Photo Credit: Kelly Marshall

Maia Chao is an interdisciplinary artist from Providence, RI. As a child, she spent 10 years working as a cashier named Eveny Chefa at a fictional store in her parents’ basement called Harland’s. Guided by an abiding obsession with social norms, Chao’s work explores play and absurdity as subversive and emancipatory tools for collaboration and collective imagining. 

She is co-founder of Look at Art. Get Paid. (LAAGP), a socially engaged artwork that pays people who don’t visit art museums to visit one as a guest critic. In partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, LAAGP is set to launch across a cohort of art museums in Massachusetts in 2019-2021. 


Chao has shown at the Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown Art Museum, Brown University, RISD Museum, Tufts University Art Galleries. She has been commissioned by The Shed, the Museum of Capitalism, and the Center for Reconciliation in Rhode Island.


In 2018, she completed a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center, served as Andrew W. Mellon Artist in Residence at Haverford College, and received a Van Lier Fellowship from the Asian American Arts Alliance of NYC.

A Fulbright grantee and 2018 Creative Capital finalist, Chao holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is currently artist in residence at Pioneer Works (2019-20). She will teach in RISD's Sculpture Department in Spring 2020. 



CV and Artist Statement available upon request.

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