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Garrett Peek

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Please introduce yourself.

My name is Garrett Peek, the former associate creative director of OMGPOP and current user interface designer for Zynga. I design and develop interactive
social games.

What brought you to KCAI and what was your work like
when you arrived?

I grew up a bit north of Kansas City in the small town of Kearney, Mo. The first time I came to KCAI was for a high school summer program. I came back several more times and really fell in love with the campus. I took extracurricular and supplemental art classes in high school and originally came to KCAI intending to go into painting. My portfolio consisted of traditional oil and charcoal studies, mainly figurative and still lifes. I always knew I wanted to be in a creative field and Kansas City has a very supportive and diverse community dedicated to the arts.

Any specific courses or professors stand out as
the most influential?

KCAI and the design department effectively taught me skills that up until that point I had never developed –– creative problem solving, “design thinking,” visual communication, typography, digital composition, production, presentation, creative writing and about a hundred more tactile skills. The curriculum was broad too. I learned things as diverse as book binding, poster and packaging design, Web design, photography, wood work and steel welding.

Every teacher was influential. Our art history and liberal arts classes were a great balance to the studio courses. But the two professors that stick out the most in my mind were James Reittinger (head of the graphic design department at the time) and Tyler Galloway (current department head). They were the main instructors my second year in the design department and set up a curriculum that emphasized creative problem-solving with a focus on communicating ideas effectively. Every project started with an idea and a problem to solve. That’s the core of creative thinking: Regardless of what medium you use, the thinking is always No. 1. I credit them with giving us the tools to adapt and thrive in any industry we applied our skills in.


How were you involved in development
of the Draw Something app?

I was the lead designer on the app. A small team and I worked to create the game in about six months while juggling several other IPs and projects. The game was originally based on OMGPOP’s Draw My Thing, which was a flash-based social game housed on Facebook and our homepage OMGPOP.COM, but it changed quite drastically as we worked to make it as fun an experience as possible on a mobile platform.

Have you stayed in touch with many KCAI alumni/faculty?

Yeah, I just had lunch with Tyler Galloway. Of course Facebook does a good job of keeping everyone within reach. There are a ton of KCAI alumni up here in New York and some of my best friends are people I met while at KCAI.

When was the last time you were back on campus?

May 2012, walking around with my fiancée and her family. We’re getting married across the street at the Simpson House this fall!


Do you have a favorite memory to share from your time at KCAI?

Time in studio was always a funny juxtaposition of stress and hijinks. First Fridays back when there were free kegs and wine everywhere were great.
Most of my favorite memories from the time are the friendships and social interactions that formed.

Any advice or suggestions for younger alumni out there?

Get internships in the industry you think you want to work in. Don’t hesitate to try a lot of things. Be competitive, but don’t be an ass hat. Partner up with positive and supportive people. And there’s not always a definite and clear path for your future, so be open to change but follow your intuition.

Any parting words?

Just one –– my favorite saying: “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” I think it represents working smarter, not harder. But it may be an excuse to wake up later than 90 percent of the world.

To read the complete interview, visit the Alumni Blog.


Graphic design class of 1978.



On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 6, KCAI alumni, faculty and staff will be gathering in Kansas City for a communal event at City Ice Arts. Save the Date! More details soon.




Kaelen Van Cura (’00 painting) presents a PechaKucha at the alumni gathering in San Francisco, which took place May 17, 2012.

Instead of hosting an alumni weekend this year, the alumni department hosted a series of regional gatherings across the country. Eric Dobbins, director of alumni relations, was joined by Jacqueline Chanda, Ph.D., president of KCAI, for gatherings in Denver, Houston, New York and San Francisco and KCAI faculty members George Timock and Cary Esser in Seattle. Many of these gatherings featured PechaKucha 20 X 20 presentations by alumni, tours of gallery spaces and plenty of food and drink to go around. While stationed in these cities, we were able to make visits to alumni studios and exhibitions. These experiences were documented and will be posted on the alumni blog at blogs.kcai.edu/alumni in the coming months.

Alumni gathering, Denver, Jan. 27, 2012.

Alumni gathering and celebration of George Timock’s 39th year at KCAI, Seattle, March 29, 2012.

