In Awards, News

Kansas City, MO, March 30, 2022: The Charlotte Street Foundation is excited to announce the selection of Kathy Liao as the Charlotte Street Fellow awarded the Art Omi International Artists Residency Program for the summer of 2022. Additionally, Charlotte Street congratulates recent Charlotte Street Visual Artist Fellow Harold Smith for being awarded the 2022 recipient of the Byron C. Cohen Award.

Kathy Liao, Liu Nian, 120″x180″, acrylic and oil on panels, 2021
Harold Smith, The Rib Man, 60″ x 48″ Acrylic and Spray Paint on Stretched Canvas, 2022

In 2005, Charlotte Street added an opportunity for one award recipient to attend the Art Omi Residency. Art Omi is a highly respected international artists residency program in Upstate New York. All past award recipients are invited to submit applications to Art Omi with one spot guaranteed for a Charlotte Street artist. Artists are selected by the Art Omi selection panel. Not only does the selected artist benefit from the fully-funded residency and professionally curated exhibition, but all applicants have their work viewed by a selection panel comprised of nationally known artists, arts professionals, and art collectors.

The Byron C. Cohen Award provides one Kansas City-based visual artist annually with funding to attend a leading national/international art fair of their particular interest. The award is administered by Charlotte Street and funded by contributions made to Charlotte Street in memory of Byron C. Cohen. The artist for the annual award is selected by a panel of local and national curators as part of Charlotte Street’s annual Visual Artist Awards selection process.

The Byron C. Cohen Award honors gallerist and collector Byron C. Cohen and his passion for art, artists travel, and his desire to connect Kansas City and its artists to the national and international art world. Eileen Cohen, Toma Wolff, and Mark Cohen serve as advisors to the Byron C. Cohen Fund at Charlotte Street Foundation. Funds contributed to date will support one annual Byron C. Cohen Award for five years.


Kathy Liao is a member of the Artist Services team at Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City. Through her role as both educator and arts administrator, Liao facilitates equitable, inclusive, and accessible spaces to build community that encourages collaborations and partnerships across the arts ecosystem. As an artist of Taiwanese descent, Liao looks for patterns and repetitions in behaviors of the immigrant family. Liao received her MFA in Painting from Boston University. She is a recipient of various awards including the 2020 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Award, Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Grant, and residency fellowships from Studios INC and Jentel Artist Residency. Formerly, Liao was Director of the Painting and Printmaking at Missouri Western State University, and taught at various institutions across the country. She was nominated “Most Influential Professor” in 2019.


Harold Smith is a Kansas City born and based visual artist who’s internationally exhibited and collected work includes painting, collage, mixed media, performance, video, sound, and assemblage. 

His broad practice addresses issues of the complexity of the black male experience in the Western world through exploring the tension between Westernized societal perceptions of and attitudes toward black masculinity and how these perceptions and attitudes impact it.


Omi International Artists Residency invites visual artists from every continent, representing a wide diversity of artistic styles, to gather in rural New York State to experiment, collaborate, and share ideas. During four weeks each June-July, concentrated time for creative work is balanced with the stimulation of cultural exchange and critical appraisal. Learn more at


The Byron C. Cohen Award honors Byron’s passion for art, artists, and travel, and his desire to connect Kansas City and its artists to the national and international art world. Byron was adamant that exposure to premier art fairs such as Art Basel, New York art fairs, and various satellite fairs would enable collectors and artists to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the visual arts. With this in mind, the Byron C. Cohen Award was established to provide local artists funding to attend premiere fairs. A panel of local and national curators selects the Byron C. Cohen Award recipient annually as part of Charlotte Street Foundation’s annual Visual Artist Awards selection process.


Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers—acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $2 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit

View as PDF Here


Recommended Posts