exquisite Corpse: Florentine Study Abroad 2011,” featuring work completed by KCAI students who traveled to Florence, Italy, this past summer for a five-week program at the Studio Arts Center International. The students studied the Florentine Renaissance though drawing, advanced life painting and conservation courses as well as printmaking and sculpture workshops. The exhibition will be on view in the Dodge Painting Building 3A Gallery through Sept. 16. Contact Jessie Fisher, assistant professor of painting, at for more information.

Work by alumnus featured on bank’s Artboards

The Missouri Bank Crossroads Branch, 125 Southwest Blvd., recently debuted new large-scale commissioned images on its Artboards. Work by Luke Firle (’03 painting) has been installed on the east-facing Artboards, exterior, double-sided billboards rising above the bank, and will remain on view for approximately four months. Firle’s Artboards take inspiration from the history of public signage and are digitally composed of fragments of other images, in this case fragments of his own paintings. “After considering the history of billboards as a whole, I became intrigued by the older, more hands-on process of wheat pasting and how, once neglected and weathered, they became deteriorated abstractions of the past,” said Firle. “I used this concept in creating my pieces by dissecting older works and then layering newer images on top — basically creating new abstractions of my own work. What started off as a tactile process, painting, was then repurposed into a final digital output.” Pictured: Artboard images by Luke Firle. 

Student film selected for Tacoma Film Festival

“The Yellow Wallpaper,” a short film by Alyssa Lundgren and Matthew Wilson, both seniors in digital filmmaking, is an official selection of the 2011 Tacoma Film Festival in Washington. The film is inspired by a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in which a woman is placed in isolation to recover from a “condition.” Over time she begins to observe something transform in the strange-looking wallpaper. It is ambiguous whether her “condition” or the isolation is the cause of her descent into madness. The film will screen Oct. 8 at the Grand Cinema in Tacoma. Pictured: Still from “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Alyssa Lundgren and Matthew Wilson.

And the AIGA awards go to … many KCAI students and alumni

Among the winners at the Kansas City AIGA awards ceremony on Aug. 27 were 13 KCAI students and 10 KCAI alumni. AIGA is a national professional organization for design. The following KCAI graphic design students received awards: Ivan Alonso, Laura Berglund, Eli Brumbaugh, Lance Flores, Matthew Jacobs, Samantha Mak, Jessica Meurer, Andrea Morris, Tom Morse-Brown, Collin Rausch, Keaton Reeder, Jessie Ren and Karen Villalba. According to Tyler Galloway, associate professor and acting chair of graphic design, Mak, a junior design student, won the “people’s choice” award, a category that included entries by both professionals and students and was voted on by all attendees. He said alumnus Grant Nitsch (’10) won a juror’s choice award. Other alumni who won awards at the event: Clifton Alexander (’99), Micah Barta (’11), Josh Eithun (’10), Tina Gordzica (’08), Josh Lambert (’10), Frank Oviedo (’04), Ian Tirone (’10), Sarah White (’05) and Chase Wilson (’06). For more information, visit Pictured: Poster designed by Samantha Mak.

Design students receive second place in national competition

Karen Villalba (senior, graphic design) and Kelsey Anderson (senior, graphic design) won second place in the student social responsibility category for their Helping Hands Guides project in the national AIGA (Re)design Awards 2011 competition. The project was completed in Assistant Professor Jamie Gray’s junior level Visual Language studio. The AIGA (Re)design Awards are a distinct design competition recognizing the importance and excellence of sustainable and socially responsible work created by design professionals, students, educators and businesses and organizations from around the world. For details, visit

Alumni collaborate with Hugh Merrill on new book

Two printmaking alumni played key roles in the publication of Professor Hugh Merrill’s new book, “Divergent Consistencies: The Studio & Community Art of Hugh Merrill,” which was published in April. Adelia Ganson (’03 printmaking) edited the book, and Amanda Rehagen (’00 printmaking) designed the book, which is available through at

