Local Artist Looks To Take Talents To London

Local Artist Looks To Take Talents To London

From London to New York to Memphis. Kris Keys has sketched alongside catwalks around the world.
From London to New York to Memphis.

Kris Keys has sketched alongside catwalks around the world.

She has just been accepted to the London College of Fashion.

And Memphians are helping her on her journey.

“I would always go to workshops within St. Jude and draw with the nurses,” Keys said.

Keys got her artistic start at St. Jude.

She was diagnosed with a blood disorder as a baby and spent quality time at the children’s research hospital.

“I was able to take what they let me experience and turn it into something new,” Keys said.

From childhood drawings to beautiful sketches. Keys took her passion and turned it into a career.

“I sit along the catwalks of fashion week and I sketch looks,” Keys said. “It is a very demanding emotional experience. Most of the time they’ll give me a pretty good seat where I can see the runway and I literally have to capture the outfits in like 30 seconds.”

When she found out she was accepted into the London College of Fashion, she returned to her hometown to raise money for her tuition.

One of her stops was The Art Village Gallery on South Main.

“As I talked with her I began to see the similarity between Kris and my son,” gallery owner Ephraim Urevbu said.

Urevbu’s son Joshua was also a patient at St. Jude.

In fact, Joshua and Kris both have the same doctor.

The more Ephraim talked with Kris, the more he knew he wanted to help.

“Back in Africa where I come from…villagers, when the see a talent, they put resources together and send that child to school,” Ephraim said. “Once I’m finished with this program I’m able to…I'll have the experiences and the tools and the knowledge and skills that I need to start my own fashion line, which has always been my dream,” Keys said. “I've been really blessed to experience a lot coming from Memphis. Just seeing the people in Memphis doing trolley night walking up and down main street really inspires me. The music and the food and just the very delta down south culture.”

The tuition is not cheap.

Kris is working to raise $20,000 and she only has a few more weeks to do it.

A fundraiser will be held at The Art Village Gallery on South Main August 16th.

It will feature 20 of her beautiful, original illustrations.  For more on the fundraiser click here.
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