Senior’s art exhibit explores children’s imagination

Senior Sumire Taniai’s work to be featured at Craft Studio.
Senior Sumire Taniai's exhibition, “Imaginative Play," will be featured in the Craft Studio from Monday, June 9 through Friday, June 20. Courtesy of Sumire Taniai

The Craft Studio will showcase the work of senior Sumire Taniai from Monday, June 9, through Friday, June 20. Taniai, who is currently working on her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, says this will be her first solo exhibition.

Taniai’s paintings have been on display around Columbia, including the annual Boone County Art Show, Columbia Art League and Orr Street Studios, but her exhibition “Imaginative Play” marks the first time she is making multiple pieces to cohesively go together for a show.

“Working for exhibition (is challenging because) you focus on one theme and then you have to build (on that theme),” Taniai says.

Taniai was born in Japan and moved to Missouri when she was 12. After taking art classes all four years of high school, she originally pursued a major in graphic design before switching to painting her sophomore year at MU.

“Imaginative Play” will feature three large oil paintings, two smaller framed paintings, two sculptures and an interactive piece in which the audience contributes a little of its own imagination to the exhibit.

Taniai says her inspiration came from the imagination of children. Their minds are so expansive, she says, and she hopes to capture that through her art.

“Children’s imaginations are wild and fun, and it’s really powerful,” Taniai says. “And recently video games (and) competitive sports are taking over the children and then they’re not using much imagination, so I’m hoping that they’ll use more imagination.”

An opening reception will be on Thursday, June 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Craft Studio, complete with drinks and homemade Japanese snacks.

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