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99-year old KCAI Alumnus and Benton’s Student Returns to Campus

BransbyEric Bransby (’42 painting), who studied under Thomas Hart Benton while at KCAI, recently celebrated his 99th birthday on campus with faculty, staff and special guests. He returned to Kansas City to visit his alma mater and attend the opening of his solo exhibition at the the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kan. The artist was accompanied by filmmaker Jay Kriss, who is documenting Bransby’s professional achievements in the upcoming film, “One Last Mural: Eric Bransby and the Art of the Mural” to be aired on PBS. Pictured at top: Eric Bransby, the guest of honor, filmmaker Jay Kriss and Wilbur Niewald (’49 painting and M.F.A. ’53 painting)professor emeritus of painting; pictured at bottom: President Tony Jones and Eric Bransby.

Report on the Success of Kansas City Artists

MadelineLocal News Channel KSHB-41 Action News recently featured Madeline Gallucci (’12 printmaking), campus activities and housing coordinator, and Laura Berman, professor of printmaking, in a segment about the success of Kansas City artists following a report published in the Kansas City Business Journal. According to the study, the occupation “artists and related” is ten times more plentiful in Kansas City than the national average. Also, with an average annual salary of $75,740, Kansas City ranks second in the nation (amongst 106 markets nationwide) for highest average pay of "artists and related.” Pictured from top: Still images from the news segment of Christa Dubill, 41 Action News anchor, and Madeline Gallucci.

KCAI Regional Alumni Gathering at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

KCAI Regional Alumni Gathering at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

Friday, September 25, 2015

In conjunction with the exhibtiion Onward: Kansas City Art Institute School of the Foundation Year 50th Anniversary, the Kansas City Art Institute hosted a Kansas City Regional Alumni Gathering Celebration with Interim President Tony Jones at Leedy-Voulkos on Friday, September 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event was attended by over 100 alumni from the region with guests also traveling from as far as California, Montana, Arizona and Illinois to attend. 

KCAI Professor and Chair of the Foundation Year Steve Whitacre have thoughtful and moving remarks about the history of KCAI's foundation program, while Interim President Tony Jones followed with an inspiring message about his vision for the future of the college. To watch a video of Tony Jones' remarks from the event, go to

KCAI Receives $25 Million Donation

In its 130th year, the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) is honoring its past and celebrating its future, thanks to a              $25 million gift, believed to be one of the largest donations to a North American art college.

KCAI's Post-Baccalaureate Program Graduates its First Class of Students


The new Post-Baccalaureate Art Education Certification program at KCAI graduated its first class in May 2015. All five graduates are alumni of KCAI’s B.F.A. program, and all of them have secured full-time employment in public schools this fall. This certification allows them to teach K-12 art classes in any private or public school in Missouri and reciprocating states. The program has been proposed numerous times over the years and finally came into existence under the leadership of Bambi Burgard, vice president for academic affairs, and the student affairs department. Pictured from left: Shellie Kacillas; Jennifer Madrigal and Samantha Kroll.

The School of the Foundation Year Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

 art notes found

KCAI celebrates the 50th anniversary of its School of the Foundation Year with the exhibition "Onward: Kansas City Art Institute," now on view until Sept. 26 at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. This exhibition will feature over 60 artists from across the United States, who taught in the college's celebrated first-year foundation program at some point since its inception in 1965. In conjunction with this exhibition, KCAI will also host a "Regional Alumni Gathering Celebration" with Interim President Tony Jones in attendance at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center on Friday, Sept. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to all KCAI alumni. For more information about the alumni gathering, please email Pictured from left: "Heart Teapot: Internal Combustion Metamorphosis" by Richard Notkin (71 ceramics); "Animal Shelter" by Willem Volker (2013), neon, wood, found objects; "K.C. Way" by Robert Stackhouse (1996), watercolor and charcoal on paper, mounted on canvas. 

Art of the Car Concours® Raises $150,000 for Student Scholarships

On Sunday, June 28, KCAI hosted the 9th annual Art of the Car Concours® with record attendance! Nearly 7,000 people enjoyed seeing the 210 vintage automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, race cars and other unique vehicles from museums and private collections across the country that were on display on the KCAI campus. Marshall Miller, founder and chairman of Art of the Car Concours, has raised nearly $1 million for the college’s annual fund through this event over the last nine years. To learn more, visit Pictured: crowd shots from the 2015 Art of the Car Concours

2015 Studio Nong Collective Begins July 20

The Studio Nong Collective is an exchange of artistic ideas happening at KCAI on July 20. Four Chinese sculptors from the Guangxi Arts Institute will work on campus with their American counterparts: Jessie Fisher, associate professor of painting; Misty Gamble, assistant professor, school of the foundation year; Scott Seebart, lecturer in painting; and Leandra Urrutia, associate professor of ceramics at Memphis College of Art (MCA). These eight artists will visit cultural, artistic and educational institutions, working July 20-27 at MCA and then at KCAI from July 28-Aug. 30. During this time there will be public events held in conjunction with the residency, including workshops at Red Star Studios (Aug. 8 & 15), a visit to KANEKO studios (Aug. 19-21), a calligraphy workshop with the Asian studies certificate program (Aug. 26), a Current Perspectives lecture (Aug. 27) and exhibitions at Crane Yard Studios Gallery (opening Aug. 28) and Weinberger Fine Art (March 2016). For more information, visit Pictured: Studio Nong collaboration from 2013.



