ARTNotes for March 11

March 11, 2013


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Calendar of events

March 12: Visiting art historian Mey-Yen Moriuchi, Ph.D., will give a talk from noon to 1 p.m. in Irving Amphitheater entitled, “Race and Identity in 18th and 19th Century Mexican Painting.” The program is sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts.
March 14: Mike Weikert, who founded and directs the master of arts in social design program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, will be the guest lecturer for KCAI's "Current Perspectives" lecture series at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus. His appearance is sponsored by KCAI's graphic design department. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 816-802-3426 or
March 28: KCAI continues its guest lecture series “Current Perspectives” at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus with a presentation from sculptor and installation artist Theaster Gates. Based in Chicago, Gates is committed to the revitalization of poor neighborhoods through combining urban planning and art practices. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 816-802-3426 or
Through April 2: “The Xijing Men: Gimhongsok, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Chen Shaoxiong” is showing at the H&R Block Artspace at KCAI, 16 E. 43 St. This is the inaugural North American exhibition of the internationally renowned Xijing Men and is a collaboration between the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas and Artspace. The group produces video art performances about the imaginary place of Xijing that was conceived as an idealized western capital, meant to complement three other directional capitals of East Asia: Beijing, the northern capital, Nanjing, the southern capital, and Tokyo, the eastern capital. For more information, call 816-561-5563 or visit

Ceramics professor to receive national award

George Timock, professor of ceramics, will receive one of the highest honors in his field March 22 during the annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts in Houston. Timock, who has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute for 40 years, will be given the NCECA Excellence in Teaching Award. Recipients of the award are those who have a career dedicated to the practice of teaching; have demonstrated excellence in their own creative work; and have highly visible former students in the field.
An accomplished artist as well as educator, Timock has twice received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts. His artwork is among the collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and other fine museums around the country. A native of Michigan, Timock earned his M.F.A. degree in 1971 from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and joined the faculty at KCAI soon after. During a 2007 interview with the producers of the PBS series “Craft In America,” Timock said he arrived at KCAI in the early 1970s and found students who were “intensely focused, wild and crazy. You couldn’t keep them out of the department.” Timock went on to say that that spirit continues at KCAI and “that’s why my colleagues and I are here —- for the students.”
“It is appropriate that the NCECA award coincides with George’s 40th year of teaching in the Kansas City Art Institute’s ceramics department, representing four decades of sustained dedication to teaching that has, incredibly, shown increased momentum each year,” said Cary Esser, chair of ceramics at KCAI.
Keith J. Williams, past president of NCECA, wrote of Timock and the award: “The NCECA Excellence in Teaching Award is for persons whose contributions to the field have been deemed as superior, unique and consistent over the years. (George’s) work in teaching has done so much to educate and inspire others in the field that it qualifies as superior and the (NCECA) board members all think this award is most deserved.”
Praise comes from former students as well, including Maren Kloppmann (’93 ceramics), who wrote this about Timock: “A most dedicated and caring educator, George sets high standards for excellence and expertise in his classes and in the department, while providing persistent advice that fosters progress. When talking to fellow alumni I am always reminded how many of us connected with his spirit of generosity and were affected by the wealth and depth of his knowledge.” Pictured: George Timock and ceramics students.

Sculpture department announces McKeown Special Project in Sculpture winners

Four students have received 2013 McKeown Special Project in Sculpture awards. They were selected from a pool of 11 applicants. Sculpture faculty selected the winning entries, based on the extent to which the application fit the published criteria; whether the proposal was meritorious and well written; whether the proposed project was viable, with the artist possessing the abilities required to execute the project; and whether the student has a good work ethic and a record of outstanding achievement. Each winner receives $500 for their project.
Recipients are Ben Gould (sophomore, sculpture), who will purchase tools and materials to continue a series of wood sculptures; Ian Cochran (senior, sculpture), who will purchase concrete and tools to execute a new project entitled “Concrete Chain; Molly Ryan (senior, sculpture), who will travel to New York to work collaboratively on a new video project; and Russel Hombs (junior, sculpture), who will purchase materials to make a new cast lace project.
The awards are made possible by KCAI alumni Byron McKeown (’60 design) and Deanne McKeown (’60 painting) of Sedona, Ariz., who underwrite annual awards in both sculpture and ceramics. Pictured: (left) “Convergence,” Ben Gould, 2012, poplar, red oak, maple, walnut, 78 inches by 24 inches by 18 inches; “Concrete Chain,” Ian Cochran, concrete, steel, 10 feet by 3 ½ feet by 2 ½ feet.

