Born in San Francisco, CA. Kayla received her MFA from Boston University in 2002; BFA from University of Washington in 1998.

Recent exhibitions include: Seeing Through at Cove Street Arts; From the Heart at AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH; The Shape of Color at Perimeter Gallery; New Work at Caldbeck Gallery; One Place, Two Views at Maier Art Museum; Contemporary Responses to Modernism at University of Southern Maine; and Patterns of Influence at The Painting Center, NY.

Awards: The American Academy of Arts and Letters Childe Hassam Purchase Prize in 2014; the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painters in 2008 and the Joan Mitchell Artist Residency in New Orleans; the Dedalus Foundation Award for the Vermont Studio School Fellowship in 2008; the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant in 2006; the Blanche E. Colman Award in 2004; and the Constantin Alajalov Scholarship. She has lectured at institutions including Rhode Island School of Design, University of Washington, and Dartmouth College.  She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and lives and works in Boston and South Bristol, Maine.

Artist statement

Although I draw from the landscape and still life as a way to explore ideas, my main interest is in abstract painting. Through drawing and collage, I work towards a simple expression of what I am seeing and feeling. Abstracting space through color and mark is what keeps me engaged with painting.

I hope the viewer gets drawn to the work through color but then lingers to see what else is there. Within each of my current paintings I have worked on creating an abstract visual space by overlapping marks and color.  Space flattens in one area and expands in another.  In some of the paintings you get a sense of looking through several layers.  Marks are made as a final layer in one painting or mixed in the cacophony of light, color, and air in another.  At times I forgo freehand and use a found stencil. The focus then turns to pattern and the interruption of pattern. In the end, I hope my paintings are seen as both beautiful and unfamiliar.

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