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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM Gallery’s Visiting Artist Series Hosts Liam O’Brien

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 5, 2010) – The University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design Visiting Artist Lecture Series will host a presentation by Liam O’Brien, Brooklyn-based artist and manager of Kaikai Kiki Studios in New York. The event, which is free and open to the public, is planned for 1p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the Gallery of Art and Design, 217 E. Clark St.

O’Brien’s presentation will focus on the works of artist Takashi Murakami of the Kaikai Kiki Studios. He will also discuss his own work, which has been exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the UnitedStates.

Born in Winter Park, Fla., O’Brien spent his early life performing with his family in circuses throughout the United States, later performing as a costumed character at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  In addition to his gallery exhibits, O’Brien has worked as a scenic artist and has been involved in the production of numerous themed environments and backdrops for museum interiors, theme parks, retail stores, and stage shows. He also has taught courses in studio art at The Ohio State University.

O’Brien received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing from The University of Florida, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from The Ohio State University.

Kaikai Kiki Co. was founded by Takashi Murakami in 2001. The company produces and promotes artwork; manages and supports select young artists, events and projects; and produces and promotes merchandise. By organizing world-class exhibitions and projects, handling public relations and artist's biographies, and offering Murakami’s personal feedback on work in progress, Kaikai Kiki is dedicated to the growth of these emerging artists.

The paintings, sculptures, and balloons of Takashi Murakami refer to lovable cartoon characters.  Murakami uses his understanding of Western art to integrate his work into its structure, working from the inside to portray “Japanese-ness” as a tool to bring about revolution in the world of art. He also maintains a strong commitment to promoting Japanese art throughout the world. 

The UCM Gallery of Art and Design is open to the public, free of charge, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Groups are welcome. To learn more about the UCM Gallery of Art and Design, including upcoming exhibits, contact the gallery staff at 660-543-4498 or