"Art as Magic: Be Transformed" is theme for 2012 KCAI Gala

16 January 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 16, 2012) — The transformational power of art underlies the theme of the Kansas City Art Institute’s 2012 gala: “Art as Magic: Be Transformed.” The event begins at 6:30 p.m. April 14 in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center. Tickets are $175 per person and may be purchased online at kcai.edu/gala. Proceeds from the event benefit the student scholarship fund at KCAI, a four-year college of art and design.

 
“The power of art is in its ability to transform your thinking – to turn an idea upside down or literally stop you in your tracks with its beauty,” said Georgianna Londré Buchanan, performance director for the gala. She is working with KCAI students this month to create costumes that carry out the theme. Other students are at work in the college’s animation department, under the direction of KCAI faculty member John Baker, harnessing the wizardry of digital media, which also will be part of a student performance at the event.
 
Guests are encouraged to wear white or include it in their black-tie-optional attire to facilitate full immersion in the magic of the evening, said Steve Metzler and Brian Williams, co-chairs of the gala.
 
“It’s always amazing to see what the students and faculty come up with for the featured performance at the KCAI gala,” Metzler said. “In my wildest dreams I could not imagine the kind of unforgettable artwork and overall performance experiences they are capable of creating, using a variety of materials and then enhancing these with sound, lighting, animation and digital effects.”
 
He noted that KCAI graduates over the years have gone on to careers in set design, costume design, lighting, animation and many other fields, using skills they developed while completing Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees at KCAI. Dreamworks, Disney, Pixar and Nickelodeon are just a few of the companies that have hired KCAI alumni, he said.
 
Williams said the gala will begin with cocktails and includes a gourmet sit-down dinner. After the student performance, there will be music and dancing.
 
“Perhaps the most exciting thing about the KCAI galas, which take place every other year, is that no two are alike,” Williams said. “This is the first time that we have encouraged guests to wear white or to incorporate it into their attire, and it will be exciting to see how the artists and designers use white fabric as a screen for various types of animated digital projection. Surprise and enchantment are the experiences we are aiming for, in what we know will be a beautiful and unforgettable evening.”
 
Metzler and Williams emphasized how important the gala is to the life of the college. “More than 95 percent of KCAI students receive some form of scholarship support,” Williams said. “Scholarships help make it possible for KCAI to attract and recruit the most talented young artists and designers from all over the United States. Anyone who supports KCAI is really making an investment in the future of art.” In alternate years, the college hosts an art and design auction, also a fundraiser for student scholarships.
 
Sponsors to date include: Mrs. Robert A. Marshall, major underwriter; Metzler Bros. Insurance and Stinson Morrison Hecker, underwriters; Robert and Phyliss Bernstein; Mary Lou and Tom Brous; Linda and Topper Johntz; Bill and Peggy Lyons; McCownGordon Construction; Ann and Dan Musser; Lewis and Sue Nerman; Bradley and Linda Nicholson; George Terbovich; Clyde and Katie Wendel, major benefactors; and Suzanne Eleanor Allen, benefactor.
 
About the Kansas City Art Institute
 
The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.
 
Contact: Anne Canfield, 816-802-3426 or acanfield@kcai.edu