ARTNotes for April 2

April 2, 2012

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Calendar of events

April 2-5: ArtsKC Fund campaign week will take place on the KCAI campus and will include campus activities for faculty, staff and students and opportunities to participate in fundraising efforts. Managed by the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, the fund raises money to support visual and performing arts organizations, individual artists and arts-related programs. For a list of campaign activities, visit

April 5: KCAI’s “Current Perspectives” lecture series continues with a presentation by creative writing program visiting speaker Dave Kehr at 7:30 p.m. in Tivoli Manor Square, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave. Kehr is a veteran film critic who says he is doing his best “to transform the DVD column of The New York Times into a wide-ranging weekly essay on diverse aspects of film history.” He will be presenting Sacha Guitry’s 1936 masterpiece, “Un Roman d’Un Tricheur.” For more information, visit

April 12: KCAI’s “Current Perspectives” lecture series continues with a presentation by Kate Bingaman Burt at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus. Bingaman Burt lives in Portland, Ore. where she is an assistant professor and program coordinator of graphic design at Portland State University. In addition to teaching, she says she also makes “piles of work” about consumerism: zines, pillows, dresses, drawings, paper chains and photos. For more information, visit

April 14-May 12: Artwork by candidates for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Kansas City Art Institute will be on view in the H&R Block Artspace at KCAI, 16 E. 43rd St. The exhibition includes work from all departments at KCAI, including animation, art history, ceramics, creative writing, digital filmmaking, fiber, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. For more information, visit

Enrollment strong for spring semester

As of mid-March, 718 Full-Time Equivalent students were enrolled in the B.F.A. program at KCAI, an all-time high for a spring semester at the college. The fall semester also set a record, when 768 FTE students were enrolled. “Fall and spring enrollment were both at an all-time high,” said Ronald Cattelino, executive vice president for administration. Cattelino said it is typical for college and university enrollments to shrink somewhat in the spring and then rebound in the fall. He noted the college had met its enrollment goals for both the fall and spring semesters of the 2011-12 academic year.

New building expands fabric of KCAI campus

KCAI has acquired a 10,000-square-foot warehouse at 4218 Walnut St., just north of the H&R Block Artspace at KCAI. The building will be renovated this summer to accommodate the fiber program.

“Students majoring in fiber have been working in several studios sprinkled throughout the campus, and this will allow the program an opportunity to consolidate under one roof,” said Jacqueline Chanda, president of KCAI.

“Since 1997, enrollment in the fiber department has been steadily growing,” said Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, professor and chair of the program. “For us, consolidating all of our classes and studios in this new building means much more than just knowing where we are physically. It represents a new beginning, an opportunity to shape our identity and to further expand on the existing curriculum. We have one of the best equipped fiber programs in the nation, and it seems fitting for us to now house it under one roof and maximize its potential.”

Located in the new space will be a dye-kitchen, print tables, a computer lab/resource room, a paper-making facility and a variety of floor looms, including a recently acquired, fully computerized Jacquard loom. Students also will have access to a sewing studio equipped with industrial as well as Bernina sewing machines and sergers, dress forms, digital embroidery machines and knitting machines.

The building was previously owned by Kansas City Properties Inc. and most recently had been leased for storage by American Century. Pictured: The warehouse at 4218 Walnut acquired by KCAI that will soon become home to the college’s fiber department.

Three to be honored for 40 years of service to KCAI

A faculty and staff recognition reception will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. April 9 in the Vanderslice Reception Rooms, honoring employees for service to the college at the end of each decade of their service. Three individuals who joined KCAI in 1972 will be celebrated for 40 years of service: Steve Cromwell, associate professor in the School of Liberal Arts; Warren Rosser, William T. Kemper Distinguished Professor and chair of painting; and Deborah Tinsley, associate librarian for visual resources. Eight others will be honored for having completed 10 years of service.

Cromwell teaches history of photography, history of film, contemporary European art, Latino art of the 20th century, 19th century painting, aesthetics and art criticism, women in contemporary art, modern sculpture and American art since 1945. Formerly an exhibiting artist, his mixed media photographic work has been shown in many solo, invitational, group and juried exhibitions throughout the United States.