Arthur Deatly (’81 painting), Alumni Director Eric Dobbins, President Jacqueline Chanda, Lisa Sacaris (’91 fiber) and Brenda Bunton (’79 fiber) at the alumni gathering in Houston, March 21, 2012.

Alumni gathering, New York, April 18, 2012.

Matthew Davis (’95 design) and Steve Macdonald (‘96 sculpture) at the alumni gathering in San Francisco, May 17, 2012.

Based on the positive feedback we received from this regional approach, we’re already planning our tour schedule for 2012-13! If you have any suggestions for next year’s stops or would like to contribute any content or entertainment for an event in your area, let us know by emailing alumni@kcai.edu





San Francisco-based online magazine Art Practical produces critical dialogue about the visual arts in the Bay Area. In March of this year the magazine shifted its focus, out of both inquiry and affinity, to the socially engaged art practices of Kansas City. This issue featured interviews with KCAI alumni Andrew Erdrich (’10 sculpture), Erika Lynne Hanson (’06 fiber), Charlie Mylie (’09 art history and interdisciplinary arts), Ayla Rexroth (’10 painting), Clayton Skidmore (’09 painting), Zach Springer (’02 interdisciplinary arts), Sean Starowitz (’10 interdisciplinary arts) and Jaimie Warren (’02 printmaking) and a guest review by Theresa Bembnister (’01 design and illustration). View the entire issue at www.artpractical.com/issue/kansas_city.




KCAI is interested in the work you do and wants to celebrate, share and promote it the best we can. During the past few months, Eric Dobbins, director of alumni relations and former KCAI faculty member, has visited the studios of our alumni in various cities across the country. Images from these visits will soon be released on the alumni blog (blogs.kcai.edu/alumni) and the KCAI alumni Facebook page (www.facebook.com/kcaialumni). The images below are a sneak peek of what’s to come.


Patricia Stegman (’74 painting) and President Jacqueline Chanda at Stegman’s studio in New York.


Shawn Brixey (’85 sculpture) in his lab at the University of Washington in Seattle.


R. Justin Stewert (’03 ceramics) during the installation of “Distorting (a messiah project, 13C)" at The Invisible Dog Art Center in New York.


Ky Anderson (’95 fiber) at her studio in New York.


Yvette Helin
(’85 sculpture) at her fiber studio in New York.


Ming Fay (’67 sculpture) at his studio in New York.

If you would like to have images of your working environment featured on our blog, schedule a studio visit by emailing alumni@kcai.edu. If we are traveling through your area, we would love to stop by!





“Construction In Strucure” at City Arts Project.

KCAI career services presents “Access Alumni Events: Connecting Students to Alumni,” a program that provides innovative ways for students and alumni to interact as well as provide professional practice for current students and alumni.

For the first Access Alumni Event, alumni were invited to jury student work for an exhibition at City Arts Project. The show entitled, “Construction In Structure,” was on view March 2 through April 21. Before the exhibition opened, the alumni panel visited the studios of the selected students to discuss their work.


Jason Lips (’02 ceramics) visits the studio of Hank Hafkemeyer (’12 ceramics).

To see more images from this project visit kcaicasestudy.wordpress.com.

If you are an alumnus interested in mentoring current students, contact Calder Kamin, career services assistant, at ckamin@kcai.edu.





KCAI has acquired a 10,000-square-foot warehouse at 4218 Walnut St., just north of the H&R Block Artspace at KCAI. The building will be renovated this summer to accommodate the fiber program.

“Students majoring in fiber have been working in several studios sprinkled throughout the campus, and this will allow the program an opportunity to consolidate under one roof,” said Jacqueline Chanda, president of KCAI.

“Since 1997, enrollment in the fiber department has been steadily growing,” said Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, professor and chair of the program. “For us, consolidating all of our classes and studios in this new building means much more than just knowing where we are physically. It represents a new beginning, an opportunity to shape our identity and to further expand on the existing curriculum. We have one of the best equipped fiber programs in the nation, and it seems fitting for us to now house it under one roof and maximize its potential.”

Located in the new space will be a dye-kitchen, print tables, a computer lab/resource room, a paper-making facility and a variety of floor looms, including a recently acquired, fully computerized Jacquard loom. Students also will have access to a sewing studio equipped with industrial as well as Bernina sewing machines and sergers, dress forms, digital embroidery machines and
knitting machines.