Noted illustrator coming to KC

Melissa Untch (’02 illustration) is hosting New York illustrator Richard Borge at a limited-seating showcase from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 30 at Fresheyestudio, a new studio owned by illustration professor Steve Mayse and his wife, Shelly. Borge will show his work digitally, followed by a question-and-answer session, and refreshments will be provided. The next day, Oct. 1, Borge will conduct a workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those who attended the Sept. 30 session. The workshop also will take place at Fresyeyestudio, 7515 Allman Road, Lenexa, Kan. Seating for both events is limited to 50 people. Cost is $50 for KCAI students and $85 for non-students. “Richard has been a visiting artist at KCAI and has proved to be helpful and inspiring to students and professionals,” Untch said. “I was inspired when he came to the illustration department when I was a student at KCAI. One of those inspired illustrations I created after his visit got into the Society of Illustrators of L.A.” For more information and to purchase tickets, visit To obtain the KCAI student discount, contact Untch at or 917-583-3791 or Mayse at 816-802-3517 or Pictured: Poster by Melissa Untch, featuring images of work by Richard Borge. 

Faculty updates

Jamie Gray and Marty Maxwell Lane, both assistant professors of graphic design, will give a presentation entitled “Collaboration is Critical: Integrating collaboration into undergraduate design curriculum” at Stir Symposium: Exploring Collaborative Ways to Approach Big Issues. The symposium will be held at The Ohio State University from Oct. 7 to 9. Details can be found at

Marty Maxwell Lane, assistant professor of graphic design, will present a project on designing for new information contexts that privilege user control and require new literacy skills at the 43rd Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. The conference is hosted by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and will take place Sept. 28 through Oct. 2. More information is available at

Sculpture Professor Karen McCoy has work in an exhibition now on view at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site in Portsmouth, N.H. The exhibition, entitled “Art Encounters Preservation,” continues through Oct. 15. The title of McCoy’s piece is “Seemingly Unconnected Events, 2007-present.” “While walking on the North Atlantic seashore, I have often picked up shells colonized by tiny serpentine tubes,” McCoy wrote in a description of the piece. “To me, these serpentine twisting lines are utterly beautiful and intriguing in detail. They are the hard limey tubes of sea worms, probably the Spirobis. My installation at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion is an homage to these creatures.” For more information, visit Pictured: “Seemingly Unconnected Events, 2007- present” (detail), Karen McCoy, plaster and hydrocal cast in newspaper paper molds and premade plastic vacuum packaging.

Alumni updates

Jacob Martin (’08 fiber) is opening The Aquarium Gallery and Studios Oct. 20 in New Orleans. The space will include eight studios and two gallery rooms. Artists will be able to work, teach workshops, exhibit in shows and sell art. Kelly Gazlay (’06 painting) will participate in the gallery’s first show, “Feeding Frenzy,” which will be on display Oct. 20 through Nov. 27. Anna Zimmerman (’06 painting) will participate in the next group exhibition, “Delicate Distortion,” which will run Dec. 10 through Jan. 7. Martin is raising money via Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, to help cover the remaining renovation expenses. To contribute, visit by Sept. 8. For more information about the gallery, exhibitions and fundraising, contact Martin at

Russell Shoemaker (’09 painting) is one of 40 artists featured in the Midwest Competition #95 edition of New American Paintings. The magazine, founded in 1993, is a juried exhibition-in-print. For more information and to order the current issue, visit To read more about Shoemaker and view his art, visit Pictured: “It’s Not Everything,” Russell Shoemaker, 2011, ink and oil on canvas, 42 inches by 58 inches.

Haunted Mansion Costume Ball seeks volunteers

Lon Davis (’00 design and illustration) is looking for volunteers to help with the Haunted Mansion Costume Ball, a benefit for Thank You Walt Disney Inc., a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Walt Disney’s Laugh-O-gram Studio. Disney took Saturday classes at KCAI when he was a teenager — his only formal training in art. Davis said volunteers are needed to make decorations in advance and to help with set-up the day of the event. Depending on their level of service, volunteers may receive free or discount-price tickets. The ball is set for 8 p.m. Oct. 15 at Arts Tech Gallery, 1522 Holmes St. Tickets are $40 at the door or $35 in advance. Couples can attend for $65, and Laugh-O-gram Club members get in for $30. For more information, visit or contact Davis at

Expert on public art to speak Sept. 21

The Kansas City Art Institute community is invited to attend a lecture by Jack Becker, publisher of Public Art Review, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. Becker is founder and executive director of Forecast Public Art, which is based in Minnesota. The event is co-sponsored by Art in the Loop, the Downtown Council and the Municipal Art Commission of Kansas City, Mo. According to Porter Arneill, director and public art administrator of the Municipal Art Commission, Becker will discuss the “complex, beneficial and sometimes contentious role that art plays in the public realm.” To register for this free event, visit