In addition to teaching, Rosser has an active studio practice. He has exhibited his work at the Tate Gallery in London; the Kunstmuseum in Dusseldorf, Germany; the Galleria Del Cavallino in Venice, Italy; and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. He was born in Wales and moved to the U.S. in 1972, when he began teaching at KCAI.

Tinsley started work in the KCAI slide library a few months after completing her bachelor’s degree in art history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Tinsley’s career has evolved along with technology. “When I first started at KCAI, I had a cigar box with a piece of glass over it for a light table,” she said. “Now the only thing I’m using slides for is to scan them for our digital collection.” Once everything has been digitized, she envisions a day when KCAI will deaccession its collection of 110,000 slides.

The following individuals have completed 10 years of service:

Laura Berman, assistant professor of printmaking

Anne Canfield, vice president for communications

Amador Castaneda, maintenance worker

Dwight Frizzell, associate professor of photography and digital filmmaking

Russell Ferguson, associate professor and director, School of the Foundation Year

Brian Jones, custodian

Janice Martinez, security officer

Bronwyn McLain, Web technician

Brett Reif, assistant professor of foundation

Michael Wickerson, associate professor and chair of sculpture

Pictured: Warren Rosser speaking with students at the opening reception of “Construction in Structure,” the career services Access Alumni Events exhibition currently on view at City Arts Project.

Faculty receive promotions and tenure awards

The Kansas City Art Institute’s board of trustees has approved promotion and faculty tenure awards to three faculty members at KCAI, effective for the 2012-13 academic year.

Misty Gamble (foundation) has been promoted to special assistant professor.

Julie Farstad (painting) and Jessie Fisher (painting) have been granted tenure and promoted to associate professor.

Ceramics student named winner of Regina Brown Undergraduate Fellowship

Emily Connell (senior, ceramics) recently was named a Regina Brown Undergraduate Fellowship recipient. Three fellowships are awarded to undergraduate ceramic students annually through NCECA, a national ceramics organization. Ariel Bowman (’11 ceramics) was a fellowship recipient in 2011, and Harmony Chapman (’10 ceramics) was a fellowship recipient in 2010. 

Connell has outlined plans for which she will use her award money, planning a trip to Italy in March 2013 to “see all of the sites and take part in Easter celebrations.” Her trip includes a visit to Venice to see the city’s world-famous mosaics; a stop in Bologna to see the body of the saint she chose as a 10-year-old when she received confirmation in the Catholic church; and a visit to Florence to see the work of Della Robbia.

For more information about the fellowship, visit Pictured: “Cast” series installation view, Emily Connell, 2011, mixed media. Photo credit: E.G. Schempf.

Art classes for everyone

KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies offers classes for students of all ages. Programs are outlined on the recently redesigned CPS website at “We would like to make sure that people know we serve youth (ages 6-14), high school students (ages 15-18) and adults, who can sign up for programs that cultivate both personal and professional growth,” said Tabitha Schmidt, director of Continuing and Professional Studies. “There are classes, camps, intensives and one-day seminars. We hope everyone will explore the schedule and find opportunities to sign up for a program that interests them.” Pictured: A young artist shows off his work during a youth painting class.

Student updates


Alyssa Lundgren (senior, digital filmmaking) was recently interviewed by Bread & Glitter arts journal about her senior film project, “Jesus Was a Moonwalker.” To read the interview, visit Pictured: “Jesus Was a Moonwalker” promotional poster, Alyssa Lundgren, 2011, digital film.

