Kati Toivanen grew up in Finland and came to the United States for her formal art education. Since receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992, Toivanen has been an active artist and university educator. One of Toivanen’s sixteen solo art exhibitions was favorably reviewed in Art in America and her works have been published and exhibited nationally and abroad. In 2001 Toivanen received a Charlotte Street Award, a highly regarded artist grant in Kansas City and she has received several other grants to support her creative production. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts developing a new body of work funded by the University of Missouri Research Board grant. In addition, she has completed seven funded site-specific public art projects in Kansas City, MO, and Lawrence, KS, and most recently in Manhattan, KS, 2020-2021.
In her work, Toivanen explores personal history and narrative through imagery, objects, and installations, often incorporating elements of play and games.
Professor Toivanen currently serves as the Interim Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She was previously appointed the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs 2011-2018 as served as the Chair of the Art & Art History Department.
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