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 addition, she has completed nine funded site-specific public art projects which include a permanent public art commission for the new Kansas City International Airport that opened in March 2023. “I Spy Carry-On,” her project for the airport, is a triptych of digitally composed photographs. In her work, Toivanen explores personal history and narrative through imagery, objects, and installations, often incorporating elements of play and games. Toivanen is a Professor of Studio Art at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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