Spring 2012

The Kansas City Art Institute is pleased to announce the spring 2012 lineup of artists, designers and scholars who will speak as part of the college's "Current Perspectives" lecture series.

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

Spring 2012

 Feb. 2: Art Practical

Art Practical is a new and ambitious platform for chronicling contemporary art and visual culture in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their appearance at KCAI is a partnership between KCAI and the Rocket Grants program, which is a collaboration between 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. Participating in the program will be Patricia Maloney, director of Art Practical; Victoria Gannon, senior editor for Art Practical; and Christian L. Frock, an independent curator and writer. They invite artists, arts professionals and art students to join them in a lively public discussion about the unique ways our community invites artists and audiences to consider public spaces as sites for individual actions, as well as where we find points of commonality with issues and practices across the country and around the world. http://www.artpractical.com/

Feb. 9: Faculty development grant presentations

The following members of the KCAI faculty will discuss projects associated with recent grants: Milton Katz, Ph.D., professor of American studies, art, literature and film of the Holocaust and peace and conflict resolution; Michele Fricke, professor and program head of art history; George Timock, professor of ceramics; Special Assistant Professor Cyan Meeks, who is a video artist, independent filmmaker, community organizer, curator and published media theorist; and Phyllis Moore, Ph.D., director of the School of Liberal Arts, program head of KCAI’s creative writing program and coordinator (with Dr. Reed Anderson) of the college’s Paris Study Abroad Program, and Tracy Krumm, assistant professor of fiber, who specializes in textile structures and material studies.

Feb. 16: David B. Levy

David B. Levy is a director, writer and animator who balances industry work with independent projects. He has directed animated TV series and pilots for Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Scholastic, Disney, Sesame Workshop, National Geographic and the Fox Broadcasting Company. As a writer, Levy has been engaged by major companies such as Garan Inc., Kidville and Classic Media to create animated projects based on existing properties and by Disney, which optioned one of his original creations. As an author, Levy has penned the three essential books on the animation business: "Your Career in Animation," "Animation Development" and "Directing Animation." He is the co-author of the upcoming "Independently Animated: Bill Plympton" (2011), published by Rizzoli Press. “Grandpa Looked Like William Powell” is his sixth indie animated short film.


Feb. 23: Clifford Owens

Clifford Owens is a key figure in contemporary performance art. His current project, “Clifford Owens: Anthology,” at MoMA PS1, includes photography, video, performance scores and live performances of works he solicited from a multi-generational group of African-American artists. Born and raised in Baltimore, he now lives and works in Queens in New York. He holds a B.F.A. degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.F.A. degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He also participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and a Hanes Visiting Artist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Owens visit to KCAI is co-sponsored by the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute.


March 1: Hong Chun Zhang

Hong Chun Zhang was born in 1971, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In 1994 she received a B.F.A. degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and in 1996 she came to the United States with her twin sister. After completing an M.F.A. degree in 2004 at the University of California-Davis, she moved to Lawrence, Kan. Her graduate and post-graduate work has been recognized with a Skowhegan Artist Residency scholarship (2003), a Dedalus Foundation M.F.A. Fellowship (2004) and a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant (2006). Her work is in many public and private collections, and she has exhibited work internationally in venues as diverse as the Smithsonian national Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the third Chengdu Biennale in China. “Hay Wire,” a solo exhibition on view through March 8 at the Lawrence Arts Center in Kansas, was inspired by her life experiences in rural Kansas and in urban China. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings and installation work. Zhang's visit to KCAI is co-sponsored by the college's Asian Studies certificate program.


March 8: TBD

March 16: Spring break – no lecture

March 22: Ken Barber

Ken Barber is a letterer, type designer and type director at House Industries, a design studio and type foundry. He is also a partner of Photo-Lettering Inc., a web-based lettering service. He is particularly interested in the role that hand-lettering and typography play in contemporary graphic design. His work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and has been honored numerous times by the New York Type Directors Club. In the 2008 Schrift in Form exhibition at the Klingspor Museum, Barber was among 40 artists recognized for making notable contributions to typeface design. In addition to teaching at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Delaware, Barber regularly lectures internationally on the subjects of lettering and typography. He also manages typeandlettering.com, an online resource for students and those who attend his frequent workshops. Barber’s visit to KCAI is co-sponsored by the college's graphic design department and Hallmark.


March 29: Stephanie Snider

Stefanie Snider, assistant professor at the School of Visual Arts, Pennsylvania State University, has exhibited widely. Her “Works on Paper 2” appeared in 2011 at the Danese Gallery in New York, and in 2010 she had solo exhibitions in Berlin and Cologne in Germany. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009-10 and was a Fellow at MacDowell Colony in 2009. In 2005 she was an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She was a Berlin Prize Fellow/Emerging Artist Award at the American Academy in Berlin in 2000-01. She holds an M.F.A. degree from Yale University School of Art; studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; and earned a B.F.A. degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. Snider’s visit to KCAI is co-sponsored by the college's painting department.


