Sculptures by two KCAI students win Zahner competition

31 January 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 31, 2011) — Two Kansas City Art Institute students have won a competition to have their concepts for sculptures turned into reality this spring by the A. Zahner Company, a Kansas City-based firm that is internationally renowned for its expertise in the use of metal in the world of art and architecture.
The two works will be offered for sale June 4 at the college’s eighth biennial Art and Design Auction, a benefit for student scholarships at KCAI. Work to fabricate the sculptures is already under way at Zahner’s headquarters, 1400 E. 9th St.
The winners are Wen-Dan Lin, a junior majoring in ceramics at KCAI, and Skye Livingston, a junior majoring in fiber. Their concepts were selected from about 25 entries into the competition, which was held during the fall 2010 semester.
Entitled “Lady Martha,” the work by Wen-Dan Lin will be constructed of steel alloy and bead-blasted stainless steel. Ceramics may also be incorporated into the work. The piece will be 10 feet long, 2 feet wide and 6 feet tall. 
The sculpture by Skye Livingston is entitled “Undulation,” a word that describes the way the piece curves. “It's a wall piece 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide,” Livingston said. “It is being made out of copper and will be have one of Zahner's signature patinas, ‘Dirty Penny.’ The piece is woven in a method called ‘waffle weave,’ which produces a very dimensional grid pattern.”
This is the third time the student sculpture competition has been a part of the KCAI Art and Design Auction. Kathleen Collins, president of KCAI, noted that the idea originated with L. William Zahner, CEO and president of the firm and chair of the KCAI board of trustees.
“Bill Zahner came to us with the idea for a sculpture competition seven or eight years ago and worked with Michael Wickerson, chair of the sculpture department, to launch the competition prior to the 2005 Art and Design Auction,” Collins said.
“Our students rose to the challenge he set before them and have been elated to work with a world-renowned firm in bringing the chosen concepts to fruition. It’s been a winning situation for everyone: Bill has told me the students inspire his employees; the students learn from every aspect of the process; and the pieces have added excitement to the auction while bringing in significant dollars for student scholarships. We are so grateful to Bill Zahner and his team for making all of this possible for the college.”
Held every other year, the auction raises funds for student scholarships. Collins said more than 95 percent of students who attend KCAI receive financial aid.
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
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Note: images available on request
Contact: Anne Canfield, 816-802-3426 or