As the world increases its embrace of life online, the KCAI office of alumni relations does not want to forget the value of the tangible object. We also want to celebrate its three-dimensionality and best utilize its effect.

For the next alumni newsletter we will return to print, implementing a complete redesign of layout, content and purpose. Scheduled for a fall 2012 release, this newsletter will continue to focus on our alumni’s projects, exhibitions, achievements and accomplishments while offering interactive and engaging features that are unique to a printed publication. A new distribution plan also will be put into effect that will enable the newsletter to reach a wider audience in Kansas City and beyond.

Do you have a suggestion on how to make the print newsletter more interesting and effective? Or ideas on how to better inform, entertain, promote or advertise the work of our alumni? Share it with us by emailing alumni@kcai.edu.







Film still of Rita Blitt’s (’56 painting) documentary “Caught in Paint.”

Rita Blitt (’56 painting) will be the featured artist honored this summer at an annual artist tribute and benefit dinner at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen, Colo. Collections of Blitt’s artworks recently have been installed at Touro Universities in Vallejo, Calif., and Las Vegas, as well as at the Southeast Community Center in Kansas City, Mo. The new Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in downtown Kansas City, Mo., also will receive an indefinite loan of a collection of Blitt’s work.



Ming Fay (’67 sculpture) opened “Canutopia” at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J. His exhibition received coverage in the May 18 edition of The New York Times. www.groundsforsculpture.com, www.mingfay.com



Ellen Carey (’75 photography and printmaking) recently exhibited “Ellen Carey: Photography Degree Zero” at Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, Calif. Carey’s iconic and breakthrough work in Polaroid known as "Pulls," under her umbrella concept "Photography Degree Zero" (1996-2012), was highlighted with her equally compelling innovations in color with Polaroid.


“Family” by Bobby Scroggins (’76 sculpture).

Bobby Scroggins (’76 sculpture) was awarded the Thomas Mueller Merit Award at the 18th Annual Juried African American Art Exhibition for his sculpture entitled “Family.”

Akio Takamori (‘76 ceramics) recently opened “People/Alphabet,” a solo exhibition at Barry Friedman Ltd. in New York. For more information, visit www.barryfriedmanltd.com.

Michael Byron (’77 sculpture) was invited to participate in “25 Years of Talent,” an exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.

Mary Elmusa (’78 painting) was a featured artist in the winter 2012 edition of “Art Quilting Studio” published by Stampington Publications. www.maryelmusa.com

Thomas Maniaci (’78 design) created a 50-inch by 50-inch paint-by-number canvas of John Lennon for the third annual “Frame Your Face” fundraiser. Proceeds benefit Oakland Lighthouse PATH. Maniaci also recently was promoted to senior vice president of Sussman Sikes and Associates. www.frameyourface.com

Kata Billups (’79 painting) currently has an eBay gallery titled “Jesus as Social Commentator” at www.stores.ebay.com/ROCK-and-ROLL-ICON-ART-JESUS-ART through which she has sold more than 300 pieces internationally in the last two years. Her collectorsamous include: Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Trudie & Sting, Willie Nelson, and R.E.M. Her website Katabillups.biz features works in progress. www.rockandrolliconart.com


“Backyard Summer” by Jeremy Long (’89 painting).

Bob Brock (’79 painting), Philip Hale (’75 painting), Timothy King (’81 painting), Jeremy Long (’89 painting) and Michael Neary (’75 painting) of the Midwest Paint Group were part of the painting exhibition “Realism and Its Discontents” shown at Wright State University in the Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries in Dayton, Ohio. The exhibit will travel to Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., where it will be on view Sept. 14 through Nov. 25. www.midwest-paint-group.org, www.wright.edu/artgalleries/home.html

Rick Patrick (’79 painting) currently is teaching public speaking and storytelling to students at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and became a “Friend of Taliesin” in February 2011. Patrick is also the executor for the Luce Estate of the Time Life family and owns a hotel, the Harlem Renaissance House. He recently was married to Boris Matveev in Farmington, Conn. www.talkingstick.us



Nick Cave (’82 fiber) opened “Nick Cave: Meet me at the Center of the Earth,” an exhibition of his soundsuits, videos and photographs, at the Boise Art Museum on May 19 with a soundsuit performance by Ballet Idaho.