Faculty updates

David Overholt, a special instructor in foundation, and Jeremy Collins, who teaches in the illustration program, will exhibit work at the Forum at the Middle of the Map Fest, which takes place April 5-6 in Kansas City. Organizers are offering a discounted ticket price of $35 for KCAI faculty and students to attend the forum. To purchase tickets, visit No password or code is required. For additional information about the forum, visit

Jordan Stempleman, who teaches creative writing, recently received a review in the Kansas City Star for his new book of poetry, “No, Not Today.” To read the review, visit

Alumni updates

Max Crutcher (’10 painting) and Andrew Erdrich (’10 sculpture and art history) will perform with their band, Sneaky Creeps, at 9 p.m. April 10 at Record Bar, 1020 Westport Rd. The duo will open for The Intelligence, an In the Red record label band. There will be a $7 cover at the door for the show. For more information, visit

“Piano Hands,” a minute ficiton by Casey Hannan (’07 graphic design) published in the July 2011 issue of PANK Magazine, was listed as a reader favorite on literature blog HTML Giant. Readers were asked to submit titles of “the best story that you’ve read in the past few years.” Hannan’s story is listed with an impressive lineup of work by established writers. To see the list of readers’ favorites, visit To read Hannan’s story, visit

Garrett Peek (’05 graphic design) recently had an interview published in Business Insider about the popularity of the game app “Draw Something,” for which he was lead designer. The success of the app led to the recent sale of OMGPOP, where Peek was associate creative director, to Zynga, where Peek is now user interface designer, for $210 million. To read the interview, visit

Akio Takamori (’76 ceramics) will be showing work in a solo exhibition from March 8 to April 21 at Barry Friedman Ltd in New York. For more information, visit Pictured: “People/Alphabet,” Akio Takamori, 2012, stoneware with underglazes, variable heights. Photo credit: Vicky Takamori.

Calls for artists

Charlotte Street Foundation opens a call for applications from artists and writers for “The Frontier,” a 15-year anniversary project focusing on artist-driven pioneering in Kansas City and the changing nature of the city’s “frontiers.” The project will run April 20 through July 7 at Paragraph Gallery and Project Space and involves a series of collaborative, curator-led projects as well as a “living archive” inviting public input and participation. Two “Frontier” project curators are seeking applications for participation in their individual projects. Molly Kaderka (’11 painting and art history) is seeking applications from writers for a book of poetry and short essays inspired by Kansas City and the Midwest. Kaderka has a special interest in works that feature strong reactions to urban development and the homogenization of suburban architecture. Submit applications to by April 20. Poetry and essays should be no longer than 600 words. Erika Lynne Hanson (’06 fiber), technician/lecturer in the fiber program, is seeking applications for her curatorial project “Frontier: To Face, Now Rare” from artists whose works will evolve throughout the exhibition and incorporate video, sound, performance, installation and/or interaction. Hanson’s project aims to look at the notion of the frontier as a space that is continually evolving and being redefined. Send a brief statement of interest or proposal and a link to a website with work samples to by April 20. Both the book and exhibition will be on view during Phase II of The Frontier from May 23 to July 7. For more information, visit

Charlotte Street Foundation announces a call for applications from artists and curators for the fall 2012 and spring 2013 curatorial residency programs. Charlotte Street Foundation seeks to provide an opportunity for promising, ambitious curators to actively and thoughtfully engage with Kansas City’s energetic, diverse, emergent arts community. The organization has developed the program to help artists further develop their curatorial voices and practices through direct, hands-on experience programming a highly regarded, well-established contemporary art space. The selected curator(s) will be awarded full use of Charlotte Street Foundation’s Paragraph Gallery and Project Space for exploring and sharing their ideas. Curators are sought for two back-to-back terms of four to five months each, to occur between August 2012 and June 2013. Candidates may apply for one four- to five-month term or a combined eight- to ten-month term. One curator will be selected per term. The selected curator(s) will be awarded a stipend, a program budget and other forms of support. Deadline for application is April 30. For more information and application guidelines, visit

The Capital Preservation Committee in Topeka, Kan., has issued a national call for artists or artist teams to submit qualifications to design a mural commemorating the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. the Board of Education decision. The mural would be prominently located in the Kansas state Capitol. The deadline for submitting qualifications is 5 p.m. May 1. After reviewing the responses to the request for qualifications, the committee will invite selected artists to submit proposals that outline their plans for the mural. For more information, including details about how to submit qualifications, download guidelines at

