The primary focus of foundation year is to have the student who hasn't been in a college art environment before, transform themselves into readiness to become a professional artist, and what the work ethic means that's associated with that. And learning to be responsible to and rigorous about your studio practice.
The format of foundation is to really help students experience how to be brave, to leave behind their preconceptions about what art an art making is-- to leave behind even their preconceptions about what they think their major should be. We offer about 30 workshops every spring, and they range from puppet making classes to ceramic vessel making classes to sand painting classes, the range is really great, and it gives students the opportunity to experiment with things they're interested in, and find out about things they might not know that they're interested in.
Foundation at Kansas City Art Institute has over 20,000 square feet of building space dedicated specifically to foundations students. KCAI students in particular, because they all have their own dedicated studio space, which is very unlike other schools. They really begin to grow and start a true studio practice starting on day one. By the time they get to the end of their foundation year-- they will have chosen their major, they will have met at least 12 alumni. Through our foundation seminar, they'll have been introduced to all the resources like the meals laboratory, the central shop, the library, the media center, and the print center and they should have a pretty good sense of their foundation community and some really good friends.