KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 12, 2010) — The Kansas City Art Institute, a four-year college of art and design, is celebrating its 125th anniversary by announcing the launch of a four-track major in digital media. Areas of concentration will include 3-D design and modeling, electronic game design art, motion graphics and visual effects. The college, founded in 1885, will observe its quasquicentennial throughout 2010.
“These areas have become central to wide-ranging fields of cultural production in contemporary society,” said Kathleen Collins, president of KCAI. “In introducing these programs we are responding to the interests of students and anticipating continued marketplace demand for artists and designers who have the technical skills to advance in these areas as well as strong conceptual foundation for their work.”
Collins noted that KCAI will now offer majors in 13 programs: animation, art history, ceramics, creative writing, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. All students complete a rigorous liberal arts curriculum in addition to fulfilling the required complement of studio hours.
Students who enroll as freshman at KCAI this fall will be eligible to pursue the new digital media major as sophomores. All students at the college spend their first year in the School of the Foundation Year before declaring a major. Those who enter the digital media major will follow a shared curriculum as sophomores before embarking on one of the four areas of concentration within that particular major.
Mark Salmon, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at KCAI, said the digital media department will provide students with a grounding in the fundamental skills, concepts, technologies and aesthetic principles related to professional practice in the four areas of concentration.
He announced that Emmy Award-winner Richard Welnowski will serve as curriculum coordinator, adjunct faculty member and technology advisor for the new digital media program. In addition to a 1990 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievements in Special Effects for his work on the PBS film “The Orchestra,” Welnowski served as technical director and visual effects supervisor for the film “Kafka,” which won a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1992. He was the real-time compositing visual effects supervisor for the Nickelodeon Network series “Lazy Town,” which won a BAFTA Award in 2006, and served as executive producer and technical director for the 2007 feature film “No Network.” He served as director of photography for the 2008 National Geographic television series “Day Under Fire” and was technical director for the IMAX movie “We the People.”
Salmon noted that digital media graduates will be prepared to pursue career opportunities in television and film, Web site design, instructional and educational videos, promotional support for individuals, corporations and other institutions, game design, advertising, videos for kiosks and other point-of-contact or point-of-purchase venues and public information displays.
“The possibilities are virtually without limit,” Salmon said.
Salmon noted that all students at the college prepare for career opportunities by completing a series of professional development workshops and seminars that begin as early as the sophomore year.
“The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is one of the most versatile degrees in terms of preparation not only for careers but for life,” Salmon said.
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. KCAI also 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. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.
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