Ceramics department announces McKeown Special Project in Ceramics winners

Six senior-year students majoring in ceramics have received 2013 McKeown Special Project awards. They were selected from a pool of eight applicants. Award recipients:
  • Maura Wright ($400), who will purchase several glass domes and an antique glass Wardian case, which she will use to encase her small ceramic figures in her exploration of ornamentation and classification.
  • Jordan Kern ($100), who will purchase tulips for a series of flower vases she is creating for this spring’s B.F.A. and departmental exhibitions.
  • Brett Ginsburg ($349.99), who will purchase a vinyl plotter and decal sheets to continue his investigation of pattern, surface adornment and layering.
  • Maret Miller ($239), who will buy materials to create a glass display to hold layers of fired and unfired ceramic material beneath a melting block of ice for the 2013 B.F.A. exhibition.
  • Jen Watson ($685), who will create three lithophanes utilizing backlit framing devices and modified appropriated imagery of religious icons.
  • Cydney Ross ($181), who will purchase a special type of porcelain called Keraflex, known for its paper-like and translucent qualities. She will experiment with the material to create a structure that is illuminated from the inside to showcase its translucency.
“It is interesting to note that several of the projects involve new technologies for forming and/or creating images on ceramics surfaces,” said Cary Esser, professor and chair of the KCAI ceramics department. “This reflects trends in the field, and it’s good to know that students have the opportunity to pursue these goals. The McKeown Special Project awards is a fantastic program for students, and we are grateful that the McKeowns continue to support KCAI in this way.”
The awards are made possible by KCAI alumni Byron McKeown (’60 design) and Deanne McKeown (’60 painting) of Sedona, Ariz., who underwrite annual awards in both sculpture and ceramics.

Student updates

KCAI foundation student Zoe Chressanthis will exhibit work March 16-31 in the Arte Laguna Art Prize international competition in Venice, Italy. She is the only American artist among 12 finalists in the Special Section Under 25 of the Arte Laguna Art Prize. Her black-and-white photo "Fly Away Home" will be exhibited at the Romanian Institute of Culture at Campo Santa Fosca in Venice. Pictured: “Fly Away Home,” Zoe Chressanthis, black and white.
Maura Wright (senior, ceramics and art history) has been awarded a Regina Brown Undergraduate Student Fellowship from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. Three of these $1,800 fellowships will be presented during NCECA’s annual conference, which will take place March 20-23 in Houston. Wright plans to use the fellowship funds to travel to London, where she will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum, among other art venues. Cary Esser, professor and chair of the KCAI ceramics program, said Wright is particularly interested in historical customs and traditions, noting that in her own artwork, Wright often explores these ideas through sculpting the figure. She quoted Wright as saying, “Working with the human figure allows me to analyze the world around me. I create narratives that are as much a study of human behavior as they are a study of myself. Through examination of issues far beyond my own life experiences, I seek a better understanding of humanity.” Wright told Esser she is especially interested in visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum because of their comprehensive ceramics collection and their costume collection, which includes more than 14,000 outfits and accessories. The selection panel for the Regina Brown Fellowships is comprised of the NCECA past president, a student director-at-large and a professional ceramic artist. The organization has more than 4,000 members. Pictured: Maura Wright.

Alumni updates

“Transcience,” the debut solo exhibition for Jamaican-American artist Paul Anthony Smith (’10 ceramics), continues through April 20 at ZieherSmith in New York. A statement from the gallery said the show features “paintings and unique works on paper that speak to a search for identity that is at once autobiographical and universal. Acutely aware of his status as an immigrant artist, Smith was inspired by trips back to Jamaica as well as research into its history and that of the broader African diaspora. Interested in ideas of hierarchy, culture and identity, both as fact and nostalgic reimagining, his sources range from his own contemporary photographs to historical images and books.” Smith, who lives in Kansas City, also was featured Feb. 26 in the Arts & Culture section of the Huffington Post, which profiled “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know.” For more information about “Transcience,” visit To view the Huffington Post story, visit Pictured: “Tarmac#4,” Paul Anthony Smith, 2013, oil on canvas, 72 inches by 96 inches; image courtesy of Joshua Ferdinand (’09 photography).

Faculty updates

Hal Wert, Ph.D., professor of history, had an article entitled “Here Fly the Falcons” published in the March issue of the British history magazine History Today. The article is on the tragic flight of the famous Lithuanian aviators Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas. In addition, two of Wert’s Tad Waller stories were published in “Dirty:Dirty,” an anthology edited by Debra Di Blasi, who used to teach at KCAI and illustrated by Mugi Takei. The book is available for purchase on
Caleb Taylor, lecturer in foundation, will show recent paintings in a solo exhibition entitled “Near/Far” at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, 2004 Baltimore Ave. through April 27. Taylor is a 2010 Charlotte Street Foundation Fellow and recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation M.F.A. Grant. He has completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Urban Culture Project and Ucross Foundation. Additional awards include a 2009 ArtsKC Inspiration Grant and a ThinkTank Emerging Educator Fellowship. His paintings and drawings have been published in New American Paintingand exhibited at numerous venues including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Arts, CUE Art Foundation and Brenda Taylor Gallery. Taylor’s work is collected nationally and is included in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and University of Kansas Hospital. Pictured: “Crimson Divide,” Caleb Taylor, oil and acrylic on canvas, 20 inches by 16 inches.
New work by Laura Berman, associate professor of printmaking, has been published by Circulo del Arte in Barcelona, Spain. Five new prints by Berman are on exhibit in the gallery and are featured in the gallery's spring publication. To see the full suite of prints, visit also recently visited Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where she gave an artist talk Feb. 20 and was honored at a reception Feb. 21 in connection with an installation of her work at the Leu Center for Visual Arts on the Belmont campus. Entitled “Res,” the solo exhibition remains on view through April 5. Berman’s visit was in conjunction with the Nashville Print Revival, a printmaking symposium. For more information, visit Pictured: “Facing,” Laura Berman, 2012, relief print, 25 centimeters by 25 centimeters, edition of five, published by Circulo del Arte.

