Saturday, May 27, 2017

Day 114:Lauri Kaye


Lauri Marks Kaye has worked professionally as an artist since graduating from Parsons School Of Design, NYC in 1992. She first landed a job as assistant art director at Rolling Stone Magazine and eventually moved on to become art director at NSI Design, NY, fulfilling art and design projects for local and corporate clients including AT&T and Scientific American. Eventually, Kaye began freelancing building up a client list that would enable her to launch her design firm, Sun Design, Inc. The artists at the new design studio worked on a wide range of creative design projects...the favorite being the art and design for two large theme restaurants, Jekyll & Hyde and Night Gallery. During these impressionable year Kaye was inspired to work on a business plan that would lead to opening her own restaurant where she could use her art and design skills as well as her joy of cooking, and feeding the public delicious healthy meals. 

In the spring of 1998, Kaye packed her jeep with all of her worldly possessions from Manhattan and traveled the long route to the southwest. Her professional intention was to open a restaurant serving creative american fare where artists would be able to exhibit and sell their work. From this endeavor Create Cafe & Catering, Inc. was born and opened inTucson in 1999 fulfilling these dreams and so much more...remaining open for 13 years. 

Lauri Kaye had been continuously building her fine arts portfolio and applied for non-profit status for a new business venture called Create ForThe People, Inc.The mission was to do original and commissioned artwork where all of the profits go to charity. She created an artistic service called “a portrait story” providing hand drawn customized portraits with subjects ranging from people, pets, businesses to current events. Clients complete a questionnaire in order to obtain interesting and relevant information about the “subject”.All of the information as well as an image/s are woven together to create a truly unique piece of art that tells a story. 100% the profits go to charities, mostly here inTucson, including the Humane Society. 

The following works of art consist of a variety of hand drawn line portraits with subjects ranging from Tucsonans, a rescue dog, news events, celebrities, and events.After researching or interviewing the “subject”the portrait story is drawn incorporating this information as well as images into the art with archival pigment on paper, scanned and at times digitally altered. Color is also performed digitally when requested and/or deemed appropriate.The “Story” can be added at the bottom of the piece which is an engaging way for the observer to look for items within the art. 

It would be fantastic to create a series of animal portrait stories each one with their own 2-4 sentence story at the bottom of the artwork! 

Take Good Care, 

Lauri Kaye

Artist Statement
I love the freedom of adulthood empowering me to unlearn all of the rules of childhood especially the anecdotal “do not talk to strangers” For instance, I see the same man selling newspapers at the same time of day on the same corner for years. Finally, I roll down my car window look at him in the eyes and say “hello”, pull over and listen as he shares his humorous and at times heart breaking history. Everyday encounters such as this leave me absolutely bursting with enthusiasm to have them captured and recorded visually and textually. This man on the street, like all of us is a teacher and a treasure which I want to share with the world. So with my sketchbook and a couple of micron pens I get busy. In the same “unlearning” vain, I let the lines and shapes of the man and our visit flow in permanent ink. No pencils, no longer able to erase or worry about “mistakes” Information gathered from our chat are woven into the drawing then layered with vibrant colors and textures drawn out from photographs and digital art. At last colored ink fuses on top of brushed metal with some final strokes of the mighty micron pen. The “icing on the cake” is returning to them, and surprising them with a gift — a portrait filled with the stories that came tumbling out when we first met. I call these colorful journalistic line drawings Portrait Stories.

Gates Pass-A Tucson Portrait Story

Frank's Salsa-A Tucson Portrait Story 

El Tour-A Portrait Tucson Story

Joe on 4th-A Portrait Tucson Story

Three Generations of Tohono O'Oodham

Press Release

 Media contact: Lauri Kaye 

Tucson International Airport Exhibits First Installment of “A TUCSON PORTRAIT STORY” 

Tucson, Ariz. (Feb. 6, 2017) Tucsonans and tourists flying into TIA are in for a pleasant surprise from February 6, 2017 through March 16, 2017 as Tucson artist Lauri Marks Kaye exhibits 20 works of art (the first half of 40+ pieces) from her series, “A Tucson Portrait Story” in the Upper Link Gallery at the Tucson International Airport. 

“A Tucson Portrait Story” is a collection of more than 40 drawings depicting people, places, and events that make Tucson extraordinary, in Kaye’s unique style. These include Tucson icons – like Gates Pass, the DeGrazia Mission in the Sun, Hotel Congress, The Loft Cinema, University of Arizona Sports and monsoon rains – along with insightful portraits of Tucson’s diverse population, from street musicians to waitresses. 

Kaye’s “portrait stories” are continuous line drawings that weave in meticulous details about her subjects in a style that feels a bit like a throwback to ’60s pop art, but with her own original twist. Each piece hollers for attention with its graphic journalistic style, color components and at times both heart wrenching and hysterical subject material. Plan on hunkering down and taking time with each piece as they are filled to the brim with nuanced symbols and textual references. 

While studying at Parsons School of Design in New York City, Kaye worked as assistant art director at Rolling Stone Magazine. She graduated in 1992 and was hired as art director at NSI Design, NY, fulfilling art and design projects for local and corporate clients including AT&T and Scientific American. She eventually launched her own studio, Sun Design, Inc., with clients that included two large theme restaurants, Jekyll & Hyde and Night Gallery. 

Kaye moved to Tucson in 1998 and opened Create Café & Catering, Inc., which she successfully ran for 13 years. She’s now the artist behind Create For The People Ventures, creating original and commissioned artwork. Her hand-drawn customized portraits integrate biographical information provided by her clients. Kaye loves to use her work for fundraising and donates all of her profits to local charities. Each exhibit has a dedicated local nonprofit for which the sales of her portrait stories is donated; truly “creating for the people”. 

For more information, contact Kaye at 520.404.2932 or or visit

1 comment: