Fall 2014

The Kansas City Art Institute is pleased to announce the fall 2014 lineup of artists, designers and scholars who will speak as part of the college's "Current Perspectives" series.

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. Thursdays in Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

Fall 2014

Sept. 11: Julie Malen

Julie Malen collages photographs with natural fragments and cultural debris in mixed media installations to create the dizzying feeling of moving through many places and histories at once. She completed her B.F.A. degree at the Kansas City Art Institute in 2009 and received an M.F.A. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Paragraph Gallery in Kansas City, Mo.; The Clay Studio in Philadelphia; and the Museum of International Ceramic Art in Middelfart, Denmark. 

Malen has participated in numerous artist residencies, including the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project in Kansas City; the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt.; Mildred’s Lane in Narrowsburg, N.Y.; the International Ceramics Research Center in Skaelskor, Denmark; and The International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemét, Hungary. She is a fall semester 2014 instructor for the Kansas City Art Institute ceramics department and has been awarded a residency at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colo. for winter 2015.
Pictured: "Erratic Boulders;" Julie Malen; 2014 installation; ink jet prints on canvas, ceramic, granite, foam, wood, video, ready-mades; 10 inches by 21 inches by 10 inches.
Artist's website

Sept. 18: David Everitt Howe

David Everitt Howe is a Brooklyn-based independent critic and curator. He received a B.F.A. degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and an M.A. degree in modern art from Columbia University. His recent curated performances, exhibitions and screenings include "Antifreeze" at Abrons Arts Center (2014); Julie Zando and Abigail Child at MoMA PS1 (2013); Derek Jarman's "Blue" at Judson Church (2013); Einat Amir and Jonathan VanDyke for Performa 09 and 13, respectively; Yve Laris Cohen's "Duet" and Bryan Zanisnik's "Every Inch a Man" at Abrons Arts Center (2011); "Chancing It" at 47 Canal (2011); and Paul Branca's "Waitings" at Scaramouche (2011).

Howe's writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Art Papers, Art in America, Flash Art International, Modern Painters, Paper Ponument, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, Afterall and ArtReview, where he is a contributing editor.

Howe is a curator for the New York Performance Artists Collective, where he is working on a project with Dynasty Handbag at The Kitchen; and also at Participant Inc, where he is organizing a solo exhibition of new work by Emily Roysdon, opening in January.
Pictured: David Everitt Howe

Sept. 25: Karyn Olivier

Karyn Olivier, born in Trinidad and Tobago, received her M.F.A. degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art and her B.A. degree at Dartmouth College. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Gwangju and Busan Biennials in Korea; World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Dakar, Senegal; the Wanas Foundation in Sweden; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Whitney Museum of Art at Altria, New York; MoMA P.S.1 in New York; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston; The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and the SculptureCenter in New York. Olivier is the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, the William H. Johnson Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award and a Creative Capital Foundation grant.
Pictured: "Slavery and Hot Sauce," Karyn Olivier, 2010.
Artist's website

Oct. 2: Marilyn Lysohir

"Victor Babu," a new documentary produced by Marilyn Lysohir, will be screened, and Lysohir will discuss the film.

Babu, who taught in the KCAI ceramics department from 1968 to 2001, is an important figure in contemporary ceramics. This film offers a rare glimpse into the retired professor’s special world of art and philosophy. He is well known for his teaching and for his large, ornately decorated porcelain wares, which exhibit exquisite beauty and technical virtuosity. The film documents Babu working in his studio in 1993 and discussing his completed chargers on display at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 2008.
The film was shot and produced by Marilyn Lysohir, who hails from Moscow, Idaho. Lysohir is an artist who uses clay as her preferred medium. Her monumental sculptures and installations can be seen in major ceramic publications and collections. She is also the founder and owner of Cowgirl Chocolates, based in Idaho and marketed in the United States, Canada and Europe. She graduated from Ohio Northern University and holds an M.F.A. degree from Washington State University. Lysohir has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, New York State College at Alfred, Ohio State University, University of Idaho and WSU. 
Pictured: Marilyn Lysohir's Cowgirl Chocolates promotion – Marilyn Lysohir, Head Cowgirl
Artist's website

Oct. 9: Alejandro Thornton

Alejandro Thornton was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and graduated from the National School of Fine Arts. He explores the conventions of language and communication in his work, creating graphic pieces that revolve around word and image. Thornton's work has been featured in a number of solo shows in Argentina and Chile and has received various awards internationally. 

