Katherine Hartel is a Toronto based artist. Primarily a painter, she also experiments with photography, drawing and printmaking to inform her work. She received a BFA from Queen’s University has since been involved in the community arts; she’s led innovative art camps for kids, workshops for adults and was responsible for the creation of the Healing Mural Project for Street Haven, a women’s shelter in Toronto.

Artist’s Statement

My creative process is tied to close observations of intimate moments with people, natural objects or the landscape. Through naturalistic drawings and paintings I strive to catch the spirit of people or places as a way to process life events. This is the motivation to capture a friend’s hands during her final months of life or my granddaughter’s pink converse shoes as she jumps on the sidewalk. This representational side of my work often uses tight cropping to leave the rest of the story up to a viewer’s imagination.

Alongside these pieces, I create abstract works influenced by the geography of Arizona or the organic shapes of bones, shells or the flow of waves. My compositions employ diagonals and organic gestural lines to express dynamism. In this body of work I regularly use unconventional surfaces such construction flooring paper and raw canvas to highlight the textural aspects of abstracted forms.

That childhood experience on the first day of school opening a fresh box of colourful crayons and breathing in the smells excites me still when I walk into my studio. Lush pastel and paint colours connect me with the spirit of a place and time, whether it’s earthy tones of Arizona or the rich greens of the deep forest.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Exhibition History

Solo Exhibitions:

  • 2017; A Clothesline Drawing Exhibit, Oma Chiropractic & Wellness
  • 2016; Drawing A Day Project, Artscape Young Place
  • 2013; el·o·quent, solo exhibition, Ben Navaee Art Gallery
  • 2011; GardenArt Show & Fundraiser for Canadian Cancer Society

Group Exhibitions:

  • 2023; Drawing 2023, Juried Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, online slideshow, and publication
  • 2023; Landscape 2023, Juried Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, online slideshow and publication
  • 2023; Annual Juried Exhibition, Latcham Art Centre, Stouffville
  • 2022; Drawing 2022, Juried Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, on-line slideshow and publication
  • 2018; AGF Annual Square Foot Project, Art Square Gallery & Café, Toronto
  • 2016; AGF Group Show, U of T Faculty Club
  • 2015; Square Foot Project, Group Show, Art Square Gallery
  • 2015; AGF Spring Gala Art Exhibit, Dignam Gallery
  • 2015; Silver Moon Group Exhibit; Art Square Gallery
  • 2014; Square Foot Project, Art Square Gallery
  • 2013; Sunnyside Pavilion Group Art Show
  • 2012; Savage Arts; Art Salon
  • 2011; Being She, Women’s College 100th Anniversary; Gladstone Hotel
  • 1980; The Kingston Sliding Art Group Show Modern Fuel Artist Run Center
  • 1980; Book Works Project, KAAI
  • 1974; “Spring Exhibition”. Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario

Other Art Events:

  • 2017; Riverside BIA Window Wonderland Contest: Streetcar Snow Globe @ Oma Chiropractic
  • 2015; Riverside BIA Window Wonderland Contest: Snowman @Oma Chiropractic (Winner)
  • 2011; Winter Solstice Community Art Event, Gladstone Hotel Gallery
  • 2010-2015; I led innovative art camps for children
  • 2007; Street Haven Art Auction, Steam Whistle Brewery
  • 2006; The Healing Mural in Street Haven, 26’X10′. Project Co-ordinator and Team Lead