Jay Shinn (’82 painting) participated in “Post-Op”, a group exhibition exploring the influence of Op Art within contemporary visual art practice at Mixed Greens in New York. www.mixedgreens.com. Shinn’s 15’ x 30’ piece “Double Surge” was also on display at the corner of Prince and Mulberry in SOHO from July 15 - August 6. www.jayshinn.com


“Voltar Master Clone Crystal” cloned from 18,000 year old ice core samples by Shawn Brixey (’85 sculpture).

“Voltar,” an installation project by Shawn Brixey (’85 sculpture), is designed to clone fragments of ancient ice-core samples taken from rapidly disappearing glaciers that covered Europe 20,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum. Like "Jurassic Park," with freeze frames extracted from an ancient time-lapse movie, “Voltar’s” brilliantly colored ice crystals physically speak to the impact of global climate change, creating a kind of poetic time-machine constructed paradoxically from engineered copies of moments from Earth’s vanishing prehistoric past. It was created for the European Union’s Capital of Culture exhibition “Emergencias,” which was on view in Guimarães, Portugal. emergencias2012.net/en

David Jones (’87 printmaking) and Marilyn Propp opened “Industrial Reconstructions” at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery in New York. The work in this exhibition set up an ongoing dialogue and tension regarding our culture’s dependent but often uncomfortable relationship with industry (in particular those which impact the environment) and its conflict with sustainability and the world’s ecosystems. proppjonesstudio.com

Polly Ann Martin (’87 ceramics) was an artist in residence at Maryville College in Tennessee and exhibited work at the Blackberry Farm Gallery at the Clayton Center for the Arts. The display featured “Recent Work,” a collection of more than 20 of Martin’s wheel thrown earthenware pieces. Martin and her husband Frank Martin maintain a ceramic studio and live in Maryville, Tenn. She also has work that is part of the permanent collection at the Vatican.

Rita Doyle Roberts (’87 design) is doing graduate studies in illustration and screenwriting with the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America.


“A Tame Monkey” by Anne Austin Pearce (’88 painting).

Anne Austin Pearce (’88 painting) has been selected by the Charlotte Street Foundation as one of the 2012 Visual Artist Award Fellows. She will receive a $10,000 unrestricted cash award and her work will be shown at the H&R Block Artspace in an exhibition this fall. For more information, visit www.charlottestreet.org/initiatives/visual.

Marisol Deluna (’89 fiber) recently presented a solo fashion show in New York. The show included more than 40 looks of exuberant color worn by women, men, a few children and a stylish dog. For 15 years Deluna, who lives and works in New York, has been well-known for her distinctive scarf designs. She has created designs for various organizations, including the Girl Scouts of the USA and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. www.marisoldeluna.com

Maryann Hammond (’89 fiber) participated in “Art Takes Times Square” and an image of her piece "Glitter Dragon Flower" was shown outside of the NASDAQ building. www.wildpatternsbymaryannhammond.webs.com



Michael Dillon (’90 sculpture) received a public sculpture commission from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission. His piece entitled “Aileron” was installed in McCabe Park in Nashville, Tenn., this past spring. www.dillonforge.com

Eleanor McGough (’90 painting) had a solo exhibition of 26 acrylic paintings on panel and paper. The exhibition entitled “Reoccurring Pattern –– From Macro to Micro” was on display last winter at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center in Minnesota. www.mnartists.org/Eleanor_McGough

Bill Brady (’91 painting) opened a new gallery in Kansas City, Mo., in the renovated Telegram Building located in stockyards district in the West Bottoms.


Angela Dufresne ('91 painting) in her New York studio.

Angela Dufresne (’91 painting) was appointed to assistant professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Bernadette Torres (’91 ceramics) recently was appointed to the Kansas City Municipal Art Commission by Mayor Sly James.

Gregory King (’93 printmaking) had several paintings used as decor for the film Twilight: Breaking Dawn (part 1 and part 2). See stills from the film at www.gregoryking.net/visual-art/twilight.