Renovations are currently underway in the Richard J. Stern Ceramics Building to repurpose the vacated “old kiln room” into a dynamic space that improves access to technology and equipment, enhances safety and provides additional workspace. This renovation will benefit the entire student body by increasing the availability of elective courses for non-ceramics majors and expanding coursework in industrial and digital methods for ceramics majors. Construction began in May and will conclude by late July—just in time for the Studio Nong residencies to begin. For additional information about the renovation, please email

DEVIATION - KCAI'S 2015 Art & Design Auction

On June 6, more than 500 people gathered on the KCAI campus to experience Deviation—the 2015 Art and Design Auction. The silent auction and the exciting live auction, led by a circus-ring master, showcased artwork by over 170 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of KCAI. The event exceeded its goal and raised more than $448,000 for student scholarships. The Auction Committee, led by Liz and Nate Orr, took the theme of “deviation” to heart and created a truly daring and dazzling event. Guests entered through a tunnel in the shape of a large mouth, which was followed by a busy registration area filled with actors in black and white Victorian-era costumes. Throughout the evening, attendees enjoyed circus-themed entertainment that included a woman dancing on stilts, a miniature strong man and a conjoined-twin vocal duo. For dinner, guests were served gourmet “TV dinners,” made by chef Patrick Ryan of Port Fonda, through giant "televisions."

View Photos from event!

In Memory of Steve Metzler

Steve Metzler Photo

It is with deep sadness that I have to inform the KCAI community of the death of Steve Metzler, chairman of our Board of Trustees. Steve suffered a massive and unsurvivable stroke, and passed away this afternoon. 

Steve Metzler loved the Kansas City Art Institute, and the KCAI community loved him back. Chairman of the KCAI board of trustees since 2012, Steve was passionate about the arts in all their myriad forms and appreciated the visual arts in particular. 

Since joining the KCAI board of trustees in May 2008, he has given unstintingly of his time and talents, never more so than in the last several months. He served as interim president of the college when the college’s previous president retired in August and continued in that role until I stepped in as interim president in December. 

In fact, when people have asked me why I came to KCAI, my response has been, “Because Steve Metzler called and asked me.” Hardly a day has gone by, since I joined the college, when Steve hasn’t been physically on our campus. He was a thoughtful, kindly presence among us, and he is quite simply irreplaceable. All of us will miss him, but as we think of him and honor the example of his life, I believe all of us will strive to give our very best, with joy and enthusiasm, to the organizations and causes closest to our hearts

Best Regards,

Tony Jones, CBE                                                                                                                                                                                  KCAI Interim President

 Give in Memory of Steve Metzler

Design Dash 5K / Tie Dye Run April 25th to benefit the Karen W. Gould Fiber Dept. Project Award

Tie Dye Run

Get registered today for the Design Dash 5K / Tie Die Run on April 25, 2015 at Shawnee Mission Park.  Proceeds from this event will support the Karen W. Gould Fiber Department Project Award.  You can also donate directly to this fund by choosing the Karen W. Gould Fund under "area of designation".

In Memory of Carl Kurtz.
Carl Kurtz
Today we have learned of the loss of Carl Kurtz.  He was a great man, a pure mentor, a principled friend and a nurturing professor.  We will mourn for him and grieve for his family.  He will be missed.


With that said, Carl taught most of us.  His lessons, his ideals, his methods, his stories and his voice live in each of his students, his colleagues, in the Art Institute and the very walls of our building.  Carl Kurtz embodied the intense search for truth and art that we are all striving for.  Let his legacy fuel us to make great things, to produce beauty, to reach the highest standard and to change the world. 
If you would like to give a gift in memory of Carl please visit
Join us March 26th, 2015 for the KCAI Alumni Gathering: Providence, RI in conjenction with NCECA


KCAI Bingo Night at Hamburger Mary's March 11, 2015


Invitation to Participate in Community Photograph for Carl Kurtz's Retirement on KCAI Campus February 9, 2015


Ars longa, vita brevis (Art is long, life is short)

Dear KCAI board, faculty, staff, students, alumni and Kansas City community at large,

As many of you know Carl Kurtz, an esteemed KCAI professor and colleague of over 40 years, KCAI father figure and all-around wonderful guy has retired due to a recent illness.  Unfortunately, his illness is progressing rapidly and Carl is near life’s end. Brett Reif, associate professor and director of the KCAI School of the Foundation Year is organizing a very special ‘thank you’ and ‘we love you’ from his KCAI family. He is asking that everyone – student, alumni, faculty, staff, dean, president and anyone else who wishes to show up – to meet on the KCAI lawn this Monday, February 9, 2015, at 11:25 a.m. for an ALL KCAI PORTRAIT on behalf of Carl Kurtz and his family.

