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Kansas City Art Institute

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KCAI is not a school for the timid.Quite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
KCAI is not a school for the timid. The coursework and studio work is very demanding. Working a part time job and going to school full time is almost impossible.

I went though KCAI on the Montgomery GI Bill and Army College fund. I also had the KCAI scholarship that kept the cost lower as long as I kept my GPA above 3.0,(I graduated with a 3.6 in the top 10% with 18 credit hour semesters... I transfered in with the 4.0 club from a JUCO.)

Your professors at KCAI know your name and your art work. When I attended classes at KCAI, it was one of the top four art schools in the nation. Most of the professors are nationally/globally recognized artists/art historians/writers. Most of the classes applies to art or feeds back into your own art work in some way or another.

If you want to party and dream about sex, go to a state university. (It's a lot less expensive and the selection of the opposite sex is much larger.) If you want to party every night, have more ass than a toilet seat, see the world, blow stuff up and get paid at the same time, join the military. HOWEVER, if you are dead set on doing attending art school, I am letting you know that this school is not easy. The graduation rate has been very low for this school (Less than 25%.)There are a lot of people who fail out or drop out before or during the hazing period. If you are an independent self starting type and know how to let stuff slide off your shoulders, you can probably make it though 4 years of KCAI. (Good luck getting in...)

If you get accepted, your typical day will be spent on campus from sun up to sun down, and at the Nelson Atkins, the Kemper, Crossroads Art District, the library.

Good Luck...

4th Year Male -- Class 2005
Education Quality: A, Extracurricular Activities: C
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Decide if you fall into 1 of 2Quite BrightArt & Design Department
Decide if you fall into 1 of 2 art camps. The first, that art is a romantic expressive experience, and the artist is an exalted and detached special being that should be compensated and supported by society-that way they can remain isolated and produce work at will, presented to the world when ever they need validation.

The second, is one where the traditional role of the artist is challenged; art is about a conversation with the viewer, and about participation, involvement, and most importantly about questioning where art resides in contemporary contexts.

At KCAI, you will find that professors most often choose sides, but there are a few that are in the middle. Sculpture is a bit antiquated; the chair is a hardcore romantic that does not really get contemporary practice, and they just retired their reigning abstract-expressionist hold-over whose mantra is "just make some art, you'll figure it out later!" But even this department is in transition, they are supposed to hire someone new next year.If you like to think about art in terms of of ideas or concepts, find the programs and departments that support that type of art. If you just want to participate in keeping some romantic tradition alive and not question where that tradition sits in these contemporary times, you can find instructors that will support that also.

4th Year Male -- Class 2008
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Extracurricular Activities: D-
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KCAI provides great opportunities on many different levels-tQuite Bright
KCAI provides great opportunities on many different levels-the departments are so different philosophically and historically it would be a mistake to sum up the school as either good or bad.The school, like many, is also in a transition as older professors are retiring and a new crop of contemporary, energetic young instructors take their place. I majored in Sculpture, and quickly learned that if you just stay sequestered in your department and traditional medium you will miss out on what is going on in contemporary arts.I took painting, new media and inter-disciplinary electives-which really informed my approach. Students do not have to paint in the painting department, it is anything goes as long as it is intelligent, well crafted and conceptually compelling and sound. The same goes for other departments, although Ceramics and Sculpture continue to be quite traditional (i.e. object oriented). The greatest development at KCAI is the 3 year old Interdisciplinary department-it is the most contemporary and cutting edge, students have to apply to get in, they only take a few students each year.They are making great work there, and the head of the department is amazing.The way to get the most out of KCAI is to get out of your department, create as many relationships with instructors as you can, take electives-Instructors teach there not because of the low pay scale but because the students are so amazing-they could make a lot more $$ at a state school. One other thing, the art history department is exceptional-very diverse and lots of committed, enthusiastic instructors.If you think you just want to do studio and skip art history, DO NOT ENROLL AT KCAI! Go to a state school and let someone who cares come instead. The world does not need any more artists that do not know their predecessors.
4th Year Male -- Class 2008
Individual Value: A+, Faculty Accessibility: F
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