Porcelain wall installations by Maren Kloppmann (’93 ceramics) and abstract paintings by Ellen Richman were featured in an exhibition this spring at the Circa Gallery in Minneapolis. This pairing of different materials and concepts showcases the common theme of architectural influences as both artists work with spatial and geometric compositions. www.marenkloppmann.com

Chris Kienke (’94 illustration) had a solo exhibition of work at the online Gallery Gray. He also was included in the Eighth Florence Biennale in Italy. www.florencebiennale.org, www.gallery-gray.com

The Arts and Recreation Foundation in partnership with the City of Overland Park recently received a $150,000 National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant to support the design of the InterUrban ArtHouse. Nicole Emmanuel (’95 painting) serves as founder and executive director of this project.

The facility will repurpose a blighted, partially vacant industrial property downtown and will include affordable art studios, not-for-profit offices, storefront retail opportunities for creative entrepreneurs, exhibition space, and areas for community arts programs, resources, education, and events. www.interurbanarthouse.org, www.nicoleemanuelstudios.com


“Beuys N The Hood” by Joshua Reiman (’95 sculpture)

Joshua Reiman (’95 sculpture) showed work in a solo exhibition at Hallwalls in Buffalo, N.Y., which opened May 4. www.joshuareiman.com

Tim Hutchings (’96 video) had a solo exhibition entitled “There and Back Again” at the I-20 Gallery in New York this spring. www.timothyhutchings.com

Nathan Fox (’97 illustration) has been appointed as the program chair of SVA’s new M.F.A. in visual narrative program. Fox announced the program’s launch during his presentation at this year’s Heroes Convention (HeroesCon 2012) in Charlotte, N.C.

Marcus Cain (’98 painting) has been selected by the Charlotte Street Foundation as one of the 2012 Visual Artist Award Fellows. He will receive a $10,000 unrestricted cash award and his work will be shown at the H&R Block Artspace in an exhibition this fall. For more information, visit www.charlottestreet.org/initiatives/visual.

Christy Georg (’98 sculpture) took part in the inaugural show at Volo Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M. Georg also was awarded a Lighton International Artists Exchange Program Grant from Kansas City Artists Coalition to help fund her upcoming residency in Norway.

Susan Metrican (’99 painting) opened her M.F.A. thesis show at the Stephen D. Paine Gallery at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston
this past spring.


“Jewel Room, Green Vault Dresden” by Raissa Venables
(’99 photography/new media).

Work by Raissa Venables (’99 photography/new media) was showcased by WAGNER+PARTNER, the Berlin-based gallery that represents her, alongside a compelling spectrum of artists at this year’s PULSE Art Fair New York. Venables was this year’s Distinguished Alumni Lecturer, speaking to students, staff and faculty at KCAI this spring.




Operators standing by at the Whoop Dee Doo “A goo-goo-ga-ga Gala.”

“A goo-goo-ga-ga Gala,” Whoop Dee Doo’s second annual gala fundraiser, took place in March. The gala featured a live show and telethon, games and prizes. Organizers included Megan Mantia (’06 printmaking and art history), Natalie Myers (’03 painting), Stuart Smith (’11 painting), Jaimie Warren (’02 printmaking) and Erin Jones Zona (’02 printmaking). www.whoopdeedoo.tv

Aletha Ocean-Forest Vengco (’00 painting) published five books for children in 2009 and currently is working on three more. She is teaching art to preschoolers in Sacramento, Calif., was recently named “Teacher of the Year” at Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology and was awarded the State Merit Award, Customer Service Award and Teamwork Excellence Award by the state of California. She is currently learning three languages: Arabic, Spanish and Tagalog.

Juan William Chavez (’00 painting) recently was appointed as a 2012 fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The foundation announced its new fellows for 2012 in the United States and Canada in April. The 181 recipients represent a diverse mix of scientific, scholarly and artistic fields. The winners were chosen from nearly 3,000 candidates. www.juanwilliamchavez.com, www.gf.org/fellows/17175-juan-william-chavez

Miguel Rodriguez (’00 ceramics) opened “So Sincere” at Trifecta Gallery Las Vegas, an exhibition full of his own unique versions of culturally shared images that he arrived at after spending a lifetime fascinated with movies, science
and pop culture.

Christopher Willits (’00 photo / new media) released a new collaborative album with the legendary pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Every aspect of this album was driven by the desire to create a space of opening and release. It is titled "Ancient Future.” www.christopherwillits.com, www.overlap.org

Jennifer Boe (’01 painting and creative writing) was nominated for the National Museum of Women in the Arts Biennial Women To Watch 2012 program. NMWA's Biennial Women to Watch program concentrates on contributions by female artists from across the country who specialize in a particular medium. The 2012 program focuses on artists working in the medium of fiber/textiles.


Detail of “Hollywood Rapids, James River, March 2012” by Genesis Chapman ('01 painting).

Genesis Chapman (’01 painting) was listed in the spring issue of Oxford American as one of their “100 Under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art.” www.oxfordamerican.org/articles/2012/feb/29/100-under-100/#chapman

Karen Kice (’01 ceramics and art history) has been named an assistant curator in the department of architecture and design at the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating from KCAI, Kice earned a Master of Science degree in architectural history and theory from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. She also has studied in the Ph.D. program in the department of architecture and urban design at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Alexi High (’02 ceramics) recently installed a new public art piece at the La Alma pool in Denver. The sculpture is integrated within the water slide structure and mimics both the excitement of the slide and its parallels to the water cycle.

“Love Songs & Monster Songs,” a new book by G.M. Holder (’02 printmaking), recently was published by Blackout Publishing. The book examines the effects of warfare on the people of the former Yugoslavia, recounting stories of Bosnian and Croatian refugees. Sean R. Ward (‘02 sculpture) created the cover art for the book, which is available for purchase at Amazon.com.

Renee Laferriere (’02 art history and sculpture) opened her multi-media, immersive installation called “Manifest Destiny” at La Esquina in Kansas City. “Manifest Destiny” is a life-sized sculptural pop-up book that fuses dreams, history, reality, folklore, art and music. manifestdestiny2012.wordpress.com

Waseem Touma (’02 ceramics) recently exhibited a new art installation titled "Possibilities" in the lobby of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. In the fall, Touma will be leaving the admissions department at KCAI to begin teaching at Sandia Prep School in New Mexico.

Cody Critcheloe (’03 printmaking), Shannon Michalski (’03 painting) and Jaimie Warren (’02 printmkaing) starred in the film “Dust,” a fictional narrative feature film written and directed by Adam Dugas and Casey Spooner. The project was supported by a Rocket Grant, awarded by the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art at The University of Kansas, with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. See the trailer at lookitnow.tv/dust.

R. Justin Stewart (’03 ceramics) has been featured in four exhibitions in New York this year. “Distorting (A Messiah Project, 13c)” at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.; “Distorting (A Messiah Project, 14c)” at the 37th Street Chashama Space in New York; “Illuminating Data” at The College of New Jersey Art Gallery in Ewing; and “(Un)Folding Patterns,” a group exhibition curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in Long Island City, N.Y.


“Saint Peter Claver Ministering to a Slave” and sketch by Marcus Brown
(’04 sculpture).

Marcus Brown (’04 sculpture) has completed a trio of realistic marble sculptures of historic religious leaders for St. Peter Claver Catholic School in the Treme neighborhood in New Orleans.

Frank Heath (’04 painting), who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., was among “100 Artists to Watch” featured in the December 2011 issue of Modern Painters.

Terrance Clark (’05 graphic design) and Will Staley (’04 graphic design) recently were featured in a story on the Little Rock, Ark., CBS news affiliate about their nonprofit design company, Thrive Inc. Thrive’s mission is to bring design skills to rural America and to “lift economic hopes,” according to CBS’s story. For more information about the organization, visit www.thrivecenter.org.

Drew Bolton (’06 photo/new media), Cody Critcheloe (’03 printmaking) and Dustin Maberry (’11 graphic design) recently collaborated on a music video for singer/songwriter Santigold’s song “Big Mouth.” The single was taken from the artist’s second album “Master of My Make Believe,” which was released this spring. To watch the video and see screenshots of Maberry’s animation and press links, visit dustinmaberry.com/santigold.html.

Lauren Mabry (’07 ceramics) currently has a solo exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kan. “Lauren Mabry –– Cylinders” features a body of cylindrical ceramic vessels. Her work focuses primarily on abstract surfaces applied to minimal forms.

