Maia Chao is an interdisciplinary artist from Providence, RI who works in video, performance, sculpture, and social practice. 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, Parsons School of Design, and The Shed. 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 Creative Capital finalist, Chao holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from RISD. Currently, she is artist in residence at Pioneer Works and teaches sculpture at RISD. 

Instagram: @maia.pologies


CV and Artist Statement available upon request.

Photo Credit: Kelly Marshall