April 5: Dave Kehr (7:30 p.m. Tivoli Manor Square, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave.)

Dave Kehr is a veteran film critic who says he is doing his best “to transform the DVD column of The New York Times into a wide-ranging weekly essay on diverse aspects of film history.” Born in Oklahoma and raised in a Chicago suburb, he describes himself as “a compulsive film viewer from a tender age.” He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1975, and subsequently his film criticism has been published in the Chicago Reader, Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News and The New York times. His work has appeared in most of the major film magazines, from Entertainment Weekly to Les Cahiers du Cinéma, and he says he “takes pride in being published in both the most broadly based mainstream publications and the most specialized journals.” He was a founding member of the National Film Preservation Board, a federal agency within the Library of Congress that is charged with the development of a national film preservation plan. He has one of the nation’s largest collections of historical film posters, and his writings on the topic include the 2003 book “Italian Film Posters,” published by the Museum of Modern Art, and “Art of the Modern Movie Poster,” published in 2008 by Chronicle Books. His website, www.davekehr.com, was recently singled out by Film Comment as “a prime Web destination” and by Cineaste as “an exemplary model of productive cinema discussion and interaction. The University of Chicago Press published a collection of his work, “When Movies Mattered,” in 2011. Kehr’s visit to KCAI is co-sponsored by the college's School of Liberal Arts.

April 12: Kate Bingaman Burt 

Born in Kenosha, Wis., in 1977, Kate Bingaman Burt has been making work about consumption since 2002 and teaching since 2004. In addition, she says she has been “drawing until my hand cramps since about 2006.” Her first book, “Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?” was published in 2010 by Princeton Architectural Press. She now lives in Portland, Ore., where she is an assistant professor and program coordinator of graphic design at Portland State University. In addition to teaching, she says she also makes “piles of work” about consumerism: zines, pillows, dresses, drawings, paper chains and photos. From 2002 to 2004, she photographed everything she purchased. In 2004, she started drawing all of her credit card statements until they were paid off in 2010. In 2006, she started drawing, every day, something she had purchased that day, a practice that is ongoing. In addition to being an educator and illustrator, she is also a curator, author, speaker and workshop-giver. Her “Obsessive Consumption” work is represented by Jen Bekman in New York, and Burt has produced several editions with Bekman and 20x200. Bingaman’s visit to KCAI is co-sponsored by the college's graphic design department.


April 19: Dean Daderko

Photo by Debora Smail, Reality Photography

Dean Daderko is the curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. His most recent exhibitions include “Directing Light onto Fist of Father,” a solo exhibition of work and performance by the artist MPA, which he co-curated with Alhena Katsof for Leo Koenig Inc. in New York; “Centro de Investigaciones Artisticas” at Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was organized in dialogue with the grantees of the Centro de Investigaciones Artisticas study program; and “50 Artists Photograph the Future” at Higher Pictures in New York. Daderko also has created exhibitions and programs for Art in General, Artists’ Space, Visual AIDS and The Kitchen in New York, as well as for the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania. His writing has appeared in publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, El Museo del Barrio, The Americas’ Society and Rutgers University. He was the Curator of the Americas In-Residence in 2010 at the Fonderie Darling in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and in 2008-09 he received a curatorial research fellowship from FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) to study the work of artist and foundational performer Gina Pane. He says that in his work he is “dedicated to establishing productive opportunities for dialogue between art, artists and audiences.” Daderko’s visit is sponsored by H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute as part of its 2012 Visiting Critic and Curator Program (VCCP).

April 26: Raïssa Venables

An alumna of the Kansas City Art Institute, photographer Raïssa Venables was born in 1977 in New Paltz, N.Y. In addition to her B.F.A. degree from KCAI, she holds an M.F.A. degree in photography from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and an M.P.S. degree in digital photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Venables has had numerous solo exhibitions at such art institutions as the Jersey City Museum and the Roswell Art Museum and in Kunstvereinen throughout Germany. Her work also has been part of many group exhibitions at museums including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Emden Museum, the Marta Herford Museum and the Städel Museum. Venables has been an artist-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Roswell Artist-In-Residence Program in New Mexico. In 2006, Hatje Cantz Publishers released a monograph titled “Raïssa Venables,” and the British American Tobacco company of Germany sponsored an exhibition and catalog in 2010. She is represented by Gallery Wagner + Partner in Berlin and Galerie Rothamel in Frankfurt. Venables lives and works in Pleasantville, N.Y., and teaches photography at the School of Visual Arts. Venables is the Current Perspective’s Fifth Annual Distinguished Alumnus Speaker sponsored by H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute in conjunction with the 2012 Annual BFA Exhibition.