Laya Crust grew up in Winnipeg, Canada and later moved to Toronto. Laya began her studies in art and design at the University of Manitoba and continued at The Three Schools of Art and at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. She has pursued her love of Jewish text in both Jerusalem and Toronto.

Laya works mainly with paint and ink on paper. She has been commissioned by Universities, hospitals, community organizations and private institutions to design gifts which have been presented to major philanthropists. Her work is in private collections around the world. Laya expands her work using a variety of media including: fabric, glass, clay, and silver.

Laya and her husband live in Toronto and have six children.


Creation is an overwhelming concept. As we journey through a day the things we see, hear, touch, taste, smell and feel change from moment to moment and we are altered. We can be elevated by the beauty around us or put into despair because of the pain, suffering and destruction around us. But the most important thing is to be aware and receptive to the nature, humanity and the creations around us. 

What I try to do through my art is to touch people’s minds and emotions. When I design a piece, I try to find the source and soul of the work. I love to research the background of a piece and introduce images that connect the theme with history, geography, and spirituality. Whether working on a ketubah, painting designs for a 5’ x 6’ window, interpreting a story from the bible, or designing a fundraising piece, I work to uncover the essence of the message. In that way I can talk to the soul of the viewer.

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