Art student shows talent in solo exhibition

Yue Li is a junior art major with emphasis in painting and drawing at Washburn. Her artistic talent showed at an early age. Li is an international student from Sichuan, China. She was born into an art family and her mother, an artist, inspired her early artistic life.

“Washburn is like my second family,” said Li. “Here, I have met and made many friends, and going to the events on campus with friends is so enjoyable.”

Li takes part in many extracurricular activities on campus, including the Washburn Process Coalition, International Club and Presidential Ambassadors for International Students.

She holds her first solo exhibition from Feb. 1 to March 30 at Soho Interiors in Topeka. The exhibition contains different art forms like oil painting, charcoal and pastel.

“I have always had a passion to hold my solo exhibition, because it’s a good chance to let more people know me and my art,” said Li. “I learned how to interact with people as an artist and how to introduce my art to people.”

Her life and travel experience inspire her creation of artworks. Because she has been to many places in China and the U.S., some of the artwork depicts the view of Kansas, Colorado and Hainan, China, a coastal city.

Owner of Soho Interiors, Vicky Lynch, provides the location for Li to have her exhibition. 

“There is all the variety in the exhibit,” Lynch said. “It allows everyone to see what she can do.”

One of the outstanding artworks is “Oriental Rhythm,” which has been selected for the Rice Gallery Fine Art in the National Portraits and Figures Show. People can still enjoy the copy of it at Soho Interiors.

The idea of painting “Oriental Rhythm” was to show the contrasts of 2D and 3D, past and present. The foreground is a Japanese girl with Kimono, a traditional Japanese garment, which is three-dimension and realistic. The background is a Japanese mural, which is flat.

Li’s talent for art takes her far away. She had artworks selected in the Washburn Art Student Show and shown in Mulvane Art Museum, and she won the Topeka branch for the National League of American Pen Women award in the student show. Moreover, her paintings got into the 2018 Oil Painting National Exhibition, National Portraits & Figures Show as well as Artists of Northwest Arkansas 24th Annual Regional Exhibition.

She will graduate in 2020. She plans to get a master’s degree in another state and become an art professor at a university. She wants to hold more exhibitions in the future and work toward her dream.

“My dream is to be a great artist whose artworks can positively influence the society,” said Li. “Holding a solo exhibition is just the beginning.”