The KCAI communications department invites students to create and submit 2- to 3-minute videos on the topic of “Why I chose KCAI.” Videos can be realistic or surrealistic and use (or not use) animation or motion graphics. A panel of judges made up of KCAI faculty and staff will review entries and select a winning video and a runner-up. The winning video will receive a cash award of $500, and the runner-up will receive a cash award of $250. In addition to being eligible for cash awards, winning work will be featured on the KCAI website alongside videos produced by professional production companies such as Brainroot Light and Sound and Proffer Productions and will be highlighted on the KCAI YouTube Channel and promoted via Facebook and Twitter. Deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. May 1. Submit a DVD (.mov files) to the communications office, located on the third floor of Vanderslice Hall. For more information, contact

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Sun Pavilion design team, including artist Tm Gratkowski and design director Tom Proebstle of Generator Studio, invites local artists to help create a sculptural installation in one of the pavilion’s shipping containers. The Sun Pavilion team needs artist volunteers to help organize and dismantle donated furniture and collage/install the parts on the surface of one wall in a shipping container. Volunteers with managerial experience also are needed to oversee this process on site. The Sun Pavilion is part of The Nelson-Atkins exhibition “Inventing the World: Decorative Arts at the World Fairs 1851-1939” on view from April 14 through Aug. 19. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Kurt Flecksing at or 913-406-8076.

The Benson Gallery at 4000 Washington St. is seeking KCAI students interested in displaying work for a three-month gallery installation. All media will be considered. Applications should include three examples of work with a brief description of each, an artist’s statement and contact information. Applications should be submitted to For more information, visit or call 816-729-6272.

Senior Exhibitions

Leopold Gallery –  “Disposable Pets,” a senior exhibition by Rachel Long (photography), will open April 13 at Leopold Gallery, 324 W. 63rd St.

Locust Studios – “Unveiled: Photographic work by Genevieve D’Silva,” a senior exhibition by Genevieve D’Silva (photography), will open with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. April 6 at Locust Studios, 504 E. 18th St. This is a one-night show, but the gallery will be open for Saturday viewing by appointment. For more information, visit Pictured: “The Second Mother,” Genevieve D’Silva, 2011, digital c-print, 20 inches by 24 inches.


Spool Boutique – “The Letter Project: Physicality in a Digital World,” a senior exhibit by Clair Rock (photography), will open with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. April 13 at Spool Boutique, 122 W. 18th St. For more information, visit Pictured: “Untitled (Letter From Aryn),” Clair Rock, 2013, digital photograph.

Local KCAI-related exhibitions

Bill Brady Gallery – “East West Shift to the Middle,” the inaugural exhibition, is on view through April 7 at the Bill Brady Gallery, 1505 Genessee St. Included in the exhibition is work by Brian Fahlstrom (’00 painting) and Jaimie Warren (’02 printmaking). For more information, visit

City Arts Projects – “Construction in Structure,” an exhibition of student work selected by a panel of KCAI alumni, is now on display through April 21. The exhibit is a part of the KCAI career services Access Alumni Events. A reception is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. April 6. The alumni curator panel includes Matt Bollinger (’03 painting), Erika Hanson (’06 fiber), Justin Gainan (’04 fiber), Amelia Ishmael (’04 photo/new media) (’09 art history) and Jason Lips (’02 ceramics). Exhibiting students include Andrew Ordonez (junior, painting), Ashley Ariel Proski (junior, photography), Ben Harle (senior, ceramics and art history), Bradley Kyle Lewis (senior, painting and art history), Caranne Camerena (senior, painting), Emily Connell (senior, ceramics), Fredrick Vorder-Bruegge (junior, painting), Hank Hafkemeyer (senior, ceramics), Julian Chams (senior, painting), Julian Stropes (sophomore, painting), Katy McRoberts (senior, fiber and CASL), Lauren Sobchak (junior, fiber and CASL), Madeline Gallucci (senior, printmaking), Maret Miller (junior, ceramics), Marianne Laury (senior, sculpture and CASL), Molly Ryan (junior, sculpture) Ashley Lugo (senior, fiber) and Zachary Miley (junior, illustration). City Arts Project, 2015 Campbell St., is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday or by appointment. Pictured: "Engulfing the Pigeon," Julian Chams, 2011, inkjet print, 20 inches by 30 inches.


