We are excited to look back at two young artists with connections to the Kansas City Artists Coalition, and look forward to some of the accomplishments they are making today.
Max Adrian was one of two award winners in the 2013 Undergraduate College Student Exhibition at KCAC, and then graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2015 with specialty in Fiber and Creative Writing. Siara Berry interned with KCAC in the Spring of 2015, aiding during the busiest Auction-filled time of year, then graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with specialty in Sculpture and Creative Writing.
Today, both graduates are recipients of the Windgate Fellowship Award, a highly competitive award program open to senior students around the country.
From KCAI’s The President’s Report:
Two recent graduates, Max Adrian (’15 fiber and creative writing) and Siara Berry (’15 sculpture and creative writing), received 2015 Windgate Fellowships. The $15,000 awards are given to only 10 senior students from around the country who work in the field of craft.
The Windgate Fellowship Award program was established to hep encourage and advance the development of serious, innovative artists in the United States whose work is in some way related to, or informed by, the process, material or idea of craft. Each year, more than 120 colleges and universities are invited to participate in this award process.
At KCAI, departments nominate applicants annually and the school’s Mobility Committee then selects two KCAI students based on their presentation and proposal. The selected students are then eligible to compete at the national level for one of 10 $15,000 Windgate Fellowships.
Adrian, a Kansas City, Mo. native, graduated from KCAI in May. He has exhibited his work in various shows, including “New School” by ROY G BIV at MINT Gallery in Columbus, Ohio; “Blind Date: Max Adrian and Lucas Ruminski” at the Netherlands Gallery in Milwaukee; and “National All Media Exhibition” at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames, Iowa. Adrian spent the fall semester of his senior year at the New York Studio Residency Program in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Adrian thrives in collaborative settings and aspires to create artistic opportunities that rely on collaboration to accomplish poignantly engaging feats of creativity that speak to important issues of morality and the human experience. He will use the fellowship for hands-on studies of stagecraft with particular attention to theatrical prop making, costume construction, puppetry, and set building.
Adrian will attend the 2015 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, intern at Redmoon Theater’s Build Shop, and attend the 2016 Prague Summer Theatre School.
“The Windgate Fellowship has been a monumental chance to experience different cultures, ideas and artistic practices that I’d otherwise be unable to be a part of, especially at such a formative time in my career right after graduating from KCAI,” Adrian said. “It means being connected with a community of ambitious and innovative young thinkers and makers who want to ask bigger questions and have the funding to actually pursue those questions.”
Siara Berry, a Milwaukee native, also graduated from KCAI in May. Her work has been shown in several exhibitions including, “It Has Been Arranged” at KCAI; “KC Connect, October Exhibition” at Outpost Worldwide in Kansas City, Mo; and the “End-of-semester Exhibition” at KCAI. Berry interned at the Kansas City Artists Coalition where she assisted with curatorial and exhibition development and at BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Berry’s work seeks to trigger psychological associations with the domestic structure, emphasizing the importance of one’s relation to their surroundings. Force, balance, and support are consistent themes throughout her work, utilizing the inherent qualities in material to illustrate such concepts.
With her fellowship, Berry will gravel to Europe to learn furniture making and upholstery skills in London, building upon her desire to sue both soft forms and rigid structures in her work, and take an architectural tour of the Netherlands to see the innovative ways wood is used as a traditional and contemporary material. Her trip will span a total of five months beginning in October.
“The Windgate Fellowship has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of art and design on a international level,” Berry said. “While at KCAI, I put much of my focus into concept and artist identity. Now, with this award, I am able to articulate those thoughts, while focusing heavily on craft and design. By traveling to London to study woodworking and upholstery, I will integrate these practices through innovative interpretations of process and material. I believe that content will be derived from the skills I learn there and then be implemented into my sculptural works when I return home.”