ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kuki is an award-winning photographer, designer and digital artist working in Prescott, Arizona. Her artistic style draws primarily from classical and impressionistic art genres, combined with modern and iconic imagery. A working artist for over 50 years, she took up digital composite art 10 years ago. She enjoys creating images from her photographs which blur the line between photography and painting.
Kuki's works range in subject matter from luminous landscapes, to vintage SciFi scenarios, to historical and Western Art, to whimsical and nostalgic Pop Culture images. Her paintings and photographs are collected worldwide.
Born in Hollywood, California, and raised by fun-loving grandparents, she moved to Arizona 26 years ago. Kuki lives with her husband Tom and two dogs in a mid-century home near downtown Prescott. An avid history buff, Old West re-enactor, campfire guitar strummer, animal lover, kayaker, and vintage car collector, Kuki can often be found walking around downtown with her camera,
gathering ideas for paintings.
More Facts about the Artist
Kathleen "Kuki" Hargrave is a popular Arizona artist living in Prescott, Arizona. She has had a life-long interest in Art and Western History and the unique spirit and self-reliance of Western culture, and has been a successful artist and photographer for most of her life.
Born and raised in Hollywood, California, she began painting and drawing at an early age. Kuki is primarily a self-taught artist, and began showing in art galleries at the age of 15. She acquired the nickname of "Kuki" from her classmates, whom she amused with her drawings of Robots and Space Ships. She was educated at Orange Coast College and the University of California, majoring in English Literature and Art History. In 1972, she received a scholarship to read for a Literature degree at Somerville College, Oxford, in the UK. She decided in favor of staying home to raise her two young sons. During this time, she authored several children's' books while enjoying and being inspired by her family, notably, "Archie and the Blurp," "The Big Cardboard Box" and "The Sit-Down Kid," a story about a child in a wheelchair, based upon her own son Tom, who was born with Spina Bifida.
1984, she and a companion packed up a few belongings and a tipi on two burros and walked from Big Bear, California to Trout Lake, Washington, a journey of 2,000 miles. In Trout Lake, the artist purchased a parcel of land, built a small log home and lived primitively for twelve years, acquiring a deepened knowledge and appreciation of 19th century Western life. Her lifestyle was the inspiration for her numerous paintings and portraits during this time, produced in oils, acrylics, and gouache on Masonite, and shown in local museums and galleries in the Columbia River Gorge area. While there, she opened her own small gallery of Western art, The Hole in the Wall Gallery. She created the work “Wagons at South Pass”, a limited-edition print celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the Oregon Trail, a State of Oregon event.
In 1996, Hargrave purchased five acres of land near Tombstone, Arizona, where she lived and worked in for a number of years, in a primitive cabin with a woodstove and six oil lamps. Paintings were created by lamplight. She gave historical tours at the Bird Cage Theater, participated in competition gunfight reenactments, sold Native American art and jewelry, and served as Assistant Editor for the weekly Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper, writing and editing six pages of Old West history. Paintings from this time include “Luck of the Draw,” “Mount Earpmore,” “Doc Takes a Holliday,” and "Legends of Tombstone."
Kuki met her second husband, Tom Anderson, a metal sculptor, in Tombstone, and the couple moved to Prescott in 2010. She is proud of her "colorful" artistic and musical family. She is a third cousin of Fiorello La Guardia, noted mayor of New York, whose family lived in Prescott from 1892-1898. Achille Carlos La Guardia, her 3rd great-uncle, was a musician and military bandleader stationed at Fort Whipple. Kuki is also the niece of Ron Hargrave, musician, songwriter and movie actor in Hollywood during the 1950's. Uncle Ron is now in his nineties, still lives in Los Angeles, is a portrait painter in his spare time, and was recently inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
In 2014, Kuki founded The Prescott Tea Society, a leisure/culture group of Tea aficionados, and a community volunteer group called The Prescott Tea Ladies, who, together with other costumed history buffs, provide History and Tea Culture presentations and demonstrations to local non-profit organizations. A favorite activity is demonstrating Old West Faro games at the Palace Saloon on Whiskey Row, using a reproduction Faro outfit that she designed and built.
Kuki is a member of the Prescott Regulators and Their Shady Ladies, a fund-raising Old West group here in Prescott. Kuki has served as a Board of Directors member for the Western Heritage Center, and as Community Events Coordinator on the Planning Committee for the Elks Opera House Guild.
Kuki and her husband Tom are avid vintage automobile enthusiasts, and can be seen in downtown Prescott, putting around the Courthouse Plaza in their 1903 Curved Dash Oldsmobile. The artist has been represented by galleries in California and Arizona, and locally at the Prescott Center for the Arts and Mountain Artists Guild, the Peregrine Bookstore, at several local Raven art shows, at the ‘Tis Gallery, the Phippin Museum art shows on the Plaza, and is currently represented by the Ian Russell Gallery of Fine Art here in Prescott, Arizona. In 2019, Kuki’s painting entitled “Fab Town” was featured on the cover of Prescott Living Magazine. In 2021, her painting “Homeward Bound” was purchased by the City of Prescott and presented at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Hilton Garden Inn.
My Thoughts on Art
Art doesn’t sell itself. It is part of one's job as an artist to make it accessible and desirable.
By supporting and promoting other artists and other forms of art, the artist can help enrich the lives of a world starving for Beauty.
Pay it forward by giving back to one's Community.
Strive to make a difference.
Push the boundaries, challenge one's self to learn, take risks, seek new vistas, and grow as an artist.
Be thankful for the opportunity to create.
(C) 2021 Kuki Hargrave Fine Art