ARTNotes for May 20

May 20, 2013


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Calendar of events

May 31: KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies presents “The Instructor Exhibition” with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the North Campus, 1801 N.W. Platte Road, Riverside, Mo. The exhibition runs through July 29. For more information, contact Krystal Kuhn at or 816-802-3487.
June 1: The 10th biennial KCAI Art and Design Auction will be held on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd., from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Features include a live and silent auction, student art demonstrations, an open bar and a gourmet dinner. Art showcased in the auction will include work by internationally renowned alumni and faculty. Proceeds benefit KCAI’s student scholarship fund. To purchase tickets, visit For more information, contact Brigette Chirpich, special events director, at or 816-802-3463.
June 22: “Meet the Legends – A Conversation with Sir Stirling Moss, Denise McCluggage/Remembering Masten Gregory" will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Irving Auditorium on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd. The discussion will center on Moss and McCluggage’s experiences racing during the 1950s and 1960s, as well as reminiscing about their relationship with Gregory who died in 1985. Tickets to the event are $25 and available for purchase at
June 23: TheSeventh Annual Art of the Car Concours® will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the KCAI campus, showcasing 200 vintage, classic and special-interest vehicles from throughout the United States. The Concours is an annual event that benefits the KCAI student scholarship fund. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

ARTNotes to be published monthly through the summer

With school out for the summer and many people taking vacations, ARTNotes will be published monthly throughout the summer months. It will resume its biweekly schedule when classes resume in August. Remember that deadlines, as always for ARTNotes, are the Wednesday before publication date. The next issue of ARTNotes is scheduled for June 17.

KCAI celebrates commencement

Commencement exercises took place May 18 at Unity Temple on the Country Club Plaza. President Jacqueline Chanda conferred Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees on more than 180 graduating seniors, who were cheered on by friends and family. Richard Mattsson, foundation professor, was the processional marshall. Steve Mayse, professor and chair of illustration, was the faculty speaker. Student speakers included seniors Claire Genievieve Brankin (illustration and creative writing), Kaitlin E. Twiss (printmaking and creative writing) and Jessi Rae Wilson (graphic design and creative writing). Peter Sellars, opera, theater and festival director, gave commencement remarks.
For the event, President Chanda wore a commencement sash created by Brooke Peterson (senior, fiber). Since 1999, it has been a KCAI tradition for the president’s office to commission a sash from a senior fiber student to be worn at commencement. Sashes from previous years are distributed to senior faculty to be worn during the ceremonies. The sashes then join the permanent collection of the Kansas City Art Institute. (Pictured: President Jacqueline Chanda tries on this year’s commencement sash, worn with the traditional black cap and gown during commencement. With her is Brooke Peterson, who created the sash; photo by Geri Sanders.)

KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies to open Kearney Firehouse with ‘Spark in the Park’

KCAI’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies will be participating in “Spark in the Park” to kickoff the grand opening of the Firehouse Center for Creative Excellence in Kearney, Mo. The event, to celebrate their arts community and welcome KCAI to Kearney, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8 at the Firehouse, 106 S. Jefferson. Activities include tours of the Firehouse, performances by the Liberty Symphony and Mr. Stinky Feet, and demonstrations by KCAI alumni Leila Hybl and Kelsey Pike.
KCAI is the sole provider of art instruction for the Firehouse. Classes for youth, high school and adults begin in June. Enrollment is now open.  For more information and course listings, visit

Children’s book comes to life in foundation studio

“The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau,” by Jon Agee, was the inspiration for a spring workshop in the KCAI foundation program. Students in Professor Steve Whitacre’s class transformed their studio into a three-dimensional re-creation of the book. The book is set in Paris, where an unknown painter becomes an overnight sensation when his paintings imitate life too well by quacking, crawling and erupting all over the city. The studio was open during the end-of-semester exhibition and sale May 10-12 and again on May 13, when successive groups of students from St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School walked to the KCAI campus and toured the set after reading the book. That afternoon, Agee visited the studio and critiqued the project with the foundation students. Throughout the project, the students had Skyped with Agee, who lives in San Francisco. Co-teaching the workshop was Debbie Pettid, co-owner of the Reading Reptile, a children’s bookstore in Kansas City. Pictured: (top) Cover from the book “The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau” and (bottom) a scene from the book set up in Steve Whitacre’s class.

