ASU alumna starts KAYRAE business to display local talent

All businesses begin with an idea or a passion that stems from within. For ASU alumna Kindal McDaniel her love for art blossomed into a business — KAYRAE art&images.

After receiving an associate's degree in graphic design from Mesa Community College and a degree in marketing from ASU, McDaniel put her talents into KAYRAE, a non-profit company that opened in August of 2014 to allow local artists in the community to display their talent. 

As an artist herself, McDaniel said she wanted to help other artists with their personal careers.

In a step toward this goal, KAYRAE hosts an art show every two to three months to allow different artists in the Tempe and Phoenix areas to show off their talent. 

"Each show features a lot of creative people coming together in one spot,” McDaniel said.

She said she seeks out talent by attending other art shows, and distributes business cards in hopes of reaching out to more artists and discovering new talent. 

McDaniel said she believes that many artists lack the opportunity to show their work, and KAYRAE gives them a platform to do so.

Local artist Paige Poppe said she began selling her work in the summer of 2014, and was first approached by McDaniel at First Friday, a self-guided art walk that is held on the first Friday of every month.

Poppe said McDaniel took the time to speak with each artist at the event.

“It meant a lot to me to have someone see something special in my work,” she said. “Especially at the very beginning of (my) journey.”

Poppe was featured on KAYRAE’s website, and has been supported by McDaniel ever since they first met.

Phoenix muralist Geremy Cites said KAYRAE has allowed him to share his talent with a larger local audience. He said that McDaniel provides artists a way into the community, especially because she only takes 20 percent of the profit made at KAYRAE art shows.

These events are held at different venues in Tempe and Phoenix, such as Handlebar, the Ice House Tavern and Moonage Tempe. McDaniel brings together different bands along with a beer sponsor to accommodate those 21 or older for a $5 cover charge. 

However, each event is an all-age show that gives attendees the opportunity to experience live music and a gallery of work from local artists in the Valley. Each display features between 15 to 30 artists.

McDaniel said she pays the bands that perform at each show and rents out venues as needed. Businesses sometimes offer to host the event for free to bring in more customers, with revenue coming from ticket sales and merchandise that features KAYRAE’s logo.

McDaniel said she does not believe in charging the artists that put their work on display outside of the 20 percent cover-cost, and tries to create lasting relationships with the artists that are featured in each show. 

The company is completely volunteer-based. Those who volunteer are generally checking identification at the door, bartending and distributing wristbands for those 21 and older . Volunteers receive free entry into each show along with free t-shirts and merchandise.

McDaniel said the very first KAYRAE art show brought in around $1,500. Recently, a show held at Handlebar in Tempe brought in $3,200.

She said she manages the business on her own, but her companions have helped book local bands and print the merchandise, and she is grateful to work with them.


Reach the reporter at Alyssa.Hesketh@asu.edu.

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