From Filmmaker to Artist: Exploring the World of Deborah Kay

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Artist Deborah Kay

  Deborah Kay, artist and filmmaker, fell in love with Superior while out scouting for a new location for her film studio.

  Deborah grew up and attended school in Apache Junction, Arizona. After a number of years living in different parts of the country from coast to coast, she has returned to her Arizona roots.

  In 2011, Deborah visited Superior and stopped at Porter’s Cafe (404 W. Main St., Superior) where she met and spoke with some of the people. She was looking for a building for a film studio. She is the owner of FishGate Productions along with her sister, Rita L. Betti. The company produces short films, commercials and documentaries. She is a producer and film director.

Deborah Kay’s depiction of times past.

  Deborah is also a talented painter.

  Deborah purchased the Smokey’s Hardware building on Main Street in Superior in 2012. It now houses Kay Gallery where Deborah’s paintings are displayed. Deb has been painting since she was a child and is mostly self-taught. Her medium is acrylic with oil over the top. She was encouraged to paint while growing up by her neighbor Beryl Boynton, the widow of artist Ray Scepter Boynton. Boynton is best known for his mural work during the Great Depression in California. He was an artist and arts educator. She is an admirer of local artist Bob Hesse. 

  “I love Bob Hesse’s art work,” Deborah said. “His paintings look like a photograph.”

Deborah Kay is exploring Superior’s rich mining history.

  Deborah paints people, animals and landscapes. Many of her paintings are influenced by the desert and western history and life.

  She is currently working on a mining series that has local historic ties. Some of her paintings include scenes from around Superior and in the gallery, there is a painting of the old mining community of Sonora.  She has been asked to display some of her art in Cottonwood. She would like to do an Art Walk with another gallery in Superior.

  Deborah is currently the Home Tour Art Show Coordinator and will be participating in the Art in the Park portion of the 10th Annual Home and Building Tour in Superior on Jan. 27 and 28, 2018. Deborah Kay is a wonderful addition to the growing art scene in Superior. Stop in and meet her at Kay Gallery, 161 Main St. next to the Superior Chamber of Commerce or visit Kay Gallery on Facebook.

Author’s note: In talking with Deborah, I found out that she has, through her sister Rita Betti, a connection to the Superior Sun, the Pinal Nugget’s sister newspaper. Rita was friends with Wendy Brooks who was the daughter of the publisher of the Superior Sun. James R. Brooks was the owner of the Superior Sun from November 1959 until 1967. He also owned the Apache Sentinel and Gilbert Enterprise newspapers.    

Deborah Kay’s little donkeys are just sweet.

Art of Deborah Kay

Deborah Kay is exploring Superior’s rich mining history.

John Hernandez (687 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


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