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 art-making has always been tied to up-close observations of intimate moments with people, nature or landscape. I use realistic drawings and paintings to catch the spirit of people or places and as a way to process life events. This is the motivation to capture my 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 has become more narrative through close cropping that leaves the rest of the story up to the viewers’ imagination.

Alongside these pieces, I have created a body of abstract works that include large drawings on flooring construction paper that were influenced by the geography in Arizona. In another body of work, I’ve used acrylic paint on canvas to create organic shapes found in the contours of bones, shells or the flow of waves.

I love creating compositions that are diagonal and organic energy gestalts expressing dynamism; as present in the abstract works (Crossing the Rapids) and in the representational pieces in the more intimate moments – such as the painting of hands playing the piano or the serving of tea in a palliative care setting.

The excitement I always experienced on the first day of school opening a fresh box of crayons and breathing in the smell has never left me; so, give me pencils, pastels and paint and let the fun begin!

“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:

  • 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