For a relative newcomer to West Palm Beach, Lisa Kaw has made quite a colorful splash.
She moved here just 3 years ago from Boston. She was working as a speech pathologist but her husband got a great job offer and they moved to the city.
“I didn’t know anyone and I was looking for a change,” says Kaw. “I wanted to do something creative and fun and have freedom from the 9 to 5 job.”
So she went to the art supply store and just started asking questions.
“I literally just dove in and asked what is acrylic? Then I bought paints and brushes and just started to paint objects that looked happy to me like fruit and animals.”
With help from the ArtiGras Emerging Artist Program, she had her first show and exhibited at fairs and at SunFest. Last summer she took over a studio space at Ready2Hang Gallery in Jupiter that had previously been occupied by palette knife artist Sarah La Pierre. The gallery is a multi-functional space that offers design services and art prints for sale. Kaw painted the walls and chairs and set up displays and posted everything on Instagram. She also takes Polaroids of visitors and hangs those as well.
Her bright colors and simple pop art designs have been a big hit with kids, particularly images of sloths, unicorns and parrots.
“I have an 8-year old niece and she helps me pick images she likes; I’ve also done live painting with kids at CityPlace. I keep the originals here in my studio and I have prints available in the store. I met Ashley Capps of Gravity at the gallery and she invited me to create murals at the CityPlace garage which is a big leap for me. I did the first one in October 2018 and the second one a few weeks later.”
‘City Sunset’ is a mural that captures the beauty of the western city view.
“Many of the condos and office buildings downtown enjoy spectacular sunsets. As the day winds down each evening, warm colors dance across the darkening blue sky. Positioned atop the garage, the mural personifies the natural beauty of the city we live in. Even better, I can see “City Sunset” from the balcony of my condo. I take a lot of pictures of it in different light.”
Her other mural, “West Palm Waves” represents the energy of our thriving city.
“In constant undulation, we are perpetually moving and expanding. Our connection to the water recharges us and propels us forward. Water is life, and the city is full of it. Located on the fourth floor of the garage, the mural reminds us of the power and beauty of our vibrant community.”
Lisa Kaw other projects lined up including an installation at Subculture Coffee in Jupiter, a 12-piece collection titled “Copabanana” that rotates to the other two coffee house locations, 2 months at each location. This project is managed by Gravity, run by Ashley Capps. Inspired by the exotic glamour of the famed Copacabana of 1940s New York City, Kaw’s installation “Copabanana” is a playful tribute to tropical fun, food, and fashion. Painted on circular pieces of wood, these portholes offer a glimpse into the alluring nightclub with its exotic birds, fashionable fruit, and the ever elusive showgirls.
Kaw has become insanely busy with her new career. She has no kids and no pets which leaves her and her husband free to travel to exotic places like Bali and create. She met her husband when she was 15 in High School and has been with him ever since.
“It’s a whole new fun creative life I have here,” she says with a grin. “This place makes me really happy.”
Follow her art adventures on Instagram @LisaKaw.