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CST: 23/05/2019 16:46:00   

KCAI Breaks Ground on New Liberal Arts Building

42 Days ago

Kansas City, Mo., April 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) will break ground on Friday, April 26 at 9 a.m. on a new 18,000 square foot building that will house the Liberal Arts program including Art History and Creative Writing, as well as all of student services. The opportunity to build the Hall, located on the northeast corner of 44th and Oak, is largely thanks to the generosity of donors who have given to the Space to Create capital campaign.

The Hall is designed by Hufft, a Kansas City-based architecture, interior design and custom fabrication firm. Hufft has a strong reputation as a firm that creates meaningful spaces and objects inspired by people and places while integrating designers and builders into one holistic process.  With a project list ranging from student unions to corporate offices to residential homes, their distinctive approach of creating a building that complements both the physical site and the surrounding neighborhood made them the perfect choice to design KCAI’s new Hall. Award-winning landscape architects Hoerr Schaudt will design the expansive outdoor spaces and Kansas City construction company McCownGordon will build the facility

According to Tony Jones, the Nerman Family President of KCAI, the college worked closely with the surrounding neighborhood associations and the tone of the Hall is less institutional and more residential. “We wanted it to be very beautiful and appropriate for the neighborhood.  From the very beginning we have pictured this as classrooms in a garden, a building that is a pleasure to work in and walk past,” said Jones.

This new Hall will redefine the KCAI student experience. Since all majors are required to take art history and liberal arts courses, every student will benefit from the spacious, light-filled classrooms with state-of-the-art technology for learning and a courtyard garden for socializing. Additionally, it will be the first time all of student services, including academic advising and financial aid, will be officed in the same building to streamline student operations and support.

A unique architectural feature of the Hall will be the entry portal on Oak Street. Visitors will enter through a portal adorned with panels, each engraved with the name of influential art historians of the past and present. The entrance will become a tribute to the individuals who have interpreted and written about art and artists for future generations. “Many museums and art centers celebrate artists by having their names of the facade - but no one has honored art historians - the scholars who interpret, explain and tell us the stories of those artists.  I think they deserve thanks and recognition” said Jones.

Matthew Hufft, founding principal of Hufft, said, "It is a true honor to be working with the entire KCAI team on this project. With four KCAI alumni currently on our Hufft team, we see firsthand the exceptional education KCAI provides its students. We believe this building will add to the student experience, as well as contribute to the already amazing aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood.”

The Hall will also be the home to KCAI’s new minor in Entrepreneurial Studies in Art and Design, which will prepare artists and designers to have an entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and the leadership skills to engage in innovative artistic ventures. A partnership with The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a program of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City provides KCAI students with unrivaled access to entrepreneurial courses taught by experts in the field.

Construction on the new Hall is scheduled to begin in late spring.  To see renderings of the building please click here.

 About the Kansas City Art Institute

Founded in 1885, the Kansas City Art Institute is one of the oldest and most respected art and design colleges in the United States.  Located at 4415 Warwick in Kansas City, Mo., KCAI is a premier private, fully-accredited four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Art in 14 majors.  KCAI’s mission is to prepare gifted students to transform the world creatively through art and design. Learn more at www.kcai.edu or follow us on Twitter: @KCArtInstitute, Facebook: Facebook.com/kansascityartinstitute and Instagram: KCArtInstitute

Kathy St. Clair
Kansas City Art Institute
9136340268
kstclair@kcai.edu

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