KCAI proves it’s a premier institution

The Kansas City Art Institute stepped into the national limelight, becoming Missouri’s first art college to be named a Fulbright Top Producer after two of KCAI faculty members were selected this year.

“Fulbright Awards are incredibly prestigious, and having two faculty members from KCAI being chosen is a testament to the talent, creativity and commitment of our faculty,” says Allison Puff, KCAI’s executive vice president of academic affairs. The Top Producer designation means that in a school’s classification, it produced the highest number of Fulbright participants.

“Experiences like this stretch the conventions of traditional learning and allow scholars to bring back new knowledge, techniques and connections to benefit our students,” Puff says. “Recognition as a Fulbright Top Producer is an honor and a true testament to the caliber of faculty we have at KCAI.” 

Professors Laura Berman, who is in the printmaking department, and Cyrus Console-Soican, who teaches in the liberal arts department, are studying in Australia and Romania, respectively.

Berman began her work at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra in Australia in February. Her area of study is inspired by a course she developed at KCAI called Color in Printmaking. The course looks at “color through the materiality of ink, historical, cultural and psychological approaches and how ink functions,” she says.

“Receiving a Fulbright is the pinnacle of an artist’s career, and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to do my research through a new cultural lens,” says Berman, who will spend six months at the Australian university meeting artists, creating art and researching Australian printmaking methods.

Console-Soican has spent the 2023-24 academic year writing and translating contemporary Romanian poets and teaching at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Romania. He is the author of three poetry books, including Brief Under Water.

“I’m excited to represent the Kansas City Art Institute and the American literary community as part of the U.S. Scholar program,” Console-Soican says.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is one of the nation’s most prestigious international academic exchange programs. It offers around 400 annual awards, sending U.S. citizens to more than 135 countries to teach, research and carry out professional projects. 

KCAI was founded in 1885 and is one of the oldest art and design colleges in the country. 

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