UMKC Assoc. Dean named Featured Artist by ArtsKC

 Kati Toivanen commissioned to create art
as awards for annual ArtsKC luncheon

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Honorees at the 2014 ArtsKC Awards Luncheon are about to become very familiar with Kati Toivanen’s work.

The local artist and University of Missouri-Kansas City College of Arts and Sciences associate dean has just been announced as the event’s featured artist. Not only will her work be the focus of a pre-event exhibition, Toivanen will also create art to be given as awards to the local businesses and individuals honored at the 11th Annual ArtsKC Awards Luncheon.

Toivanen describes her work as, “windows into a world that doesn’t really exist.” Starting with plastic leaves and other imitations of life, Toivanen stitches together details of faux nature to create a new, more authentic one. Her final works appear organic despite being created from non-living subject matter.

Toivanen is a recipient of the Charlotte Street Award as well as the Avenue of the Arts public art project grant. In the spring of 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

“It is an honor to be recognized by such an important local arts organization. For years, ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council has helped strengthen and support the area’s artistic community. I’m thrilled to contribute to the organization,” Toivanen said.

The Jan. 24 event will highlight the winners selected by the ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council. The luncheon will take place 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Rd, Kansas City, Mo. An art exhibition featuring Toivanen’s work will begin at 11 a.m., in the theatre’s Helzberg Reception area.

This event features Kansas City’s visual and performing arts talent while honoring businesses and individuals for their outstanding support of the arts.  This year’s award categories have been expanded to include awards that honor uniquely creative companies and individuals whose leadership in the arts is changing the community.

Award winners to be honored for their leadership in the arts in our civic and business sectors include;

  • Arts Advocate – Mayor Sly James, City of Kansas City, Mo.
  • Corporate Leader in the Arts – Grant Burcham, Missouri Bank.
  • Creative Industry – Red Dirt, LLC.
  • Creative Workspace – REACTOR Design Studio.
  • Impact Award – Hotel Phillips.
  • Virtuoso Award – Jay Tomlinson, Helix Architecture + Design.

Award Winners to be honored for their excellence in the 2013 ArtsKC Fund Campaign include;

  • ArtsKC Fund Employee Commitment Award – Rees Masilionis Turley Architecture
  • ArtsKC Fund Corporate Leadership Award – Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP

“We are excited to recognize local companies for new and innovative ways of supporting arts and creativity in our community,” said Kelly Seward, ArtsKC business programs director. “Additionally, these new awards honor those who understand the role the arts play in economic development, tourism, and talent attraction.”

For more information about the 2014 ArtsKC Awards Luncheon, please visit

About the ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council
ArtsKC advances and supports the arts for the benefit of the Kansas City region. Please visit our website for more information.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.


This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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