“Art of the Chopper” discount available for KCAI students

The “Art of the Chopper” exhibition at Union Station continues through Sept. 25, and KCAI students are eligible for “buy one, get one free” tickets. To get the discount, students must show their KCAI student I.D. at the box office. According to station officials, the exhibition is based on the books “Art of the Chopper” and “Art of the Chopper II” by photographer and curator Tom Zimberoff. It includes 30 “rolling sculptures” along with portraits of the builder/artists and information about the science and art behind the machines. For more information about the exhibition, visit

Calls for artists

Bar Louie Kansas City, a new restaurant in the Power & Light District, invites local artists to submit paintings for an art contest. Entries will be judged by Bar Louie, and the winning entry will be scaled to fit on a wall of this new restaurant. All artists who submit work will be invited to an unveiling on Sept. 22, when the winning work will be revealed. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize. For more information including submission guidelines and an artist release form, visit The deadline for submission is 3 p.m. Sept. 12 at the restaurant, 101 E. 14th St.

The Shawnee Chamber of Commerce will host their 2011 Business Expo Oct. 6 at the Shawnee Civic Centre. The Chamber has partnered with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to sponsor the Expression Art Gallery, which will be on display during the expo. KCAI students are invited to display work. To be considered, contact Mary Taylor, the chamber’s senior vice president, at for the submission form, which is due Sept. 19.

The Kansas City Power & Light District is seeking proposals from local artists or teams of artists for a window installation competition. The selected installations will occupy 12 local business storefronts on Main Street between 12th and 14th streets. This year’s theme is “The Spirit of Giving.” Each concept should promote generosity and will be paired with a Kansas City-area charity. Works of all mediums and disciplines will be considered. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 26. For more information including proposal requirements, contact Trisha Drape at

P&M Artworks seeks entries for its first annual juried exhibition, “Home,” which will be displayed Jan. 14 through March 9 at The Writer’s Place, 3600 Valentine. Works can be in a range of media including painting, works on paper, photography, sculpture, glass, jewelry/metal work, furniture, textiles and digital/video and should respond to the theme (home). Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, professor and chair of fiber, will be one of two jurors for the exhibition. The entry deadline is Oct. 3. Submission guidelines, an exhibition prospectus, juror bios and more about P&M Artworks is available at

Art through Architecture, in collaboration with Missouri Bank, seeks proposals from artists wishing to be considered for the Missouri Bank Crossroads “Artboards.” Launched in 2008, the Artboards are exterior, double-sided billboards rising above Missouri Bank, 125 Southwest Blvd. The boards present commissioned images by Kansas City area artists, changing approximately every four months. It is expected that six artists will be selected to produce two Artboards each, to debut in January, May and September 2012. Selected artists will receive a commission of $1,000. Submissions are due Oct. 7. For details, visit

The City of Roeland Park, Kan., has created a public contest for selecting a name for the city’s new park located between Sherwood and Juniper south of 55th Street. The winner will receive $100 and will be announced in the city’s newsletter, The Roeland Parker, in November. Entries should include the suggested park name, inspiration for the idea and contact information for the participant: name, U.S. Mail address, phone number and email address. Entries are due Oct. 10 and can be sent to Megan England, city council member, at

The Blue Springs, Mo., Public Art Commission is seeking artists who would like to be considered by a selection panel for a six-month exhibition that will open April 1. The deadline for applications is Oct. 14. Artworks will be located on or adjacent to traffic corridors in four locations. Four artists will be selected to provide a work of art for the exhibition. Over the past six years, at least one artwork has been purchased from each exhibition to remain in the city as permanent art. Artists are invited to submit illustrations or photographs of pre-existing artwork for consideration, along with their qualifications. Artists who have a conceptual idea for this particular exhibition may submit drawings or images of proposed artwork. For more information, visit

Entries will be accepted through Nov. 11 for the 33rd Annual Paper in Particular Exhibition, a national exhibition of works on or of paper. The exhibition will take place Feb. 1 through March 4 at Columbia College in Missouri. The best-of-show winner will receive a purchase award and a one-person show next fall at the college. Works must be on paper or made of paper. For details, visit and download the prospectus.

Local KCAI-related exhibitions

La Esquina – Monica Dixon (’11 painting) and Marie Dougherty (’11 painting and creative writing) have work in “The Fascinators,” a biennial exhibition of work by six regional B.A., B.F.A., M.A. and M.F.A. candidates presented by the Charlotte Street Foundation. The exhibition, which runs through Oct. 15 at La Esquina, 1000 W. 25th St., spotlights artists emerging from studio art programs in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. According to Kate Hackman, associate director of the Charlotte Street Foundation, these “artists-to-watch” were selected from nearly 100 applicants by jurors Katherine Pill, associate curator at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and Francesca Wilmott, co-director of the Los Caminos exhibition space in St. Louis and assistant registrar at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art museum, also in St. Louis. For more information, visit Pictured: “Shrivel,” Monica Dixon, 2011, 26 inches by 14 inches, paint and pantyhose.

Greenlease Gallery  – “Between Thee & Me,” an exhibition in which artists respond to the Van Ackeren Collection of Religious Art, is showing through Oct. 1 at Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst University, 1100 Rockhurst Road. Artists participating in the show include Corey Antis, special assistant professor of painting, Bowie Croisant (’08 ceramics), Mike Erickson (’99 printmaking), Julie Farstad, assistant professor of painting, Jessie Fisher, assistant professor of painting, Rachel Hayes (’99 fiber), Jessica Kincaid (’92 fiber), Susi Lulaki (’75 painting) and Hugh Merrill, professor of printmaking. For more information, visit Pictured: “The Immaculate Conception: A Florentine Composition,” Jessie Fisher, 2011.  

Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art  – The 2011 Charlotte Street Visual Artist Awards Fellows Exhibition will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan. The exhibition, which runs through Nov. 27, will feature the work of Ricky Allman, Andy Brayman and Peggy Noland, lecturer in the fiber department, who received unrestricted cash grants of $10,000 each earlier this year. The artists will speak in the museum’s Hudson Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. Noland is known for her use of bright colors and patterns, full body leotards, a line of baby clothes made for adults and other apparel that questions ideas of normality and encourages risk taking. Her designs have appeared in fashion and music magazines including Elle, Vogue, Spin and Rolling Stone. Regarding her Charlotte Street Foundation exhibition project, Noland said, “I will be debuting a short film, an Antonioni homage. The film encourages building only to destroy and is the most masculine work that I’ve ever done, including some Terminator 2 style explosions.” Visit for more information.

Project Space – Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project Space presents “Strangers Like Us,” a two-person exhibition featuring new bodies of work by emerging artists Summer Farrar (’05 fiber) and Cory Imig. The exhibition opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 16 at Project Space, 21 E. 12th St., and will remain on display through Nov. 5  “This show considers how we define our families, how our families define us and how extending our definitions of family might connect us with ‘strangers like us,’” said Kate Hackman, associate director of Charlotte Street Foundation. Farrar presents a series of pieces composed of found fabrics, embroidery and paint that are inspired by dreams and events from her own life. Portraying a variety of characters representative of family members, friends and strangers, they also feature hand-stitched marks and imagery alluding to character traits, emotional states and histories real and imagined. More information is available at Pictured: “Mom,” Summer Farrar, 2009, embroidery and watercolor on silk.   

The Studio Inc. Exhibition Space – Marcie Miller Gross (’88 fiber) will exhibit recent work in “Concentrations” at The Studios Inc. Exhibition Space, 1708 Campbell. This solo show opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 9 and Gross will give a gallery talk at noon Sept. 10. The exhibition will continue through Oct. 21. For details, visit Pictured: “Working Parts,” Marcie Miller Gross, 2011, wedges, blocks and slabs. 

The Writer’s Place – “Extreme 3-D Interactive Blog,” an exhibition of zines and art by Eve Englezos (’03 printmaking), Brigette Poniewaz (’08 printmaking and art history) and Alex Schubert (’06 painting), is on view through Sept. 30 at The Writer’s Place, 3607 Pennsylvania. According to the show’s curator, Jennifer Boe (’01 painting), “It could be argued that blogs, with their ability to fulfill much the same role of personal expression, have made zines obsolete. It is our thought, however, that the products of the small presses have simply become that much more precious and personal. Zines have been embraced by a new generation of crafters and do-it-yourselfers.” For more information, visit

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