Cultural Arts Center at MCC-Longview – “The Presentation Imperative: Part 2” is on view at MCC-Longview’s Cultural Arts Center Gallery, 500 S.W. Longview Rd., Lee’s Summit, Mo. The exhibition is an exploration of the cultural use of visual dynamics as they relate to substantial and pragmatic objects and needs. KCAI alumni included in the exhibition are Todd Christiansen (’11 painting); Peter Granados (’11 painting); Andrew Lyles (’10 painting); Amanda Martinez (’10 painting); Jaclyn Senne (’11 painting); Blake Sidebottom (’11 painting); and Kate Smithson (’11 painting). Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Pictured: “Uranium,” Peter Granados, 2011, acrylic on wood, 48 inches by 30 inches.

Greenlease Gallery – “Plainsight, Plainspoken” is on view through May 12 at Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst University, 1100 Rockhurst Road. The exhibition features works by Corey Antis, special assistant professor of painting, and Anna Neighbor, both of whom invite the viewer to consider how material, time and experience can be engaged while viewing these works. The gallery is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, contact Greenlease Gallery Director Anne Pearce (’88 painting) at

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art – “Wilbur Niewald: The Studio Portrait” is now showing at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Primarily known for his plein air landscapes, Kansas City-based painter Wilbur Niewald (B.F.A. ’49 and M.F.A. ’53 painting), professor emeritus of painting, also paints portraits in his studio. This exhibition features 14 portraits by Niewald dating from 1971 to 2011 and will remain on view through June 17. A podcast of KCAI President Jacqueline Chanda, Ph.D., talking with Wilbur Niewald about the exhibition and Niewald’s long association with KCAI is featured on the Kemper’s website. To listen to the podcast, visit

La Esquina – “The Speakeasy” opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. April 6 at La Esquina, 1000 W. 25th St. Organized by Sean Starowitz (’10 interdisciplinary arts) and Andrew Erdrich (’10 sculpture and art history), the exhibition is an expansive, participatory, six-week project. It will function as an “evolving, experimental temporary cultural center,” according to Sartowitz and Erdich, featuring a bar serving sandwiches, coffee and drinks that will double as a podium for lectures, a communal table for meals and conversations, a reading and research room, display areas and space for creating. The exhibition will run through May 13. For more information, visit

The Late Show Gallery – “Mélange” opens with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. April 6 at The Late Show Gallery, 1600 Cherry St. The exhibit brings together artists new to The Late Show including KCAI’s Emily Connell (senior, ceramics), and Hannah Lodwick (junior, painting). Connell’s work features found reference books, often religious texts, encased page-by-page in ceramic molds, ultimately creating a reliquary shell containing the ashes of the book within. Lodwick’s work articulates the known and recognizable of the figure through layers of transparency and deterioration of the form. The exhibit will be on view through April 28. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or by appointment. For more information, visit Pictured: “Funk & Wagnall’s New Standard Encyclopedia Vol. XI, 4/4,” Emily Connell, 2011, porcelain, plaster, ashes of burnt book, 6.5 inches by 8 inches by 4 inches.

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center – “Vanguards and Visionaries” is on view through April 21 at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. The exhibition is curated by Sonie Joi Ruffin in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the UMKC Women’s Center and honors a selection of local female artists who have helped shape the visual arts landscape of Kansas City. Works by Karen McCoy, professor of sculpture, Jessica Kincaid (’92 fiber) and Rita Blitt, who studied with Wilbur Niewald, professor emeritus of painting at KCAI, are featured. Also included in the exhibition are artists Philomene Bennett, Jane Booth, Shea Gordon-Festoff, Janet Kuemmerlein and Cheryl Toh. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, visit

Undergrads Underground – “Parts” will open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. April 6 at Undergrads Underground, the KCAI student exhibition space at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. The exhibition features work by Autumn Randell (senior, printmaking) that explores anxiety caused by ideas of death and how these ideas affect the artist. The exhibition will be on view through April 28. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, visit Pictured: “Torso No. 4,” Autumn Randell, 2012, charcoal, 24 inches by 36 inches.



Upcoming events at KCAI

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