Kate Rivers was born in Youngstown, Ohio and graduated from Whetstone High School in Columbus Ohio and then went on to Columbus College of Art and Design on a full scholarship. She then completed an MFA in painting and printmaking at The University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. In addition she completed an interdisciplinary masters at Arizona State University with an emphasis on film theory and criticism with a focus on gender studies. After teaching at the collegiate level in Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma, Kate Rivers left teaching in order to work as a full time artist in Santa Fe New Mexico. Rivers has been living and working in Santa Fe New Mexico since 2011 and is represented by David Anthony Fine Art in Taos. Her work can also be seen regionally at JRB at the Elms in Oklahoma City, and Joseph Gierek Fine Art in Tulsa. Kate River’s work is in private and pubic collections throughout the US, Including Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma University, UT Austin, The University of New Mexico, The State Collection of New Mexico, The Bataan Building, UNM Las Vegas, and The Community College in ABQ.
I am a mixed media painter working primarily with cast-off materials. Much of my work uses hand and machine stitching, stitching book covers and bits of ephemera to paper or canvas. The book, a common material source, has always been considered by many to be a precious object. Books have been collected and housed in personal and public libraries. Those personal libraries eventually end up in estates. New owners no longer have the space or the desire to house books in a world where they are digitized. Our own president even has bragged that he doesn’t have the need or the desire to read. Books are so easy to find as material for my work at estate sales, garage sales and Goodwill. The content is endless. In addition I collect all types of advertisements, maps, letters and consumer related tags, stamps but mostly paper materials that with their production is the intent of shortly becoming garbage. Clothing tags are especially seductive because they are well designed and represent the compulsion to collect. I glue, stitch these materials together frequently working back into the surface with paint and sanding. My newest body of work has moved back to painting while stile working with image mixed media materials. In addition I have moved into 3D using aluminum containers, license plates and other metals that I cut and rivet onto wood supports.
SFAI provided an uninterrupted time to focus on my work in the midst of a community of amazing artists. I wanted to spend all of my time in the studio, but the other artists lured me into the community of Santa Fe. Once there, I didn’t want to leave. I returned to Oklahoma where I had been teaching, resigned from my job and moved to Santa Fe. This was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. So, The Art Institute had a profound impact on my work as I continue to evolve my practice and the city pulled me to her in ways that I would never have anticipated. Thank you SFAI.