Pictured: "A#22," Alejandro Thornton, 2011, acrylic, 59.1 inches by 59.1 inches. 
Artist's website



Oct. 16
: Helen O'Leary

Artist Helen O’Leary was born in County Wexford, Ireland and studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. She continued her studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a B.F.A. degree in 1987 and an M.F.A. degree in 1989. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. She joined the faculty of the School of Visual Arts at Penn State in 1991 and is currently a professor of art. 

O'Leary has participated in group exhibitions around the world, including the National Gallery of Art in Limerick, Ireland; the Glasgow Museum of Art in Scotland; the Scott Pfaffman Gallery in New York City; the Galerie le Petit Port in Leiden, The Netherlands; the Contemporary Arts Centre in Sydney, Australia; and in Shanghai, China. Her solo exhibitions have been showcased at The Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago; the Michael Gold Gallery in New York City; the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia; The Beverly Art Centre in Chicago; the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, India; the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin; and the Catherine Hammond Gallery in Cork, Ireland.

O’Leary’s art has been honored with two Pollock-Krasner awards (1989, 1996) and a Joan Mitchell Award for painting and sculpture (2000). She has received several grants from the Arts Council of Ireland and residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Monaghan, Ireland and the Fundacion Valparaiso in Almeria, Spain. She has recently received both the Culturel Irlandaise and Guggenheim fellowships. O'Leary has been a visiting artist in Ireland at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, GMT Galway and the University of Limerick. She has also been a visiting artist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland; Edith Cowen University and Victoria College of the Arts in Australia; and several universities in the United States.

Long interested in the relationship between language and literature and art, O'Leary will be spending her Guggenheim Fellowship term in New York, Paris and Berlin where she hopes to further explore the texts and letters of Samuel Beckett and shape her material response to them.
Pictured: "The Geometry of Orange," Helen O'Leary, 2014, egg oil on constructed wood, 9 inches by 10 inches by 2 inches.
Artist's website

Wednesday, Oct. 22: Kate Gilmore

Kate Gilmore is a fine artist who works in multiple areas of mediums including video, sculpture, photography and performance. Her work explores themes of displacement, struggle and female identity. Gilmore attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, graduating in 1997. In 2002, she received an M.F.A. degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her work has been showcased nationally and internationally, and she currently lives and works in New York. 

Pictured: "Star Bright, Star Might," Kate Gilmore, 2007, video still. Photo courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery.

Artist's website
More about the artist

Oct. 23: Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry: "The Lichtenberg Figures" (2004), "Angle of Yaw" (2006) and "Mean Free Path" (2010) – all published by Copper Canyon Press. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, a Howard Foundation Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2011 Lerner became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie for the German translation of "The Lichtenberg Figures."

Lerner's first novel, "Leaving the Atocha Station"
 (Coffee House, 2011) won The Believer Book Award and was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic, among other publications. His second novel, "10:04," has recently been relased from Faber/FSG. Lerner lives and teaches in Brooklyn. 
Pictured: Ben Lerner


Oct. 30: Bruce Willen

Bruce Willen is a founding partner of Post Typography, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Baltimore. With over a dozen years of professional experience in design, writing and photography, Willen has led projects ranging from major branding campaigns to punk band t-shirt designs. He is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art where he currently teaches in the graphic design department.

Willen has created award-winning work for a variety of clients including the New York Times, U.S. Green Building Council and Random House. He recently wrote and designed "Lettering & Type," a book on lettering and typeface design published by Princeton Architectural Press.
Pictured: Bruce Willen
Artist's website

Nov. 13: Peter Plagens

Peter Plagens is a painter and art critic. He’s shown his work with the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York since 1974 and was an art critic for Newsweek (1989-2003). His work was the subject of a retrospective in 2004-2005 at the Fisher Museum at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. This exhibition traveled to Columbia College in Chicago and the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio. Plagens has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (painting), the National Endowment for the Arts (painting, art criticism), The Andy Warhol Foundation / Creative Capital (arts writing) and the National Arts Journalism Program.

Plagens is the author of two books of art criticism — "Sunshine Muse: Art on the West Coast, 1945-70" and "Moonlight Blues: An Artist’s Art Criticism" — as well as a novel, "Time for Robo." His online novel, "The Art Critic," was published as an e-book by Hol Art Books in 2012, and his monograph, Bruce Nauman: The True Artist, was published by Phaidon in May 2014. Currently, Plagens writes the a bi-weekly art-review column for The Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter, Laurie Fendrich.
Pictured: Study 3 for "I Wish I Had a Deeper Rudder," Peter Plagens, 2013, mixed media on panel, 20 inches by 16 inches.
Artist's website