Kathy Hodge was born in Rhode Island, in a neighborhood of Providence called Washington Park. At the age of 14 she took up her parents’ oil paints, put aside since they graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and started their family of seven children. Like her parents, who met there, she attended RISD and majored in painting. After two years she found it necessary to leave school and work for a year, then completed her education at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA.
After graduating she returned to Providence, where she was inspired by the drama and light effects of the industrial waterfront and the power of the huge ships which docked there. She was also attracted to the massive earth moving project of the river relocation in downtown Providence. The work she produced on these themes was exhibited in three one-person shows in 1991 and 1992.
Upon moving to Warren, RI her work was influenced by the stark organic forms of the salt marshes and the natural landscape which surrounded her home on the bay. She was also climbing and painting the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
This interest in the natural landscape led to thirteen appointments as artist-in-residence by the National Parks and Forest Services. Beginning in 1993 she worked from a historic cabin in Rocky Mountain National Park. In subsequent years was invited to live and work in a primitive shacks in the dunes of the in the Cape Cod National Seashore, Acadia National Park in Maine, and in 1999 she was taken by boat to a remote cabin on Sand Island in the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, 3 miles offshore on Lake Superior.
She also worked Glacier National Park in Montana and spent a month in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. In 2008 she was given the keys to the ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings, free to explore on her own and work in the mysterious sites of Mesa Verde National Park. The next year she returned to Colorado, this time to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, where she climbed the 700 foot dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
In 2011 she served as the first artist in residence in the Chugach National Forest, Prince William Sound, Alaska. There she explored the sound by kayak with Wilderness Forest Rangers and camped for a week on the rocky shore of Harriman Fiord. In 2012 she lived for 2 weeks in an adobe house at the edge of the Painted Desert and explored the fascinating terrain of the Petrified Forest National Park and the next year lived in a log cabin on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
In 2014 she returned to Alaska for her second Forest Service Residency, this time to Tracy Arm/Ford’s Terror Wilderness of the Tongass National Forest. In 2016 she will serve as Artist in Residence in Denali National Park.
In addition to painting the natural world, she has also produced large series of paintings taking as inspiration local church facades, 10 days spent in Russia, images from the train window from Providence to New York City and the machinery from a custom shoemaking workshop in Warren, R.I.
She is currently working on a series from her residencies in Alaska and the southwest. She is also working on paintings using landscape and animal and insect life to explore the uneasy division of territory as our open spaces are developed and divided.