Making A Difference: Lexington man's art leaves lasting legacy

Posted at 1:15 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 18:08:46-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After his unexpected passing over the summer, the New Life Day Center in Lexington is using one of their client's talents to help others like him.

Jaff Maki was a regular at the New Life Day Center where he would come in, get some coffee and draw.

"They can get up to five cups of coffee a day here, and I would say Jeff had five cups of coffee just about every day and he drew on most of them," said Tyler Hurst, executive director of the New Life Day Center.

Soon, the cups, plastered with cityscapes and imaginative skylines, began piling up.

"When we saw what he was doing on the cups we thought well this is a talent that we need...we're here to help them," said Hurst.

The center helped Maki foster his talent. They helped him gather supplies, took him out to get inspiration and even helped get some of his art in restaurants around town.

"They're individuals who have stories and for someone to be sitting in our room every day upstairs who had this much talent... yeah it was even to us a little surprising, " Hurst explained.

Like many homeless people, Jeff Maki camped outside. Tragically, over the summer he passed away unexpectedly in the heat. Left with his portfolio and no real family to speak of, the New Life Day Center decided the best way to utilize his art would be to sell it to help others.

On Saturday, his prints will be for sale. All proceeds will go right back to the center to help others like him, but to also help the public realize a person is so much more than where they sleep but who they are inside.

"For his art to contribute to a place that he considered to be his home... I think that's about as good as it could get for him, " Hurst said.

You can buy Jeff's work in person this Saturday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the New Life Day Center's Craft Fair. The center is located at 224 North Martin Luther King Blvd.

The prints can also be purchased online.