Calls for artists

The Songwriters Circle of Kansas City, a nonprofit local group, is accepting entries for its Young Songwriter Contest 2013. Age range is 15 to 29. There will be four winners in the High School Division and four winners in the Millennials Division (under 30). Song categories are Pop, Americana, Rock and Open. Prizes may include recording studio time, live radio appearance, concert books and more. There will be a winners showcase June 8 at the RecordBar. The entry fee is $5 for two songs. The deadline to enter is April 15. For more information, visit
Charlotte Street Foundation is seeking applications from curators based in the United States wishing to be considered for the position of 2013-14 Charlotte Street Curator-in-Residence.
The 2013-14 Curator-in-Residence will be awarded an approximately 10-month residency in Kansas City, including living space, stipend and program budget. They will be responsible for conceiving, producing and presenting a series of original exhibitions and public programs for Charlotte Street’s La Esquina gallery. The deadline to apply is April 1. For more information, visit

Local KCAI-related exhibitions

Red Star Studios – The Belger Arts Center, KCAI and Barry Friedman Ltd. are collaborating to present an exhibition of works by Akio Takamori (’76 ceramics) entitled “LUST.” The exhibition will feature newer work created specifically for the new Red Star Studios location in Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy Ave. “LUST” opens May 3 and continues through Aug. 24. For more information about the exhibition, visit
Takamori will have work featured in KCAI's Art and Design Auction on June 1. For more information about the auction, visit Pictured: “LUST,” Akio Takamori, 2012, stoneware with underglaize, variable height 16 to 20 inches. Photo by Vicky Takamori.
Red Star Studios – Cassidy Creek and Ryan Fletcher (’10 ceramics) will present new work at Red Star Studios, 2100 Walnut St., as part of the culmination of their time spent as resident artists. Creek uses hand-building techniques to create ceramic sculptures derived from observations of natural and man-made systems. Fletcher creates functional, sculptural and decorative work and has collaborated with area and national chefs hoping to inspire new dishes, presentations and experiences for chefs and patrons alike. The exhibition opens on April 5, with an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. For more information, visit
 Pictured: “Paper Plates,” Ryan Fletcher, 2012, porcelain, 5 inches by 8 inches by 2 inches. Photo courtesy of artist.
Belger Arts Center – “Adornment,” which continues through June 8 at Belger Arts Center, 2100 Walnut St., includes work by Shae Bishop (’12 ceramics), Ellen Green (’98 painting) and Misty Gamble, assistant professor of foundation. More than two dozen artworks will be on display in this exhibition of works entirely from the Belger Collection. Selections were made by Evelyn Craft, executive director of the Belger Arts Center and a member of the KCAI board of trustees.
Blue Djinn Gallery – Sid Laser (’77 painting) will show work at Blue Djinn Gallery, 1400 Union Ave., through March 30. For more information about the exhibition, contact Pictured: “A Pity,” Sid Laser, oil, 40 inches by 30 inches.
La Esquina – Lyndsey Griffith (attended), Grace Groathus (’07 interdisciplinary arts) Charlie Mylie (’09 interdisciplinary arts) will feature work in a group exhibition entitled “Focus: OK<->KC.” An opening reception is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. March 15 at La Esquina, 1000 W. 25th St., and the exhibition runs through April 20.
All Souls Art Gallery – Diane Abelson (attended) will show pastel paintings in an exhibition at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Art Gallery, 4501 Walnut St. The exhibition runs from March 17 through April 19, and an artist’s reception is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. March 22. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and by appointment on weekends.
The Warehouse Gallery – “Blind Trajectory,” a group exhibition featuring the work and process of junior fiber students, will open March 29 at the The Warehouse Gallery in KCAI’s new fiber building, 4218 Walnut St. The exhibition runs through April 21, with an opening reception planned from 5 to 8 p.m. March 29.Featured artists include Chris Bender, Emily Blaser, Brock, Shenequa Brooks, Hannah Carr, Krystal Jolicoeur, Emily Kenyon, Lena Klett, Lauren McLaren, Laura Millar, Max Rosenbaum, Sarah Wylie and Emily Young.For more information, contact Sarah Wylie at or 417-766-3692.
KCAI Stairway Gallery – Recent work by Kimberly Kersey Asbury (’96 painting) is on viewthrough April 15 in the KCAI Stairway Gallery, which is located in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus. The works are photo-based images from Asbury’s White Horse Dialogues and Subterfuge series. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about the artist, visit Pictured: Work from Kimberly Kersey Asbury’s exhibition.

Opportunities list

Academic Advising and Career Services publishes a weekly “creative opportunities” and career listing with employment, freelance, volunteer and RFQ listings for students and alumni. Download the current creative opportunities list here. Download the current career list here.


Upcoming events at KCAI

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