Mark, the son of painters, was born in Ohio in 1955 and moved with his family to California in 1962. At an early age, his lifelong interest in primitive art began with the collection of pieces that spoke to him.

Karen, a California native, expressed her interest in art early in her schooling. Over the years, she applied her talents to ceramics, watercolor, calligraphy, jewelry making. She was drawn to ‘anything art’. It was after she met Mark in 1979 that she began to explore American Indian Art. Together, they’ve assembled a first-class collection of Antique Native American baskets.

The Klay’s became interested in gourd painting during the 5 years they spent in North Carolina. Drawing from their background of collecting Indian artifacts, they are able to recreate a broad spectrum of authentic designs from Native American cultures to highly contemporary motifs. Kachinas, Mudheads, ceremonial masks, ancient style pottery and ornaments have been predominant themes for many years.

About 13 years ago, the Klay’s began designing bultos...three dimensional representations of saints inspired by sixteenth century Spanish Colonial art. The figures stand anywhere from twenty- eight inches to several feet tall. Each piece reflects the quality of its gourd base.

Clay, feathers, tinwork, turquoise, rare gaspiete, leather and found objects are combined with acrylics, oils and pastels. Mark’s bold, antique style combined with Karen’s contemporary flair, result in designs that are both primitive and highly sophisticated.

















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