2011 Guggenheim Fellow Katherine Bradford M.F.A. '88 began painting in her childhood in Maine. Her early works were "serious abstraction," but Kathy points out that "even the early abstract pieces were based on natural objects or forms." Her recent work with figures has its roots in abstraction and humor plays an important role. Over the last decade her works has been described by reviewers as "dreamlike" with "themes... of illumination, enlightenment." Kathy, however, says that she is "trying to create an imaginary world... these scenes are recognizable... I'm not describing the forms so much as letting the color exist as marks," and "I hope to capture the spirit of a quest, of community, and conversely, of quiet isolation."
Kathy is on the graduate MFA faculty at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, since 1997, and, since 1995, the faculty at the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan where she teaches a course in non-traditional painting. She was a Resident Faculty member at Skowhegan in 2008. She has shown her work at Edward Thorp Gallery, University of Maine Museum, P.S. 1 in Queens, the Brooklyn Museum, Exit Art and others. She is recipient of a Pollock Krasner Grant (2000) and American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards (2005 and 2011). Her works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Farnsworth Museum, the Portland Museum and Bowdoin, Smith, Bryn Mawr and Bates Colleges.