Carla Keaton was born on August 14, 1969, in Cook County hospital in Chicago Illinois. She was born the daughter of a small town Mississippi sharecropper, and to a woman of a strict southern Baptist upbringing.  Carla was raised in Minneapolis, after her parents, along with her two other siblings moved to Minnesota in 1972. She recalls growing up in an environment where very little was ever said, and feelings were rarely expressed.  Work was her parent’s sole companion. They worked long, and they worked hard.  Bills had to be paid, and children had to be fed.  Quality time was not affordable.

Carla, the youngest of the three, spent most of her time in her room reading and drawing.  She looked forward to the late evenings when her mother and father returned home from work, and stayed up way past her bedtime just to steal a glimpse of them wearily climbing the staircase towards their bedroom. They were tired and worn, and too tired to notice.  Carla watched and read the drain on their faces, the anguish in their eyes, and the exhaustion of their bodies. It was all very clear. No words needed. No questions asked.

“Inspiration for my paintings come from a need to capture, define, record and communicate the histories, stories and moments in time of diverse groups of human populations globally.  These recorded “moments” serve as a portal, offering the viewer access to the lives and souls of those captured on canvas, and the lives and souls of us all.”

“The eyes are the windows of the soul”

English Proverb

Carla Keaton received her degree in Painting and Physical Anthropology from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.   Her work has been featured in several art galleries across Arizona. Carla is a commissioned portrait artist and has also illustrated two, published children’s books. Carla is also a muralist and has created several murals across the valley. Her paintings have been compared to the famous American realist painter Edward Hopper. She is a full time artist, residing in Tempe, with her daughter Anansa, and dogs Zoey and Snickers.

- Related Professional Experience

Carla Keaton currently works as a professional portrait artist.  In addition to creating portraits, she is also an illustrator and muralist.  She has illustrated two published children’s books, and had created several murals across the valley. Carla has also taught children’s drawing and painting classes at the Mesa Art Center.  She is also currently a substitute art teacher for the Mesa School District for grades k-12. Carla currently is a substitute art teacher for the Mesa school district. She teaches private lessons at the clients’ place of residence, art stores and art centers. Carla own and operated Gallery Serendipity in downtown Phoenix from 2012-2014, that housed a permanent collection of her body of work. Coming October 2015, Carla will be opening her new gallery Keaton Fine Art: A Global Encounter. The gallery will house and exhibit a collection of artwork that is globally & culturally diverse.


Solo Exhibits

2014- Labella Art, Tempe AZ

2013 – Latina cultural Center, Phoenix, AZ

2012 – Greenhaus Gallery and Boutique, Phoenix, AZ

2011 - Black History Month art show, Peoria Library, Peoria Arizona

Shows & Exhibitions

2015 – Chandler Center for the Arts, Women Making Faces Exhibit, Chandler AZ

2015 – Raw Artists, group show, Soul of the Single Mother Series, Monarch Theater, downtown Phoenix, AZ

2015 – Dog Eared Press, solo exhibit, Soul of the Single Mother Series, Peoria, AZ

2014 – Black History Month Art Exhibit, Labella Fine Art Gallery, Tempe AZ

2012 - Chaos Theory 13, Legend City Studios, Phoenix, AZ

2012 – Fresh Paint, Emerging Artist Show, West Valley Art Museum, Peoria, AZ

2012 – Pita Jungle, Chandler, AZ

2011 - Celebration of Artists, Peoria City Hall, Peoria AZ

2010 –2012, Gallery Serendipity, 2012 Permanent collection, Owner, Gallery Serendipity, Phoenix, Arizona

2007 - Undergraduate Show, Harry Wood Art Gallery, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

2003 - Draw the Line, Phoenix Art Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Private Collections

Ronald McKinnon – Arizona Cardinals, portrait, private home

Ruth McGregor- Retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice

Rhonda Forsyth – CEO of John C Lincoln Hospitals

Roxie Bacon – Retired Immigration Attorney