About Katherine H. Downie
Katherine H. Downie was born and raised in southeast Michigan and was encouraged from a young age in her artistic endeavors. She spent much of her childhood and youth with a little sketchbook or a stack of printer (or typewriter) paper sketching and doodling and creating works of art. Drawing with graphite and charcoal remained a favorite past time of hers well into adulthood.
She spent 18 months as a missionary for her church in Thailand in her early 20s, an experience that helped Katherine to appreciate all of the small blessings and wonders in her everyday life. Upon her return, she made the decision to change her major to art education so she could focus back on her first love - art. Katherine received her Bachelor of Visual Arts Education (with a concentration in watercolor) from Eastern Michigan University in 2007 and began teaching at Honey Creek Community School in Ann Arbor.
After teaching for a couple of years, Katherine knew that she needed more time to create her own artwork. She made the decision to leave full-time teaching, and attended Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was at Kendall that she began to fall in love with oil painting, experimenting with both realistic and abstract styles. She continued with watercolor as well and split her time, studio, and thesis exhibition between the two mediums. She was also able to use her background in art education as the graduate assistant and an instructor for Kendall's Continuing Studies program. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 2011.
Katherine Downie’s paintings have been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries across the state of Michigan. In addition, her work is in many private and corporate collections. She is the recipient of numerous awards both for artistic and academic achievements.
Katherine has taught art to students of all ages, from 3-93, and in a wide variety of settings: as a
k-8 art teacher at a charter school; summer art camps for 3-18 year-olds in Saline, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids; as a faculty member at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp; as a Painting Lecturer at University of Michigan; as an art instructor in Continuing Ed programs in Grand Rapids and Saline; and at the Saline Area Senior Center.
She is currently a Lecturer at the University of Michigan, the Restaurant Review Illustrator at The Ann Arbor Observer, an art instructor at the Saline Area Senior Center, and enjoys sharing her talents with others through work and volunteer opportunities, such as serving on the City of Saline Arts & Culture Committee since 2017 (where she oversees the Meredith Bixby Marionette Collection), and helping organize the Saline Celtic Festival since 2008.
Katherine serves as the Secretary for the Friends of the Saline Celtic Festival, as well as the Festival Media Liaison/Social Media Director/Festival Promoter. You can find some of her interviews here: