"My mission is simple...to maintain the integrity of the pursuit of ART." KASHA
KASHA, (born Katherine Marie Tomski on March 11, 1969) is a Canadian multimedia artist. Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, to immigrant parents from Poland and the Ukraine. As a child, KASHA showed promise in the arts of singing, acting, music and illustrating. In high school, she studied under award winning, water color painter, Artist HUGH NIBLOCK, who recognized her affinity for drawing to which KASHA received the Art Award in both senior years.
1987 - KASHA enrolled to Guelph University, Ontario for the Bachelor of Arts program with full scholarship. British painter, Artist and Professor MARGARET PRIEST noted KASHA's talent and ‘self-willed’ nature. It was here KASHA decided not to be a painter.
1992 - 1996 KASHA enrolled to Ryerson University, Toronto with full scholarship into the acclaimed Interior Design program as 1 in 80 of 1500 international applicants. It was here KASHA fell in love with film photography. She quit the interior design program and volunteered for the local school newspapers as an entertainment photographer where she began shooting live rock concerts. The morning KASHA saw her first front page photograph of guitarist Dimebag Derrell from metal band Pantera, she took on the title of ‘photographer’ and never looked back. KASHA gained recognition quickly with each publication which fueled her ambition to jump into the real world, camera- ready. It was also during this time KASHA was invited to participate in her first group art show to support Aides Awareness. The sense of community and charity made a great impression on KASHA. This put a public spotlight on KASHA and her work which she naturally embraced and gracefully rose to the occasion. These early years of KASHA’s film photography, were full of adventure. She made her rounds with a second hand PENTAX K 1000 with such zest, it was easy for her to make friends and be acknowledged as an IT girl on the downtown Toronto scene. By the age of twenty five, KASHA was adored and respected as an under ground photographer. As KASHA continued to rise in popularity alongside more exhibitions and publications in local magazines and newspapers, she fine-tuned her subject to male models. This opened the world of fashion where KASHA became known for scouting and shooting fresh faces for modeling agencies in Toronto and South Beach Florida. She preferred to shoot on location, inspired by the natural beauty of her male subjects against the characteristics of everyday life. KASHA enjoyed producing her own solo shows featuring her favorite male models on large, experimental prints, and projections in venues that were always unusual spaces, restaurants and clubs.
1997 - 2005 The digital evolution changed the landscape for artists, and KASHA adapted seamlessly. Not only did she find a way to shoot with the newest digital cameras on the market, she pushed further by printing on large format acetate sheets to exhibit. This was also a time where EDM (electronic dance music) was making waves in the clubs and DJs were reinvented. KASHA decided to wear another hat as 1 of 3 female local DJs in South Beach Fl. She borrowed CDs, expanded her record collection and taught herself how to DJ during the day in a club when it was closed. KASHA plugged into the VIP lounges and hi-end restaurants quickly. It was easy for KASHA to be applauded because of her style and her approach to playing layers of 'ambient groove' with samples of classical rock and soundtracks.
2005-2010 KASHA identified the opportunity to expand her skills while the internet was exploding. KASHA applied for an Entrepreneur Program sponsored by the Government of Canada to develop a small business concept 'Always KASHA Online Marketing Boutique', offering companies state of the art websites, branding, photography, and cross platform marketing solutions. She opened her first office in the small town of Midland, Ontario but quickly re-located downtown Toronto in the trendy King West area.
While maintaining her Canadian marketing clients, KASHA returned to South Beach to expand her company. With a new CANON SLR digital camera in hand, KASHA remembered her love for shooting her environment. The scene in South Beach always recognized KASHA as an artist and IT Girl. She made her rounds with her camera documenting life at social hot spots leading to more exhibitions: The 'Beach Umbrella' series, and 'Paradise At Night' Both series were pop up exhibits in VIP nightclubs: Mynt Lounge and SET. KASHA produced and curated both installations which combined 360 degree wall projections with the original prints for sale.
2011 - KASHA closed her online marketing boutique shortly after she married Scott McKee, Captain for American Airlines and relocated to beautiful Palm Beach Island, Florida. Here, KASHA adapted to being a wife instead of an IT Girl in a drastically different neighborhood compared to South Beach, and downtown Toronto. The next few years included technical learning curves with upgraded equipment. This is when KASHA began to experiment with the conceptual photograph and started building a new body of large format fine art prints. Meanwhile, her South Beach connections and invitations to events always made the hour drive worthwhile with unexpected opportunities to exhibit. This inspired the FAMOUS PLAYER Celebrity Portrait series which premiered at VILLA AZURE, downtown MIAMI at the McCormick building, Palm Beach Island VOIGHT gallery, and in Northwood, West Palm in the David K Space.
