Born and raised in Belleville, Kaya was the shy one growing up, quickly labeled a nerd. Unfazed, she spent most of her time beside her grandmother Jolyn Grieve who helped establish the Belleville Art Association. Kaya was her assistant when she taught fine arts classes in the 90s at Loyalist College, Glanmore House and other venues. She took great pride in handing out brushes and canvasses to the attendees: a little one keen on learning the family biz. Coming from a long line of strong, creative minds with generations of knowledge, she did a lot of listening and learning.
A young Kaya spent her days in nature learning about flora and fauna, and painting at the family cottage in Muskoka.
Kaya’s Grandmother Jolyn and great-grandfather, Clifton W. Greer (renowned Canadian artist) Both held titles as teachers at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Clifton having studied under Arthur Lismer and James McDonald, founding members of the Group of Seven, Fred Haines and Lawrence Panton, whose works hang in the National Gallery of Canada.
Clifton was a good friend of Tom Thompson, the most influential and popular Canadian artist of the early 1900s. They would portage together. Rumour has it that Clifton was supposed to go with Tom to Algonquin Park on that ill-fateful canoe trip which claimed his life.
Kaya cherishes the gift of many such stories passed from one generation to the next. Before opening the Bazaar Artisan Market in 2020, Kaya was working for the Non Profit sector, bringing her tenacity and goals for community engagement to life.
Kaya’s working on her own legacy in the Downtown District and describes it best. “Artistry is the torch I carry.”