KC Symphony offers student tickets for $10

Violinist Gil Shaham is performing at 8 p.m. May 31 and June 1 at 2 p.m. June 2 with the Kansas City Symphony, and students can buy Choral Loft student tickets at the door or in advance for $10 (with a valid student ID). For information about the concerts, visit Also on the program will be Schubert’s Ninth Symphony (“The Great”). Shaham will host a free master class at 11 a.m. June 1. Students who are interested in seeing a classical master class are encouraged to RSVP at

Potbelly Sandwich Shop to support KCAI scholarship fund

A new restaurant, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, is hosting an “Oven Warming Party” from 5 to 7 p.m. June 3, at its newest location on the Country Club Plaza, 4725 Broadway. The event is open to the public. Purchase a $5 ticket at the door, good for a sandwich, chips and a drink, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales during that time will benefit KCAI’s scholarship fund.

Alumni updates 

When “Monsters University,” Pixar’s newest animated feature, opens in June at a movie theater near you, think of Nathan Fariss (’00 photo/new media), who works at Pixar as set dressing lead. Fariss, who has worked at Pixar since 2008, played a leadership role in the making of the movie. “My role involved not only getting my hands dirty with the production aspects, but also figuring out larger strategies and directing others to complete large parts of what you see on screen in the finished product,” he said. “It was the longest I’ve ever worked on a single project — two and one-half years — and it was incredible to see it go from sketches and storyboards to a finished feature animation.”
Fariss said his job at Pixar is, in some ways, like any other office job. “I work nine to six, go to meetings, have my work calendar on my phone and sit in front of a computer for most of the day,” he said. However, he added that in other ways his work is very different from most office jobs. “I’ve been regularly involved in discussions about how monster-y something needs to be,” he said. Pictured: Nathan Fariss holding the Oscar that “Toy Story 3” received; Fariss worked on the film.
Suzanne Klotz ('66 painting) of Mesa, Ariz., has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for 2013-2014 to create an art salon and run a collaborative workshop with seven Palestinian women and their families who are living in refugee camps in Amman, Jordan. The art salon, entitled “Seven Women’s House Keys,” will entail both traditional and conceptual art-making practices. Klotz is one of about 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar program in 2013-2014. A nationally recognized painter and sculptor, she has received three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Rauschenberg Foundation and Capelli d’Angeli Foundation, among others. Her work has appeared internationally in more than 300 exhibitions since 1972. Pictured: Suzanne Klotz in front of her tapestry painting, “Eye” (acrylic on canvas, beading, embroidery, 97 centimeters by 127 centimeters, Farhat Art Museum Collection, Beirut, Lebanon.)

Calls for artists

The Buchanan County Commissioners and County Prosecutor request design proposals from area artists, sculptors, landscape architects, historians, art teachers, architects or others interested in submitting ideas for a new memorial commemorating crime victims.The memorial will be installed on the lawn of the Buchanan County Courthouse in St. Joseph, Mo. It will be in an area measuring 30 feet by 60 feet, with a maximum height not to exceed 15 feet. All proposals are to be received in the County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, 411 Jules Street, Room 132, St. Joseph, Mo. 64501, by 2 p.m. June 15. For more information, contact Dwight Scroggins at 816-271-1480.
KCAI students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to exhibit and sell work at the UNplaza Art Fair, which will take place Sept. 21-22 on the grounds of All Souls Unitarian Church, 4501 Walnut St. The event is sponsored by PeaceWorks-KC. Applications to reserve a booth at the fair are due by July 8. For more information, contact PeaceWorks-KC at 816-561-1181 and leave a message. For information about PeaceWorks-KC, visit

Senior exhibitions

Escapist – Claire Faulhaber (senior, illustration) and Zac Jones (senior, illustration) are showing work at Escapist, 405 Southwest Blvd., through June 6.

