A CHARLESTON native, Katherine Curtis Hester spent her childhood on a wildlife refuge that was overseen by her father—biologist and artist Tom Curtis. The environment offered unique experiences with nature that are reflected in her art.
Illumination drives the subjects she paints—the colors of fleeting light on the Lowcountry landscape found during sunsets, early mornings and around storm fronts. Her figurative work aims to capture the play between illuminated shapes and their surroundings, such as ballerinas as they dance in and out of stage light. Regardless of the subject, she says that striving for absolute command of color takes the lead in every piece.
Her father, Tom Curtis, grew up in coastal North Carolina and moved to the Lowcountry as a fishery biologist in 1969. This occupation and a lifetime of outdoor vocations created a strong love of nature and helped hone his observational skills, which he uses to create a sense of serenity, wonder and appreciation of nature through his oil and pastel paintings. “I am especially interested in the mood and rich colors produced by the play of light across the landscape,” he says.
Curtis currently serves as president of the Berkeley County Artist Guild. His works are on exhibit at Over the Mantel Gallery in Columbia, South Carolina.