In addition, Mabry exhibited her thesis work for her M.F.A. degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery. She also was part of a group exhibit entitled “Chromamania” at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and won a Juror’s Award at the 2012 Bemis Center Regional Juried Exhibition in Omaha, Neb. www.laurenmabry.com

“Piano Hands,” a minute fiction by Casey Hannan (’07 graphic design) published in the July 2011 issue of PANK Magazine, was listed as a reader favorite on literature blog HTML Giant. Readers were asked to submit titles of “the best story that you’ve read in the past few years.” Hannan’s story is listed with an impressive lineup of work by established writers. To see the list of readers’ favorites, visit www.htmlgiant.com/vicarious-mfa/the-best-recent-stories-the-results/#more-85472. To read Hannan’s story, visit www.pankmagazine.com/piano-hands.


Promotional image for “Long Fuse” by Robert Heishman (’08 photography and art history) and Brendan Meara (’04 new media).

Robert Heishman (’08 photography and art history) and Brendan Meara (’04 new media) premiered their new film “Long Fuse,” a feature-length film simultaneously focusing upon the very earth beneath our feet and
this moment in time.

Sarah Luther (’08 painting) was one of five artists selected for the “Generation Next” exhibit at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and was a winner of a 2011 Nohl Fellowship, which is considered the best local prize for
Milwaukee artists.

Chris Biddy (’09 painting) recently exhibited his body of work entitled “Kids” in the McCaffree Gallery at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas. The show consisted of new photorealistic watercolors of Missouri punk teenage girls.

Timo Fahler (’09 ceramics) opened his M.F.A. exhibition at the New Wight Gallery at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Joshua Ferdinand (’09 photography) currently is contracting with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to document a portion of the museum’s collection for various print- and Web-based projects. www.joshuaferdinand.tumblr.com


“Drawing Apparatus” image by Robert Howsare (’09 printmaking).

Robert Howsare (’09 printmaking) recently was featured in an article in Wired magazine about his art project “Drawing Apparatus” in which a set of vintage turntables are rigged to automate drawings similar to Spirographs. To read the article, visit www.wired.com/underwire/2012/03/hacked-turntables-drawings/#more-99450.

“New Nature,” a solo exhibition by Calder Kamin (’09 ceramics and art history), career services assistant at KCAI, was on view at Co-Lab Project Space in Austin, Texas. The exhibition featured work that addressed issues of synanthropes and urbanization, focusing specifically on its effects on animal biodiversity. Transportation and documentation of “Synanthrope Station,” a primary artwork in the exhibit, was funded in part by an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, awarded to Kamin earlier this year. For more information, visit colabspace.org.

Scott McCarthy (’09 animation) recently worked with Wirestone, an ad agency in Chicago, producing motion graphics and animations for the premiere of the Samsung Atrix 2 phone. He also recently worked on a motion graphic film promoting the new Beijing Bohai Innovation City that is to be constructed
outside of Beijing.



Colleen Burner (’10 painting and creative writing) recently was accepted into the M.F.A. program at Portland State University, where she will study creative writing starting this fall. Burner also was accepted into programs at the University of Washington in Seattle and Eastern Washington University in Spokane.

Josh Eithun (’10 graphic design) recently participated in KC Startup Weekend where participants were given one minute to pitch an idea for a new startup focusing on the needs of the Kansas City community. A team of four developers enthusiastically received Eithun’s idea, and his startup, LinkMinded, was launched in May. For more information, visit link-minded.com.


Installation view of “Beentheredonethat” (left) and “Finefornow” (right)
by Matt Jacobs (’10 sculpture and art history).

Matt Jacobs (’10 sculpture and art history) was awarded an eight-week residency at the Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts in Seydisfjordur, Iceland. The work from this residency was included in the exhibition ”Chop Chop” at Wonder Fair Gallery in Lawrence, Kansas.

Jacobs also recently was selected to be part of the Bemis Center Regional Juried Exhibition curated by Shannon Stratton of Threewalls in Chicago. The exhibition was displayed at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha.

Jacobs also was selected by Field Trip Publishing to produce an edition of artist objects this year. Fully funded by a 2011 Rocket Grant, Field Trip will enable locally-based artists to explore new possibilities in their own work by providing technical and conceptual direction in the areas of merchandising, promotion, and limited – edition multiple production. www.thatmattjacobs.com

Ashley Anders (’11 sculpture) was accepted into UMKC’s M.B.A. program where she will focus on entrepreneurship. Once she finishes the two-year program, she plans to start a business to connect artists, buyers and followers. She currently is working for artist Maralin Mahony and is in the process of organizing and curating a show at City Arts Project.

