KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 14, 2013) — On June 1, the Kansas City Art Institute will transform its campus at 4415 Warwick Blvd. into a one-of-a-kind art and party destination when the college hosts its ninth biennial art and design auction. The festivities begin at 6 p.m., and proceeds benefit the college’s student scholarship fund.
Guests will gain unparalleled access to the extraordinary work of notable KCAI faculty and alumni from around the world. Two hundred works will be offered for sale in silent and live auctions, along with classic 21st century design pieces acquired with assistance from local design and architecture firms. Open bars and a gourmet dinner are planned, and KCAI students will set up easels and pottery wheels around the tree-shaded, 15-acre campus to demonstrate art-making techniques.
Featured in the live auction will be a work created by world-renowned ceramic artist Akio Takamori, an alumnus of the college. The piece is being donated to the auction by Dick Belger and Evelyn Craft Belger.
“Takamori is one of the foremost ceramic artists of his generation,” said Evelyn Craft Belger, executive director of the Belger Arts Center and a member of the KCAI board of trustees. “His work is in the collections of notable museums around the world, as well as in the hands of many private collectors.”
Red Star Studios, in collaboration with the Belger Arts Center and Barry Friedman Ltd., will host an exhibition of Takamori’s works to coincide with the auction. Entitled “Lust,” the exhibition will feature more than 30 works, including lithographic prints created by Takamori with Mike Sims, founder of The Lawrence Lithography Workshop. The exhibition will be on view from May 3 through Aug. 24 at the new Red Star Studios location in Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Trace Ave.
Honorary chairs of the KCAI auction are Bill and Meg Zahner. Bill Zahner is a former chair of the KCAI board of trustees, and his firm, A. Zahner Company, Architectural Metal, is sponsoring a sculpture design competition among KCAI students. One student’s concept will be chosen for Zahner to construct, and the piece will be offered for sale in the live auction.
The event co-chairs are Mark and Kathy Donovan and Richard and Mary Wetzel. Other volunteer leaders include Marti McLarney and Pam Woodard, patron solicitation chairs; Liz and Nate Orr, new friend chairs; Dan Meiners, ambiance chair; Jon Taylor, design items chair; Laura Berman, associate professor of printmaking at KCAI, and Russell Ferguson, foundation professor at KCAI, faculty chairs; Summer Farrar (’05 fiber), Archie Scott Gobber (’88 painting) and Laura McGrew (’90 painting), alumni chairs; Tom Styrkowicz, publicity chair; and Hal Brent, finance chair.
“The KCAI auction is the place to build an original art collection,” Mary Wetzel said. “In addition, the party will be lively and fun. Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions is catering, and we’ll have DJ Ashton Martin, one of Kansas City’s hottest entertainers.”
“We are so thankful to our honorary and auction chairs and to all of the volunteers whose time and talents make this event possible,” said Jacqueline Chanda, Ph.D., president of KCAI. “We also are tremendously grateful to the KCAI faculty and alumni whose generous donations of work are the magnet that draw collectors to the auction.”
Chanda noted that auction proceeds benefit the scholarship fund at KCAI.
“More than 97 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid,” Chanda said. “Our ability to award scholarships is vital as we seek to attract the most talented art and design students from across the country and around the world.” She noted that many KCAI students stay in the Kansas City area after graduation, contributing to the region’s growing reputation as “America’s creative crossroads.”
Auction co-chair Kathy Donovan said “smart” technology will be used in both live and silent auctions to facilitate the process and enhance efficiency.
“Using technology in the bidding process is in keeping with our theme of innovation,” she said. “It also underscores the values that President Chanda has articulated since she joined the college in 2011. Her mantra is ‘innovative deeds for engagement and excellence.’”
The live auction will be one of the high points of the evening. The auctioneer will be Yve Rojas of Kansas City, a graduate of the World Wide College of Auctioneering and perhaps best known as a “Survivor” competitor in Nicaragua.
Auction tickets are $150, and sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, visit www.kcai.edu/auction
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
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Contact: Anne Canfield, 816-802-3426 or firstname.lastname@example.org