Kati Toivanen


Kati Toivanen

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 fifteen solo art exhibitions was favorably reviewed in and her works have been published and exhibited nationally and abroad. In addition, she has completed four funded site-specific temporary public art projects and received several grants to support her creative production. Recently on view in Washington Square Park, Kansas City, MO, was an installation of seventy digitally composed images. Last summer she also created a sculptural project for the 2015 Art in the Loop public art and performance program. Toivanen was selected as the featured artist for the 2014 luncheon and commissioned to create nine new artworks as the awards. In the spring of 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the developing a new body of work funded by the University of Missouri Research Board grant. Toivanen’s first public art project was created for the 2002 Avenue of the Arts in Kansas City, MO and in 2001 she received a , a highly regarded artist grant in Kansas City.

 In her work, Toivanen explores personal history and narrative through imagery, objects, and installations, often incorporating elements of play and games.

Professor Toivanen is currently appointed as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the She previously served as the Chair of the .


Visually penetrating, uneasy, yet surprisingly familiar, my photographic images question the viewers’ assumptions about their relationships with the world. Honest examination and amplification of toys, mundane objects, and domestic debris creep under the audience’s skin utilizing aesthetic seduction as a means of attraction and subversion as a means of affecting.


b. 1964, Helsinki, Finland
Lives and works in Kansas City, MO

  • 1992School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA
  • 1988Clark University, BFA
  • 2015Transmutations, Cottey College P.E.O. Foundation Art Gallery, Nevada, MO
  • 2014Transmutations, The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA
  • 2014Transmutations, The McKinley East Gallery, City of Reno, Reno, NV
  • 2014Transmutations, The Wiseman Gallery, Rogue Community College
  • 2013Transmutations, Trap Gallery, Kansas City, MO
  • 2010Domestic Debris, The Art & Design Gallery, Kansas University, Lawrence, KS
  • 2003Connect the Dots: A Decade of Making Memories, The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art
  • 2003First Rite Games, Gallery 1912, Emory & Henry College
  • 2003Whirl, The UMKC Belger Arts Center for Creative Studies
  • 2000Living Dolls, The Stocksdale Gallery of Art
  • 1999Woven Treasures, FotoCircle Gallery
  • 1996Kati Toivanen, Zone IV Gallery
  • 1995Riddles Revealed, Artemisia Gallery
  • 1989Photomontages, Atwood Gallery
  • 2015The Flowering Wall (public art installation), Washington Square Park, Kansas City, MO
  • 2015Petticoat on Petticoat Lane (public art installation), Art in the Loop, Kansas City, MO
  • 2014ArtsKC Awards Featured Artist, ArtsKC
  • 2011Faculty Research Grant, University of Missouri
  • 2002Public Art Commission, Avenue of the Arts
  • 2002Faculty Research Grant, University of Missouri
  • 2001Artist Grant, Charlotte Street Fund Award
  • 1998Artists Fellowship Finalist Award in Photography, Illinois Arts Council
  • 1994Artists Fellowship Finalist Award in Photography, Illinois Arts Council
  • 2013Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA