Sunday, 22 June 2014

#541 Fundamentals: KCAI and early equine art influence

I attended the Kansas City Art Institute in the early 1960s, and it was the most far-reaching event of my life.  
To this day, I view the time spent there as the awakening of my senses.  My eager young 
mind absorbed the rudiments of what would become a lifelong journey in the arts.  
Nothing since has equaled the enthusiasm in which I immersed myself in the study 
of art fundamentals and art history.   To this day I thrive upon the confidence instilled 
in me by competent instructors who inspired and directed me toward achievement.

Recently, I returned to KCAI and was flooded with heartfelt memories of times past.  We were
there on a weekend and roamed the empty campus while enjoying beautiful spring weather. 

Below, are images taken last month of a nostalgic return to the place that determined my life's work.

Fifty three years ago this summer, my parents and I passed through the gates shown below
after driving from Tulsa to Kansas City to enroll me in KCAI.

The Nelson Atkins Museum is located across the street from the KCAI campus and
Trish and I spent several days last month viewing the outstanding collection.

Shown below is the north side of the Nelson Atkins Museum located across the street from KCAI.
In 1994, Claes Oldenburg's aluminum and plastic sculpture entitled, "Shuttlecocks" replaced Rodin's,
"The Thinker", which was moved to the south side of the building.  As a new student, I'll never forget
 walking under Rodin's, "The Thinker" during the first week of orientation when freshmen
were taken on a tour of the magnificent museum . . . O, the excitement and anticipation of art classes!
pretty heady stuff for an Oklahoma country girl!

I remember more trees and landscaping around the museum in the '60s.  I did a search and found a
link that shows images of what the museum looked like back then.   Nelson/Atkins '60s

Kansas City is known as the "City of Fountains" and the famed Country Club Plaza area - with its many fountains - 
is located a few blocks from the art institute and museum.  In 1958, three years before I entered the art institute,
the sculptor, Henri L. Greber created the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain and it was installed
on the Plaza . . . it was the talk of Kansas City.

As a young art student, I spent many hours absorbing the wonders of Greber's equine fountain.
From the moment I saw the stunning creation, with its flaring nostrils, flashing hooves, shooting water, and baroque drama . . . I knew I wanted to be a sculptor.

Below, are images of Henri L. Greber's famed masterpiece on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

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