Kayza DeGraff-Ford was born in Lacombe, Alberta in 1992. They are an emerging contemporary painter working mainly in narrative portraiture, landscape, and still-life. DeGraff-Ford completed the foundation program at Yukon School of Visual Arts in 2017, where they were the recipient of the BMO 1st Art award for Yukon Territory. They transferred to NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, completing their Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Interdisciplinary Arts in 2021. Since living in Halifax they have shown work at Hermes Gallery, Dalhousie Art Gallery, and Anna Leonowens Gallery. DeGraff-Ford was the grand prize winner of the 2020 NSCAD Student Art Award. They are currently a NSCAD Community Studio artist-in-residence at the Macphee Center for Creative Learning in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
I create cinematically inspired still-life, landscapes, and narratives, often as self-portraiture. I became invested in my curiosity with painting while discovering abstract shapes, textures, and colors in the building of a figurative image. Recently my paintings are inspired by Magical Realism in literature, using symbolism and dreamscape to work through my displaced Black identity, my rural upbringing, and my transmasculine gender. Within loosely autobiographical images I attempt to connect personal experience to wider cultural context.