Fine artist, Lauri Marks Kaye, enjoys wandering around Tucson in search of great coffee shops in which to take up
residence to do her drawings while enjoying endless cups of coffee. She is passionately committed to straying from her schedule to entertain impromptu photoshoots with her Iphone and drum up conversations with strangers for which she uses as subjects for her drawings in a newly made up artistic category called, “Portrait Stories”. Time seems to stand still for Kaye when in the presence of works by outsider art and street artists such as Banksy and southern folk artist, Leroy Almon; amazing story tellers with their direct and primitive approaches.
Her informal art education began at a public elementary school where she hustled her artistic crafts such as fuzzy pencils and painted rocks for ice cream money. Since then she’s added silk screening, graphic design, painting,
photography and drawing to her list of artistic endeavors. With the encouragement of her high school mentor and professional artist, John Sears, she applied to Parsons School of Design in New York City where she earned her
Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. The opportunity to learn from such great artists who were working in their chosen field like designers Fred Woodward and Shin Matsunaga was all the proof she needed that she too could earn a living with her artistic talent without having to panhandle.
Kaye has had the good fortune of working with a motley crew of outstanding artists while at Rolling Stone Magazine, NSI Design and eventually at her own design company in New York City, Sun Design. Her favorite works were art and graphic designs for several theme restaurants such as Jekyll and Hyde, The Slaughtered Lamb and the Night Gallery. In 1998 Kaye packed up her bags leaving the big city and headed west to a magical place in the Sonoran Desert, Tucson, AZ; the perfect place to open her own restaurant where she would wear all of the hats from
cooking, both collateral design and interior design, marketing and mopping. Miraculously for 13 years her venture, Create Cafe & Catering, served as a place where the community gathered sharing ideas over healthful meals. The restaurant also served as a playground for fine artists and musicians with a constant rotation of local artists’ works.
After retiring form the restaurant industry, Kaye returned her innate talent to draw and exciting career in graphic design to establish, Create For The People, a studio, where she creates original and commissioned mixed media portraits of people, places, events, and social issues for corporations and personal home interiors.
Kaye’s experience over the past 20 years in Tucson, AZ is that of a unique and vibrant blend of desert life, eclectic and passionate people, fascinating history and endless opportunity. Kaye’s quest is to use her artistic experience and
journalistic passion to capture the magic of the old pueblo in her latest series, “Tucson Portrait Stories” illuminating the people, places and events that make Tucson extraordinary. There are over 40 works to date with many more tocome. In each, textual information is incorporated into detailed drawings layered with photography and digital color. Kaye’s choice of ”tools” depends largely on what she can fit into her purse...a micron pen, sketchbook, sharpie markers and a smartphone. Having always been drawn to the rawness, vibrancy and primitive nature of graffiti art and murals Kaye loves using unusual surfaces such as metal and wood and for the final production of artwork bringing outdoor adventures indoors.