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Large-scale works by Kathy Liao on display


MONMOUTH, Ill. – Recent mixed media works by Kansas City artist Kathy Liao are on display at Monmouth College in the Everett Gallery of Hewes Library.

Titled “Lingering Presence,” the exhibit features a collection of large-scale paintings, prints and mixed-media pieces. It will be on display through Feb. 23, when Liao will be on campus for a reception from 3-4:30 p.m., with a gallery talk at 3:30 p.m. The exhibit, reception and talk are all free and open to the public.

Liao lives in Kansas City, Mo., and is an assistant professor of art at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., where she teaches painting and printmaking.

Drawing inspirations from her diverse cultural background and personal history, her mixed media work is about the intimate yet universal concept of relationships.

“My work is about relationships,” said Liao. “It is a record of a moment. A portrait may begin with the person sitting in front of me, to a transient smile over FaceTime, and all that might get buried under layers of painted recollection of how the sun felt the day he sat there.”

Liao says her mixed media work is painted from observations, “layered with sharp and hazy memories and recorded snap-shot photos. With each painting, I am constantly re-establishing my relationship with the subject matter, being conscientious of my distance to them, physically and emotionally.”

Describing her artistic style, Liao said, “I project my thought and my experiences onto the canvas and the image pushes back. The result is an intimate back-and-forth conversation between myself and the work. The dialogue goes through stages of cutting and pasting painted paper and reclaimed scraps, and spills over to a physical pushing, dragging and dripping of thickly-laid and scraped-away paint. In the end, there may be so much on the painting, or only traces of history left visible.”

Liao received her master of fine arts degree in painting from Boston University and her bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing from the University of Washington. She has received several awards, including the Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Grant and artist grants from Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Vermont Studio Center and Jentel Artist Residency. Her works have been exhibited nationally in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Kansas City.