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Illustration major in KCAI

redbug119redbug119 832 replies48 threads Member
edited September 2009 in Visual Arts and Film Majors
Does such a thing exist? My daughter wants to visit her aunt there and check out the school, but their website makes no mention of Illustration as a major. I seem to remember getting something in the mail about them starting that as a new major, altho I could be mistaken, we get LOTS of college stuff at my house everyday. Anyone know for sure before I spend my airfare? I googled "Illustration at KCAI" and got a lot of hits with indications they have one - but nothing on the website.
edited September 2009
17 replies
Post edited by redbug119 on
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Replies to: Illustration major in KCAI

  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    I just came back from the visit there. It is worth seeing it with own eyes depends how far you had to travel and how much it costs.
    KCAI started now wide spread foundation program, means everyone try everything before choosing major, illustration or whatever.
    I think it is more important to see the school and community possibly during school is in session to see how you like it there to spend four years.
    Kansas City is very different from what I know from the East, in good and bad way. If the school is in between Boston to DC corridor, I say, it could put up good fight against MICA RISD all that.
    Really nice people, great students’ works, fiber , ceramic facilities are toppy top, gives great-est aid money, cheap rent etc, but but but…the city bus I took to get to the school from downtown was running THE OTHER side of the city and people are totally segregated in about 10 blocks apart, and I can bet you I was the only Asian in the area now the school is out.
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    Sorry I did not read through.
    Call up the school and ask.
    They have separate building for just graphic design and while we were there, our tour guide did mentioned something of illustration major, so I had impression that she meant by adobe, not classic, I could be wrong.
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  • redbug119redbug119 832 replies48 threads Member
    Are you saying that the school is in a sketchy/unsafe neighborhood? Or that it doesn't have any diversity? BTW, I called them and they will be bringing back the illustration major for Fall 2010, and it will not be all computer driven.
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    No, no, the school is in “nice” side. The divide is vertical. If you’d cross West to East sideway to Troost, you’d amaze by the change of scenery.
    There really is no reason for students to go to the other side because museums, plaza, galleries are all in same side unless they’d do some outreach thing with little kids from there. Just that, few minutes of walk away are the community nothing common in the feeling of all those art and culture thing is, weird. As if there is an invisible wall.
    I spent almost all day here and there walking around, riding bus. No, it is either White or Black, nothing else and never together.
    If Kansas City native can elaborate on this, please do, I love the school and I really want to think positive about the life there.
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  • artmommy77artmommy77 277 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I have a college roommate in KC. Have spent lots of time there. KCI is a very very good school esp. for the money. The neighborhood is great. There is a university right down the block where many minorities go. So no, it is not black vs white side. friend has black and asian friends in the area. There is diversity. The KCI sits walking distance between two museums (one modern and traditional) and a large shopping area called the Plaza. The school is small and has been around forever. One of my friends was looking at an University art program in Ohio (highly touted in CC) The friend ask art teacher a question and the teacher ask where he was from and the student said KC. The teacher said "Why are you looking at this school when you have a great art school in KC." The Professor said it was a very good school and he could see anybody getting a very good education at KCI. The town was racial divided in days gone by and some of that still lingers in where people live, but it is like any other place in that regard. There is an area called the Cross Roads in downtown KC that has art openings the 1st Friday of every month. This has been going on for over 17 years or so. The art students do shows that are supported by the community. There are bands, art shows, movies playing in ally ways, preformance art and lots of good stuff. Its better than most art schools that I've seen.
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    Yeah, but UMK is a huge driving school. I doubt how many of immediate neighboring minority kids actually go there. That could be the reason why the divide when school was out for the summer.
    KCAI itself has some diversity though lower than other city art schools, but the yearbook photo I saw there proved otherwise.
    Is there a possibility “graduating class” might lose diversity?
    Any students out there could comment on this?
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  • artmommy77artmommy77 277 replies18 threads Senior Member
    "UMKC is is a driving school. I doubt minority kids go there" Sorry, your impression is wrong. Many kids who live in the city, go on to live by the plaza and UMKC. So not as much as a diving school as you portray. Don't know why this has anything to do with minority kids going to the KCAI in your mind anyway. There is a good size minority population that goes to school there. KCAI does have diversity. I imagine there are up and downs in any class year to year. But really, what is important is looking at the school to see if it is a good school to spend your money on. This is a great art school that has been around for 100 years. It is supported by the community. It is smaller, safe, in the city, next to two museums and just a great little art school. But it might not be your art school.

