Kathran Siegel
About: Biography


Trained as a Painter, I came to wood while searching for a way to build my surfaces into volumes. Learning the machinery and discovering the plasticity of the wood itself, resulted in my eventual shift first to carvings, inspired by the tropical plant and animal life I observed in that strange Florida environment where I was living at the time. Later, adding function into the mix, my work became identified with the resurgent Studio Furniture Movement, where I spent the next 25 years. Function, then a forbidden fruit of the Fine Arts, appealed to my anti-establishment sensibility. I saw function as one among a variety of problems that I might set out to solve in my work, and it excited me.

Life interfered with the steady development of my work when, in 1999, I moved my studio back to the Northeast. Having always supplemented income with teaching gigs, I continued to accept adjunct assignments in local college Art departments until 2001, when I moved my studio into Philadelphia and began a 10 year commitment to teaching Art in some of that city’s lowest performing public schools. Towards the end of my tenure, I did some writing about the important role of the Arts in Education and continue to stay modestly involved these days, as a change agent.

Though the steady income over those years provided me with increased artistic freedom now, the also steady life-challenges over those years created a rift for me in the gratification that I could get from my earlier directions in the studio. Recombining aesthetic interests in new ways, always keeping my hands in the work, I spent the next few years searching for that activity or interest that was essential and had kept me engaged all along. A new direction began to take form around 2014 and, since then, has been generating seemingly endless ideas and new work.

Kathran Siegel • 215-272-0783 • kathran.siegel@gmail.com