The Office of Academic Advising and Career Services at the Kansas City Art Institute empower students and alumni in developing the necessary knowledge and skills that will foster academic and career success. AACS provides career and academic advising, accredited internships, online resources, the Professional Practice Presentation series, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops.

The KCAI Case Study includes life experiences of recent alumni as they begin to build their art career. You can also find information from the Professional Practice presentations, alumni updates,  job listings and student opportunities. If you are alumni interested in sharing your experiences please email Calder Kamin at ckamin@kcai.edu.

Creator and Manager:

Calder Kamin, BFA Ceramics/Art History 2009

Calder Kamin

Calder Kamin is an artist and art administrator in Kansas City, MO. Kamin’s fabricated fauna and public projects investigate our creative influences on nature and complicated relationships with animals. Kamin received her BFA in ceramics and art history from the Kansas City Art Institute. She has held gallery positions at Red Star Studios, the Kansas City Art Institute H & R Block Artspace, The Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection and the KCAI Crossroads Gallery. Kamin has returned to KCAI in the Office of Academic Advising and Career Services, responsible for the development of the Professional Practice program. Kamin was a Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Studio Resident 2011-2013, a recipient of an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, Charlotte Street Art Through Architecture ArtBoard, and a Bread KC award. Kamin is the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, in Salt Lake City, Art Truck Artist for the 2013-2014 school year. Kamin’s solo exhibition will travel by truck to area schools and community events to provide art experiences and interactive lesson plans about urban wildlife and how cities effect biodiversity. calderkamin.wordpress.com.


Theresa Bembnister, BFA Illustration/Design 2001, MA Case Western Reserve University

Theresa Bembnister is a writer and arts administrator currently living in Kansas City, Missouri. You can read about more about her experiences as an intern at the Chinati Foundation on her Glasstire.com blog, No Country For Old Interns: http://glasstire.com/category/blog/no-country-for-old-interns/.

Sara Cramer, BFA Interdisciplinary 2010

Sara Cramer, Kansas City native, graduated from The Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a background in graphic design. Since, she has been working as a freelance graphic and interior designer, bookbinder, photographer, window display artist, and independent jewelry designer. Currently, Sara is focusing on opening her live/work studio in the Crossroads Art District (504 E 18th St. Second Floor) for First Fridays. miss-camer.com

Jonah Criswell, BFA Paining 2005, MFA Penn State University

Jonah Criswell received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from Pennsylvania State University. He has exhibited in New York, Kansas City, and Berlin. He has taught at Pennsylvania State University, Kansas City Art Institute and Metropolitan Community College Longview. His paintings and drawings explore relationships between identity and the domestic as well as pop-culture and the romantic. He currently lives and works in Kansas City Missouri.

Matt Jacobs, BFA Sculpture/Art History 2010

Matt Jacobs is an artist based in Kansas City. He earned his BFA in Sculpture and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute. Having studied across the globe in Chicago, Florence, Peru, Ecuador, and Japan, Jacobs has chosen Kansas City as his artistic home base. He is currently pursuing national and international residencies before beginning his graduate studies. To read more of Jacob’s writing and see some of his art please visit his website, www.thatmattjacobs.wordpress.com

Melaney Ann Mitchell, BFA Painting 2013

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Melaney Ann Mitchell is a curator, visual artist, writer, and educator based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is the new Director of the Subterranean Gallery, an underground apartment gallery, and the Managing Editor of Informality Blog, an online arts and culture publication for the Kansas City community. Her curatorial, writing, and visual art practice all revolve around the interactivity of our online and offline selves. Find out more here (link to melaneyann.com)


Paul Shortt, BFA Painting 2009, MFA candidate University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign

Paul Shortt received his BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2009. He has been in numerous group shows in Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle and New York City. From 2009-2010, he directed a monthly, year-long series of performance art at the Fishtank Performance Studio in Kansas City, Missouricalled The Paul Shortt Invitational Performances. He has participated in the Charlotte Street Foundation residency program in Kansas City, and spoken about his work at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Shortt currently is pursuing his MFA in New Media at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and expects to graduate in 2013. For more on Paul please check out his artist website at: http://paulshortt.com

Davin Watne, BFA Painting 1994, MFA MICA

Davin Watne is an artist based in Kansas City with an established record of professional achievement. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art. He has been awarded the Charlotte Street Foundation Award, ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, Avenue of Arts Municipal Arts Grant, Art in the Loop Public Arts Grant and is a resident of the Studios Inc. Residency Program. Davin holds a fulltime lecturer position at University of Missouri Kansas City where he teaches Painting.

Rhianna Weilert, BFA Graphic Design 2008


After receiving her BFA in Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2008, Rhianna Weilert began her career doing freelance design. After gaining a substantial client-base in Kansas City during the second half of 2008, she opened up her own design business, Polyform Design. Rhianna also dabbles in illustration, jewelry design, teaching, old house renovation, and whatever else comes her way. For more information on Polyform Design, visit http://www.polyform-design.com.

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