“We Will,” a poem by Shane Jezowski (’11 sculpture), was included in the South African-based online/offline periodical Itch. The poem was created through the interference of varying forms of digital mediums. With the use of restrictive rules, programs and parameters Jezowski allowed his computer to take free range over the fabrication of this poem. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Delaware working toward an M.F.A. degree in sculpture. www.itch.co.za/?article=695




Three individuals who joined KCAI in 1972 celebrated the start of their 40th year of service this year: Steve Cromwell, associate professor in the School of Liberal Arts; Warren Rosser, William T. Kemper Distinguished Professor and chair of painting; and Deborah Tinsley, associate librarian for visual resources. Eight others were honored for having completed 10 years of service.

Cromwell teaches history of photography, history of film, contemporary European art, Latino art of the 20th century, 19th century painting, aesthetics and art criticism, women in contemporary art, modern sculpture and American art since 1945. Formerly an exhibiting artist, his mixed media photographic work has been shown in many solo, invitational, group and juried exhibitions throughout
the United States.

In addition to teaching, Rosser has an active studio practice. He has exhibited his work at the Tate Gallery in London; the Kunstmuseum in Dusseldorf, Germany; the Galleria Del Cavallino in Venice, Italy; and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. He was born in Wales and moved to the U.S. in 1972, when he began
teaching at KCAI.

Tinsley started work in the KCAI slide library a few months after completing her bachelor’s degree in art history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Tinsley’s career has evolved along with technology. “When I first started at KCAI, I had a cigar box with a piece of glass over it for a light table,” she said. “Now the only thing I’m using slides for is to scan them for our digital collection.” Once everything has been digitized, she envisions a day when KCAI will deaccession its collection of 110,000 slides.

The following individuals have completed 10 years of service:
Laura Berman, assistant professor of printmaking
Anne Canfield, vice president for communications
Amador Castaneda, maintenance worker
Dwight Frizzell, associate professor of photography and digital filmmaking
Russell Ferguson, associate professor and director,
School of the Foundation Year
Brian Jones, custodian
Janice Martinez, security officer
Bronwyn McLain, Web technician
Brett Reif, assistant professor in the School of the Foundation Year
Michael Wickerson, associate professor and chair of sculpture

Thank you and congratulations!




You can post upcoming exhibitions to the KCAI alumni Facebook page, share project updates through the alumni Twitter handle or collaborate professionally by joining the KCAI LinkedIn group. All of these sites are maintained by KCAI but fueled by you. Don’t let one of the most important aspects of your time spent at KCAI go to waste. Keep the possibilities open, the conversation moving and the ideas percolating by connecting and networking with your fellow alumni online.

Follow these links to get started:
Web: www.kcai.edu/alumni
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kcaialumni
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kcaialumni
LinkedIn: Search Kansas City Art Institute group




KCAI is participating in the 2012 Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) a one-of-a-kind survey that explores the lives of arts
alumni nationwide.

Alumni completing the survey this fall will have access to a site to see how their educational and career experiences compare with alumni from across the country. They will be able to see where other arts graduates live, where they work, what they earn and how their arts educations have influenced their lives.

By verifying our alumni office has a current email address, our alumni can be sure not to miss the chance to share school and life experiences and help shape the future of arts education across the country and at KCAI.

Make sure that you are on the list by sending your contact information to the alumni office at alumni@kcai.edu




The Kansas City Art Institute has an online alumni directory. The directory is accessible only by alumni who have registered.

The directory allows users to connect instantly with alumni. Many alumni are not on Facebook or are are deactivating their Facebook accounts, so the online directory provides an easy way to get in touch.

You can find contact information of friends with whom you’ve lost contact or send them secure email messages.

It is easy to create and update your profile, which in turn provides KCAI with your contact information. Receive the e-newsletter, Alumni News and updates on upcoming events.

To sign up to use the online directory, contact alumni@kcai.edu. You will receive a unique ID to register for the directory, located at www.alumniconnections.com/kcai.

 

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KCAI Footer Image

© 2012 Kansas City Art Institute
design by Dustin Maberry

KCAI Ceramics Building photo from McCownGordon Construction, LLC
KCAI Irving Building photo from KC Modern