Arrangements have been made for a photographer to shoot from a location near the lawn at 11:30 a.m.  We need you there!  The photo will be sent to Carl and his family to let them know how much he has meant to this community and to thank Carl for his life’s work.  As many of you may attest, Carl Kurtz has given a part of himself to this school and his students at KCAI and to anyone who has met him.  Even if you have not known Carl, or had him as a professor, his influence on this campus and his contributions are indelible.

Please know that you may send Carl and his family a card expressing your thoughts and you are also welcome to show a sign of your appreciation for Carl in the portrait on Monday. If you would like to send a card along with KCAI colleagues and students, you may drop it off at the Reception Desk at the first floor entrance of Vanderslice this Monday, and all cards will be delivered to the family this Tuesday February 10th. Thank you for your consideration, assistance and participation in this quick but symbolic effort. Through this gesture, Carl and his family will know how much he has meant to this community.

Thank you,

Marcus Cain, director of alumni relations & development

Photograph courtesy KCAI: (left to right) Lynda and Carl Kurtz with Arlene and Steve Whitacre.

Warwick Society Annual Trip Announced

We are excited to present the 2015 Warwick Society Trip to Philadelphia, PA.  This year’s trip will boast exclusive invitations to some of Philadelphia’s elite private collections, a guided before-hours private tour of the Barnes Collection, studio visits with local artists, and an optional excursion to the Brandywine Valley area to tour galleries and the Andrew Wyeth studio.  We will also be enjoying our stay in Philadelphia at the Hotel Palomar, located in heart of Center City, within the trendy Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, just steps away from popular Philadelphia attractions.  This year, our trip will also include art historian guides that will expertly lead us through
the city’s art and architecture.   

We must have a minimum of 15 people registered by January 26, 2015, so please let us know if you can make it as soon as you are able. 

Important dates to note:

January 26, 2015: Confirmation of Trip Attendance

February 5, 2015: 50% deposit due

March 19, 2015: Final payment due

April 30 – May 2, 2015: Trip Dates

May 3, 2015: Optional Brandywine Valley Excursion

KCAI’s interim president Tony Jones looks forward to traveling with you as explore Philadelphia’s finest collections and galleries.

More information on the Warwick Society and becoming a member.

KCAI will be closed for Holiday Break from December 20th -January 4th.

KCAI will be closed for Holiday Break from December 20th -January 4th.  If you would like to make a year-end donation please click on "Donate" in the upper right corner of the screen. 

Happy Holidays from all of us at KCAI!

In honor of #GivingTuesday, a global movement that invites people around the world to give back on Dec. 2, KCAI recognizes those who generously give throughout the year. No matter how, or when, you choose to give back to KCAI your gift impacts our students, campus, and the creative spirit of Kansas City. Thank you for believing in KCAI and for giving. 
Meet the KCAI Interim President!


On September 26th H&R Block Artspace celebrated 15 years!

The H&R Block Artspace at KCAI marked its 15th anniversary Sept. 26 with a festive, interactive celebration that attracted more than 250 guests.

Pictured below from left are Barbara Bloch, Raechell Smith, founding director of the Artspace, Henry Bloch and Bob Bloch. The Bloch family and the H&R Block Foundation have been staunch supporters of the Artspace since helping to create it in 1999.

KCAI Students Prepare Murals For Vacant Scarritt Elementary School

Check this out!

KCAI Students Prepare Murals For Vacant Scarritt Elementary School


Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the H&R Block Artspace!

Thank you to all the patrons that came out to help us celebrate the 15th anniversary of KCAI's H&R Block Artspace Friday, September 26th.  The evening consisted of great food, drinks, music and of course art!  What a great way to showcase the community and the H&R Block Artspace. 


Oct. 16th Potbelly Night to benefit KCAI

Thursday, October 16th be sure to grab your dinner at Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 4725 Broadway St, Kansas City, MO 64112, 25% of all sales between 5pm - 8pm go back to KCAI.


KCAI Current Perspectives Lecture Series Fall 2014

For more information or updates, visit



Congratulations Celina Curry '13

Welcome KCAI Parents

The Advancement and Alumni Relations staff held a WELCOME PARENTS reception on the lawn of the Advancement and Alumni Relations house. Nearly a hundred parents showed up after spending the day moving their student into the Living Center and attending orientation.

parents rec