Local KCAI-related exhibitions 

1522 Saint Louis – A group of artists, including Amanda Gehin (’06 painting), are participating in a new series of installations entitled “Adjacent To, Or Further More” at 1522 Saint Louis gallery, which is located at 1522 St. Louis in Kansas City’s West Bottoms district. The artists were asked to step outside of their usual methods of working. Each artist’s exhibition opens at a different date: Julian Freeman, May 25; and Gehin, June 21. The exhibition runs through June 30. Pictured: “Wallpaper Test (In Yellow),” Amanda Gehin.
All Souls Art Gallery –“Visual Inquiry,” original paintings by Jon Schroeder (attended) opens from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning May 20 at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Art Gallery, 4501 Walnut St. An artist's reception is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 24. The exhibition runs through June 21. Pictured: “Tequila Sunrise,” Jon Schroeder.
Belger Arts Center – “Adornment,” continuing 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 entirely from the Belger Collection. Evelyn Craft, executive director of the Belger Arts Center and a member of the KCAI board of trustees made the selections.
Red Star Studios – “Akio Takamori: LUST” at Red Star Studios in Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy Ave., continues through Aug. 24. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Belger Arts Center, KCAI and Barry Friedman Ltd. of New York and features figurative sculptures by Japanese-American artist and KCAI alumnus Akio Takamori (‘76 ceramics). The show includes work previously exhibited at Barry Friedman, along with newer work created specifically for the new Red Star Studios location in Belger Crane Yard Studios. The exhibition also includes lithographic prints that Takamori created with master printer Michael Sims, founder of the Lawrence Lithography Workshop. A work from the exhibition, “Sleeping Woman in a Red Dress,” will be included in KCAI’s 2013 Art and Design Auction, which will take place June 1 on the KCAI campus. Pictured: “Lust,” Akio Takamori, 2012, stoneware with underglaze, variable height 16 inches to 20 inches; photo by Vicki Takamori.
Red Star Studios at the Belger Arts Center – Jim Connell (’82 ceramics), Steve Godfrey (attended), Chris Gustin (’75 ceramics) and Kurt Weiser (’72 ceramics) will be part of the featured artists for “The Teapot Invitational” at Red Star Studios at the Belger Arts Center, 2100 Walnut St. The exhibition highlights the distinct processes and technical approaches of each artist. The exhibition opens June 7 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m., and runs through Aug. 31. Pictured: Kurt Weiser, “Windfall,” 2013, 9 inches by 7.5 inches by 3.25 inches, porcelain. Image courtesy of the artist.
Red Star Studios at the Belger Arts Center – New work by resident artist Jessica Brandl (’06 ceramics and art history), who has been a lecturer in the KCAI ceramics program, will be on view through June 29 at Red Star Studios at the Belger Arts Center, 2100 Walnut St. The studios are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Brandl’s exhibition is the culmination of her artistic residency at Red Star Studios. A statement from Red Star said, “Brandl visually hunts for present-day evidence of Manifest Destiny by referencing history and painting rural landscapes on pottery … (she) instills the optimistic attitude of Midwest while also highlighting the challenges of living in the region. (Her) work is a nod to the ideals of the past and a commentary on the dreams of the present.” Later this month, Brandl will travel to Newcastle, Maine, where she will be the 2014 Salad Days Artist at the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts’ residency program. Pictured: “Schooner,” Jessica Brandl, 2012, red earthenware, 18 inches by 12 inches by 2.5 inches; image courtesy of the artist.


Help wanted: KCAI student to assist Foundation Professor Jim Sajovic with occasional part-time work in and around his home and studio. Hourly rate negotiable. If interested, contact Sajovic at 913-383-2552.
William Hunter, an artist who lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood near KCAI, is interested in hiring a student who would make frames and stretchers. To learn more, contact Hunter at 816-606-8939.

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.