When I was 18, I left home for New York City and art school :
the Fashion Institute of Technology for my first New York minute
and Parsons School of Design/ The New School, for my BFA.
I lived in The West Village in one of NYC's last 'young women's hotels before moving way up to Washington Heights, then way down to Park Slope, and then over to the East Village when it was pretty cool -some might say scary. I worked as a coat check girl, stained glass foiler, art tutor and maid. I learned antique frame and furniture restoration and gilding, while working for a framer to some of Manhattan's most celebrated galleries. I was a 'trim' and display stylist's assistant, a florist helper, cigar and cigarette lighter and I even worked off, off, off -way off Broadway (ok it was a theater in Hoboken --ok it was someone's garage), where I built and painted props. I worked as a gallery assistant, an artist's assistant and a home care assistant -all cool jobs, that fit neatly around art school, young love, and night clubbing ala 1980's
New York City.
Then I was accepted to Yale University School of Art Masters Program
where I received my MFA, after making much sculpture and friends at the late, great Hammond Hall.
where I painted residential murals, and assorted decorative motif and sfumato*
before working for The Nelson-Atkins Museum; de-accessioning and documenting period rooms for auction at Sotheby's NYC.
*triple word score for sfumato!
Then I moved back to New York and Brooklyn
I was born in Frankfurt, Germany. I grew up in Maryland and Louisiana.
-Meanwhile in another part of the city,
I worked as a toy stylist for Hasbro Toy Fairs as well as a prop, set and scenic painter for Hasbro's Dallas, Miami Beach and Hong Kong Toy Fairs; I built and painted props for The Queens Botanical Garden Rose Gala while helping drape Sally Jesse Rafael's Tenth Anniversary Celebration Tent at the Central Park Zoo, while various and other prop makings, scenic painting, and decorative painting opportunities and stuff presented itself throughout. . . then I needed a nap.
where I painted murals with my bestie and worked as a studio mechanic for first run Broadway shows: ANGELS IN AMERICA, MISS SAIGON, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and American Ballet Theater's THE NUTCRACKER, and films: MIGHTY APHRODITE, THE JUROR, (not RURAL JUROR), LIFE AND LOVE'S OF A SHE DEVIL and other film and theater productions -with an occasional antique frame, vintage wallpaper and furniture restoration job, thrown in along the way to keep things interesting.
When I woke up I returned to Kansas City to paint more residential murals, assorted photography backdrops, props and other painterly whathaveyou's, before working as a scenic painter on Ang Lee's, RIDE WITH THE DEVIL, CBS Television's MONDAY AFTER THE MIRACLE and, back to Maryland to work on Garry Marshal's RUNAWAY BRIDE.
I just really wanted to work on my own stuff -which I'd been painting all along . . . so I went to New Orleans -the home of my heart- and opened my gallery: Katherine Hill Gallery located conveniently in the heart of The Vieux Carre' on the 800 block of Royal Street, where I painted and sold my work (in public!) HOWEVER, I soon discovered that I preferred walking and paddling Bayou Lafitte and anywhere else outside of my shop that fed my soul and took me to the bugs and snakes, birds, beasts, blossoms and folklore of my Louisiana childhood. So I closed shop and worked, painting Mardi Gras floats, props and backdrops for Jazz Fest, Essence Festival, and NOLA's many other festivals - I was even an 'on set asphalt specialist' for a couple of car commercials; as well as painting murals and assorted other kinds of decorative interior faux baubling -all while painting my own work into the wee morning hours. I've cleaned a lot of brushes.
Then out of the blue, in 2003, I had the chance to live in Berlin . It was random and perfect. I wandered and wondered, absorbed, wrote, painted and butchered the language; living in a squat across from Kunsthause Tacheles on Oranienburger Straße just up the street from the New Synagogue in an apartment building that still burned peat. The exterior was wrapped in scaffolding and tarpaulin. There were only three other residents left in the building -all from 'former times' and me, with my midnight BBC radio. It was spooky, heavy, transformative and amazing . . .
After grad school I ventured Midwest to lovely Kansas City,
. . . afterwards, back in the states I found myself, finding my self in a place I knew nothing about before coming for a visit one peculiarly sunny -and not normal- early spring. Eight-years and seven very large murals later, after succumbing to it's charms and becoming a high maintenance, high functioning, orthorexic 'sensitif' in the heart of, high maintenance, high functioning, orthorexic 'sensitif' land, aka: THE EMERALD CITY, Jet City, Rain City, Seatown -the no bph, non gmo, fairly traded, vegan jaded, gluten-free-Paleo and craft beer brewing, Monsanto eschewing, low carbon emitting, coffee house sitting, heirloom pie baking, p-patch groundbreaking, urban grazing, chicken raising, farmers market-ing, militant cycling, home-bio-fuel blending, hemp wearing, pot bearing, free-love 'n' anarchy declaring, car sharing, Obama-care-ing, polyamory daring, gum-wall having, NBA craving, bacon raving, bi-polar-passive-aggressive, four-way stop challenged, farthest corner pocket of the U.S. home of the official NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks AND unofficial capital of the Pacific Northwest:
Seattle -The Aidan to My Mr. Big.
. . . so, in 2013, clicking my flip flopped heels together and chanting there's no place like the East Coast,
I made my way home to Maryland -back to the beginning,
where I'm putting 'it' all together.
-to be continued -
Then all of a sudden