Wenwen Liao | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Wenwen Liao

Wenwen sits in front of a collection of her paintings


MFA in Visual Studies
Current Career
Painter and Educator
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Wenwen Liao describes herself as a Chinese painting artist. About her art Wenwen writes, “My paintings are portrayals of the world as seen from the eyes of children. The children’s stories frequently incorporate their friends and animals they encounter. The children’s innocence is naive, but full of affection for everything around them. They care about the animals, love the beauty of nature, and like to share moments with others." She continues, “I want to create a feeling of peacefulness in the people that view my art. There is so much chaos in the world and I want my work to be a place where they can take a break and find themselves.”


Which year did you graduate and what brought you to MCAD for your MFA? Could you speak a little bit about your background?

I graduated from MCAD with my MFA in 2014. I was excited when I was accepted both because of their scholarship program and exceptional reputation in developing inspiring artists.

I grew up in a seaside city in the south of China where I started developing my artistic tastes. I followed my passion for art by going to the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing where I graduated in animation and film. I furthered my studies by moving to the United States and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) where I got my Master of Fine Arts.

How did your art change while you were at MCAD?

MCAD helped me develop my artistic identity. It opened my eyes to the different ways I can express myself in my art.

How has your work evolved since your time at MCAD?

I developed a ‘little girl’ series of paintings that explores the innocence of childhood. I’ve learned to focus on engaging the viewer’s inquisitive nature.

Illustration by Wenwen Liao

What is next? Any new projects or jobs that are in the pipeline?

Now I want to keep pursuing my painting career. I try to modernize Chinese painting techniques. I feel they portray beauty but the traditional themes do not give a personal connection to the viewer. My art uses colors to create tranquil moments of childhood innocence. I attempt to bring warm and loving feelings to the viewer that is full of positive energy and kindness.

I also teach children through a Chinese educational institution called Discovery Children’s Education. This is a passion of mine and I want to bring what I learned during my whole life to these kids.

You donated work for the MCAD Art Sale to support our MFA 2020 Fund, which benefits future Black, Indigenous, and People of Color MFA students—thank you! What motivated you to contribute to this scholarship effort?

I come from China and this touches me personally. What I got from the MCAD MFA program made what I am today. I hope the students who can study in the MCAD MFA program can get better benefits.

Illustration by Wenwen Liao

Illustration by Wenwen Liao