Kathleen Piercefield was born in Indiana and grew up in Homewood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. An only child of parents who started a family late in life, she spent a lot of time by herself, filling hours with reading, drawing and solitary explorations of her backyard -- all of which translated, in adult life, to a fascination with the natural word and a desire to draw/paint/write about the things around her. She met her husband John while studying art at Murray State University in western Kentucky. Shortly after they married, his job with the KY Department for Environmental Protection brought them to the northern Kentucky area where they settled and raised a family of four. During years as a stay-at-home mom, she made the kitchen table her studio and worked with drawing media and watercolor. Taking a series of watercolor classes at the Baker-Hunt Arts Center in Covington strengthened her interest in that medium. She exhibited work in local venues, and gave private art instruction to children and adults, and in 2001 she helped found Eagle Creek Arts Council, a small organization of visual artists in the community. That group later merged with another to form Community Enrichment Through the Arts (CETA), a non profit organization serving Grant County and the surrounding area, with which Kathleen served variously as an event coordinator, board member and workshop instructor.
During this time she also began attending Northern Kentucky University on a part-time basis, and there she fell in love with printmaking. She received her BFA in printmaking in 2004. Two years later she expanded her home studio to include an etching press, and now works in both print and paint media. She is a member of Northern Kentucky Printmakers, and Tiger Lily Press -- two printmaking groups in the greater Cincinnati area -- and regularly exhibits work with them.
Her work has been shown at the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington, KY; the Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Illinois; Mixed Magic Theater in Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and a number of other venues in Ohio and Kentucky. Several pieces from her ongoing series inspired by Moby-Dick have also been reproduced in scholarly publications on Melville, including an etching featured on the cover of the book Melville and Women, edited by Elizabeth Schultz and Haskell Springer, published by Kent State University Press in 2006. Other publications that include her work are A Companion to Herman Melville, Wynn Kelley, ed. (London: Blackwell Publishing, 2006); Moby-Dick (A Longman Critical Edition) Herman Melville; John Bryant and Haskell Springer, ed. (New York: Pearson Education Inc., 2007); and Robert K. Wallace's book, Douglass and Melville: anchored together in neighborly style (New Bedford: Spinner Publications, 2005.)
"Fast Fish Loose Fish" -- a film by Ashley Thiessen and Christian Hardy -- includes an interview with the artist