    However, you bring up a larger point. When you are visiting a school in the summer, you will not get the real feel of the school as if it were in session. That being said, many kids can walk on a campus and know right away if they like the school or not. That first impression can be very powerful. Correct or not.
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    Er, that’s why I am asking current students’ opinion.
    I mentioned about UMKC only because you pointed out. I meant “immediate neighboring kids” that I saw milling along Troost Ave amongst check cashing places, 24 hour day care and father with the baby asked if I can spare 60cents so he can get on the bus, who does not live in the side of Plaza nor goes to that nice library on the hill.
    Look, I don’t want to do this because I made mistake of offending RISD folks before.
    I said I love KCAI but I am not sure I would be comfortable sending my kid who does not look like their 90% of student body. I will shut my mouth now on, for million times.
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  • artmommy77artmommy77 277 replies18 threads Senior Member
    No, No. You don't have to shut your mouth. That wasn't my point at all. But you ask some questions that I knew I could answer. It seems you don't want to hear what I have to say. (Don't let the facts get in the way of your opinion). Yes, there are poor people and check cashing places in the midwest like anywhere. So what. Frankly, I don't expect that sending my kid to a place because he/she looks like everyone else rates that high on my check list. But if that's what you need for your child, so be it! But I'll throw in one more fact about KCAI. It gives really good grants. Plus it is in the midwest so people are polite and friendly. When you visited were you treated well?
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    BIG YES. Beginning of the summer, KCAI sent us a postcard with the map inviting us to visit: which I followed, but it was outdated by a week and admission had relocated, now changed to CE office lady took me through campus shortcut in the very hot afternoon.
    The caf
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  • artmommy77artmommy77 277 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Bears and dogs - Where else did you go and what did you and your child like for an art school?
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    It will be a long story. If you care I can PM you.
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  • artmommy77artmommy77 277 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I think lots of people would like to hear what you think. Share what you want to with the community.
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    It is very nice of you to offer. I made comments here and there if you look up.
    I have this habit of making snide, misguided, biased comments, not objective, encouraging ones that help prospective students artists yet to discover wonder of art school education.
    I have been there and done that, have many friends wishing have gotten normal education that one can write business letters or even touch type, figure out restaurant tip in the head, know where Israel is on the map and how eclipse happens.
    Are they happy? 20s, 30s maybe, but not in 40s 50s without steady paycheck that reflect their ages and forever envious of few classmates that somehow made it. Are those friends happy? 20s, 30s, maybe, not in 40s 50s without health insurance nor guarantee if another grants, commissions, book deals or partner who want them for who they are, not for their connections would keep coming.
    Good news is, world is always a - changing. If arts did not mean much to feed us nor make us feel contented, how could it not only survived but evolved in every hardship we faced in history? It will change as world change but never will die. It is worth trying.
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  • redbug119redbug119 832 replies48 threads Member
    We are attending KCAI's Information Session on November 6 with my D's friend who is interested in a creative writing program, so we will get to experience it first hand. Will report when we get back.
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  • TarantTarant 3 replies3 threads New Member
    I'm a KC native. I don't attend KCAI, so this is a combination of "community hearsay" and what I've been told by students and alumni.

    General feel, KCAI is not highly regarded by local art students. I have three friends from high school who went there on scholarship-- two to ceramics/sculpture, one to photography. All transferred or dropped out within a year. They cited low levels of talent in their programs, general ennui in the downtown KC art scene, and lack of real instructive support. Fine Arts in general is not KCAI's strength... while the ceramics program used to be excellent, many of the original driving instructors have left or retired. Facilities remain well equipped. Animation (see local design house MK12, all KCAI grads) and graphic design are more prominent and attract stronger students.

    I'd say JCCC, our local community college, is better thought of than KCAI. While it's certainly not a rigorous or high-level program, many KCAI instructors teach there, the campus displays tons of art on campus (the Nerman Museum has a very good contemporary art collection) and it has an awesome darkroom/photo lab.

    KC itself isn't really a student town. A car is a necessity... public transportation is a complete bust and everything sprawls so far apart that walking is impossible. The Plaza is expensive, Westport and Midtown are fun but overrun by hipsters, and much of the new development (eg Power and Light District, loft communities) is geared toward Johnson County suburbanites and bourgeouis professionals. I've attended many First Fridays in the Crossroads, our arts district... it's really hit or miss, apart from a few galleries (Kemper at the Crossroads, Sherry Leedy, Cocoon). Once a month everyone shows and the rest of the time it's restaurants and bars.

    Of course, I've also heard that you just have to know where to go-- lots of KCAI kids throw renegade house parties and art shows in the West Bottoms. If you can get past the general pot/alcohol and rampant coke abuse (no kidding, it's the drug of choice for Midtown kids), you might find some talent.
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  • artmommy77artmommy77 277 replies18 threads Senior Member
    JCCC is a better Art school than KCAI? What drug are you on? Really, this is pure hyperbolt. The Nerman Museum, located on JCCC land has art from several KCAI students and Profs (Also Yale and RISD artists). I didn't see one piece from a JCCC student. It's an independent Museum not a teaching arm of the Community College. JCCC teaches a type of community art class. I think you certainly have a right to your attitude but it is your opinion. I would view KCAI in a more positive light than you did. I have no stake in this game. No child goes to KCAI and I never went to KCAI. Never went to JCCC.

    But I do think there is Art Community in KC. The MK12 animation group is just one you named (All KCAI graduates). I just met a working artist (KCAI grad) a week ago.

    JCCC is the worst kind of a driving suburban school. It is not close to anything but single expensive housing. It is the definition of a driving school. This Jr College serves an older middle age suburbanite student. It is in South Johnson County miles and miles from the city and anything else. Its a good school, but I would hardly recommend it as a place for a serious art student. But I think it is a good Jr. college to spring board to another school.
    KCAI is in the heart of the city and has at least some bus and taxi transportation and is easy walking distance of 2 museums, 1 university, housing, extensive shopping and eating places, parks, and theaters. This weekend in KC is the large Art show at the Plaza. Its been going on over 30 years. This show is not 1/4 mile from KCAI.

    And regarding the drug/alcohol/coke abuse, name me one school where this doesn't take place. This is an easy bomb to throw at any school.

    Just thought I'd add another view point.
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