About The Artist
I became an artist with a simple idea in mind: create art that encourages my people to live more joyful, authentic lives.
I am Kayla Je’wel Lucas, a Black American visual artist.
I draw inspiration from my journey through life as a Black American woman. I look to the nuanced experiences of the women in my family, my community, and throughout history to bring authenticity to my practice. My art practice centers figuration and portraiture, but I am currently adding abstraction and mixed media to my latest work to explore the layers and textures of the Black experience more fully through my lens. I am interested in the interactions of figure and space to create narratives and meanings aligned with how colors and shape evoke emotion. I hope that when viewers interact with my work, they experience a nostalgic connection that invites them to see their own experiences mirrored back to them.
Growing up in Winston Salem, NC, I became a part of the richness of the North Carolina art environment pretty early. In high school, I truly allowed myself the freedom to experiment with art. As a child, I was very creative but never thought it was a viable career path.
Coming from a low income family, I know I wanted more for myself so I figured I'd become an anesthesiologist, a psychologist, or anything else with a high salary expectation; never an artist, though. I began experimenting with painting on fabric around 2015. In the coming years, I customized a number of shoes, clothes, and basically anything else I could get my hands on. This was an easy way for me to make extra cash to buy more supplies and build the foundation for my journey of entrepreneurship.
I kept practicing painting on canvas and customizing clothing through my college years until I created the clothing brand, Black Jewels. After a few years of growth with this brand, I realized my passion was not fashion; it was art.
Since then, I've traveled across North Carolina participating in various exhibitions like FRESH 2 DEATH and Black Futures Gallery. In addition to exhibiting art, I have received the United Arts Council Grant and the HUG Grant to continue further on my body of work titled I Love Your Hair.