Studio Art

Blue Toivanen Circle

Kati Toivanen, M.F.A.

Professor – Digital Imaging

Associate Dean – Arts & Sciences

Office: SH 310
Phone: (816) 235-2261

Courses Taught

  • Foundation Digital Design (online)
  • Digital Imaging I
  • Digital Imaging II
  • Senior Seminar



Born and raised in Finland, Kati Toivanen came to UMKC in 1998 from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois, where she had been teaching since 1992. Her teaching focuses are digital imaging, computer multimedia, and professional practices for artists. She is currently appointed as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the College of Arts & Sciences after serving as Department Chair from 2009-2011.

During the summer 2015 Professor Toivanen was included in the Art in the Loop project in downtown Kansas City with her site-specific sculptural project “Petticoat of Petticoat Lane.” Another temporary public art project is scheduled to be on view in the Washington Square Park, Kansas City, MO, September 10-December 21, 2015. Commissioned by the Municipal Art Commission as part of the Art in the Square “The Flowering Wall” features seventy digitally composed photographs installed on the North wall of the park. The Arkansas Arts Council invited Professor Toivanen to jury their annual Small Works on Paper exhibit to tour the state in 2016. Professor Toivanen also held a solo exhibition at Cottey College, Nevada, MO in the Fall of 2015.

Toivanen utilizes Photoshop to create continuous montages, which oscillate between abstraction and representation and the productive modes of painting and photography. A Charlotte Street Foundation award winner in 2001, Toivanen’ art has been reviewed in Art in America.


  • M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • B.F.A. in Studio Art, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts



  • Site-specific Temporary Public Art Installation, Treasure Hunt, Lawrence, KS, June 2016-Spring 2017
  • Site-specific Temporary Public Art Installation, Hopscotch, Ilus Davis Park, Kansas City, MO, June-October 2016
  • Site-specific Temporary Public Art Installation, The Flowering Wall, Washington Square Park, Kansas City, MO
  • Solo Exhibition, Transmutations, P.E.O. Foundation Gallery Haidee and Allen Wild Center for the Arts, Cottey College, Nevada, MO
  • Art in the Loop Temporary Public Art Installation, Petticoat on Petticoat Lane, Kansas City, MO
  • What Are You Watching? Video Screening, Stairwell Gallery, Bloomsburg, PA