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Meet Kathleen Keifer of Keifer Art in Manhattan Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathleen Keifer.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kathleen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After I got my BFA from Notre Dame, the plan was to go into portrait painting and illustration. But if I’ve learned anything from LA, I have learned that roads take unexpected turns. I became a landscape painter the moment I stepped off the plane at LAX. That ocean! That color! That light! How was I not supposed to paint it? Compared to the Midwest, this place is Oz. I remember sitting into the back of a cab, squished in with my three little daughters (all under four, back in 1996) drawing manically on the back of a boarding pass.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The recession wasn’t good for brick-and-mortar art galleries. Eleven of the places where I showed my work went out of business. (McLean Gallery in Malibu, and Gallery 319 in Santa Monica were particularly big blows.) But weirdly, that new forced freedom meant I was able to expand. Without so many of my staple galleries, I took chances as an artist I’m not sure I would have otherwise.

Please tell us about Keifer Art.
Pre-recession, I was known for my contemporary LA landscapes and the palm tree series. Post-recession, I used my Andy Warhol-esque palms as a jumping-off point to do more pop art. Now I am also known for my paintings of iconic board games and athletes. I’m the official artist of Notre Dame (still my beloved alma mater.) I also discovered that I love doing commissions. There’s something very, very exciting about collaborating with collectors.

My very latest work goes back to my eternal love of California oceanscapes, but now I’m much loser, more abstract. I am completely taken with the romance of the jets I see flying into LAX every night from my studio in Manhattan Beach. They’re showing up in a lot of my newest paintings, little lights flying over the sea.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
The moment I knew I was going to be an artist, I was maybe six or seven, standing in the Art Institute of Chicago. I was in the Monet room. Monet was fascinated by the way light could change objects, so he had painted the same two haystacks dozens of times, all different seasons and times of day. I have a very intense memory of aware of the passage of time as I stood there, taking it all in. It’s no secret that Monet’s haystacks have heavily inspired my lifeguard towers.


  • As an artist, I believe in being affordable to all potential buyers. My series of 12×12 palms and lifeguard towers are $450 each.

Contact Info:

Image Credit: Dana Fineman

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.



  1. Marcoantonio Arellano

    June 24, 2017 at 10:35

    I love your art! We have spoken before having asked if you were related to G. Kiefer from South Bend, IN. where I reside. I have a good friend who graduated from Notre Dame and is an author, maybe you’ve heard of her, Lisa Kelly? She’s authored the following: Echos From The End Zone; The Men We Became. She’s working on another book. Check out her FB site when you get a chance. In conversations with her, although previously focused on the ‘athlete’ narrative we have had a conversation about just featuring ND Alum in different pursuits. I think your beautiful art and her being a published writer along with her connections and yours would be a wonderful marriage of collaboration. I’m not getting paid for this brokering ‘gig’ but would consider it via a barter exchange (QQ)! Once again, I love your art!

    • Kathleen Keifer

      October 6, 2017 at 05:51

      Marcoantonio, sorry I am just reading your response now! My email
      I know Lisa Kelly! Which of my paintings interest you the most?
      Best, Kathleen

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