2015 - KASHA and Scott renovate their first home on Palm Beach island. Together, they designed the interior to accommodate a private gallery and showroom for KASHA’s first collection of large format conceptual photography. Her inventory grew to sizes of 44” x 44” / 60” x 60” / 36” x 72” In the first year of opening, KASHA sold 3 pieces to her first collector; Bed of Nails, Bryant Park Bees, and Fire Bouquet with Humming Bird (her first official commission).
2016 - KASHA revisited a significant amount of digital images of fire that she captured during the winter of 2010 in Thunder Bay, Canada, her birth place. This is when KASHA challenged her higher self for six months creating the massive DEATH MASK LEGACY series, 66"x96". KASHA played with the mirror image, layering combinations of 3-5 images until 'magic happened'. This series represents 25 trail blazers of the world, celebrating their lives with their own conceptual DEATH MASK they have yet to discover.
2017 - KASHA's fan base grows through referrals and social media to land her second collector and commission 'Wiebel's World'. KASHA also felt she was ready to personally introduce herself and body of work to the local, Palm Beach Island contemporary galleries. All of them denied her because she was not a 'brand name'. Through research, tenacity and sheer instinct, KASHA found a 3000 sq ft space on Worth Avenue and negotiated to open her own signature gallery as a pop-up November 2017-March 2018. Here, she debuted a brand new collection of (16) 66"x96" framed, conceptual photographs to the public who responded with rave reviews. Working with this larger format helped break through to a new level of technical difficulty producing KASHA's first masterpiece ‘The Arrival’.
2018 - KASHA's new body of work enters the international, collector art market via ARTSY.net by collaborating with the FRITZ Gallery on Palm Beach Island. The triptych 'Mizner Memorial Fountain' was showcased during the 'SUMMER NIGHTS' group exhibit.
2019 - KASHA launches THE HOUSE OF PALM BEACH PRODUCTIONS to revive her strong history of music and marketing/promotions. Spanning 30 years of experience in night clubs, gallery exhibitions, and private parties. KASHA works with local DJs and club owners to produce dance parties downtown West Palm Beach FL.
2020 -KASHA Produces #LOOKUP, her first REMIX for new non profit www.humansconnected.org
-KASHA creates 'PALM BEACH DAYDREAMS' series of (3) 48"x48" conceptual photographs, Inspired by a commission for a private collector. This is also her first ARCHIVAL METAL piece.
-KASHA sells the 'POPPIES' as her first corporate piece of art in WPB.
-While the CORONA VIRUS brings the world to a stand still, KASHA launches her online platform #ARTLIVESHERE virtual exhibition on her website and opens the KASHA McKee, Palm Beach location within the Palm Beach Art/Design Showroom. This space allows KASHA to headquarter within its 25,000. sq ft. and maintain a permanent display of art work.
2021- KASHA launches #ownakasha social marketing campaign.
- KASHA begins collaborations with the Palm Beach Art/Design Showroom for MOMENTS IN TIME , EXITIC EXPRESSIONS, THE FUTURE IS FEMALE , MASQUERADE exhibitions.
-The PALM BEACH ART/DESGN SHOWROOM invites KASHA to display her conceptual photography at the annual PALM BEACH SHOW - ART FAIR. This is her FIRST Art Fair.
-KASHA sells and installs "HORSE POWER" Triptych to her fifth collector.
-KASHA sells "THE PARROT TREE" to her sixth collector.
2022 - KASHA installs 'ROSES' flower puzzle at a private home in Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo Fl., to an existing collector.
- The PALM BEACH ART/DESGN SHOWROOM invites KASHA to display her conceptual photography at the annual PALM BEACH SHOW - ART FAIR. This is her second Art Fair.
-The PALM BEACH ART/DESGN SHOWROOM invites KASHA to display 'WORTH AVENUE' (Flower Puzzle series) in Women of the Showroom 2022 exhibition.
- SOLO SHOW 'Everybody has a heart'
KASHA McKee on location at the Acropolis, Athens, 2011.