“A Day in The Life” with painter and public artist, Katharine Harvey

I met Katharine Harvey two years ago and know her to be warm, funny, and kind. She has amazing talent and exuberance reflected in her paintings, public art and installations in Canada, the United States and Germany. Her art reflects her dynamic personality. She creates vibrant and playful artworks which can be found around the city of Toronto.

I really enjoy her large-scale digitally printed “Gardiner Streams” seen from the Gardiner Expressway. Another favourite of mine is “Florae”, a series of beautiful and colourful wall mosaics and windows at the Chester Subway Station. The mosaics were nominated as a finalist in the prestigious 2022 CODAwards Top 100 out of over four hundred participants worldwide. Impressive!

When Katharine is not creating artwork, she is busy in her role as a loving wife and stepmother and a mom dog to her Duck Toller Retriever, Freddie. She and her husband tend to their fantastic greenhouse, which has the best herbs, greens, and veggies. She also sits on the board of directors of Parkdale United Church Foundation, which runs the non-profit affordable housing complex called Phoenix Place Apartments.

-Written by Georgina Pineda

Katharine Harvey
“Palm House VII” 2022 acrylic on ACM 60 by 40 inches.
Katharine Harvey
Katharine playing with her puppy, Freddie. Photo by: Georgina Pineda.
Four artists talking about cross-cultural collaborations. Left to right: Katharine, Liang Yue, Xiaojing Yan,
Heather Rigby. Photo by: Xiaojing Yan.
Katharine’s studio desk, with drawings and schemes for her upcoming drone show performance.
Katharine working in her studio. Photo by: Georgina Pineda.
Katharine Harvey
Artist in her studio. Photo by: Peter Power.
“Turning in the Light” 2022 drone show 300 by 300 by 100 feet. Photo by Andrea Carson Barker
Katharine Harvey
Mitchell Marcus from Northcrest and artist on drone field after the show. Photo courtesy of Northcrest


Which ’hood are you in?

We have a condo in the Old Town, St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood. I love the area’s rich history, featuring heritage buildings lovingly restored from Toronto’s past.

What do you do?

I am a painter and public artist. My 35-year artistic practice based in Toronto ranges from painting to installation and public art, where I explore the sensation of ephemeral, fleeting moments. At the core of my work is a fascination with the unseen, the liminal space between reality, the mind’s eye, and imagination. I have designed both temporary and permanent installations in Canada, the U.S., and Germany – made of recycled plastic, glass, mosaic, LED lights, and steel. I have challenged myself throughout my career by switching between mediums, allowing my paintings to inspire my sculptural and public artworks and vice versa.

What are you currently working on?

I launched my first sky-based performance piece featuring 108 flying drones at night on Saturday, November 12th. It was an evening of wonder at Downsview airport, where I created magic in the sky. The illuminated drones quietly flew in 3-D formations, creating ethereal images ranging from distant galaxies to celestial bodies. Northcrest presented the event, in association with Luminato Festival and North York Arts, in collaboration with Northstar Drone Shows. The show “Turning in the Light” is inspired by some of my recent acrylic paintings. A videographer with a drone-mounted camera captured the show in-flight and produced a film afterwards. We are now working on a longer 6-to-8-minute art film with the drone footage. I will experiment with this documentation and later create a series of acrylic paintings based on it.

Where can we find your work?

You can visit my website and follow me on Instagram.

I have a 2-minute film on Vimeo about my recent drone show. Another short film shows the process of making my mosaics at Chester Subway station.



About Demian Vernieri 576 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.