meet cathleen

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In 1948 at age one, I contracted polio which permanently damaged my left leg. Born in Southern Minnesota and fortunate to live equidistant from the Sister Kenny Institute and Mayo Clinic, I had ten orthopedic corrective surgeries by the time I finished high school. I was among the first group of disabled children to be mainstreamed, largely due to the efforts of my sociologist mother.

I showed an early talent for art which helped during the long months spent in bed. I studied art and art history, participating in an early graphic design program at the University of Iowa. During the summer of 1968, I spent two months traveling in Europe where art leapt out of my history books and into my consciousness.

After college I sought out the west coast and ocean in San Francisco where I was an Art Director specializing in book design and high-end packaging. I went on to work in Philadelphia and Minneapolis before landing in Oregon, living here for 35 years. 


I was National Women’s Slalom and Giant Slalom champion on one ski with outriggers in 1972. I taught skiing to Viet Nam vets with amputations at Lake Tahoe for nine years, then went on to teach at the Courage Center in Minnesota. I’m an avid outdoors woman, most of my botanical drawings are en plein air.

I found my medium after taking a bookmaking class at the University of Oregon in 1994. I design and hand make artist books, often illustrating them with graphite and colored pencil drawings.

Always enamored of all things in nature, I gravitated to high desert wildflowers while living nearly off the grid in a Bucky Ball in Bonanza, OR, for twelve years. Three residencies revolved around botanicals ranging from the dying whitebark pines at Crater Lake National Park, the shy trilliums at The Cabin at Shotpouch Creek and the high desert landscapes at Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area.

aEthelred was an English ruler who served late in life and was mainly remembered for being a late bloomer. I didn't really delve into artwork until my early 50s. My middle name is Ethel after my mother, and red has always been my favorite color.

artist statement


Attracted to social, political and cultural issues, I create artist books to inform, illuminate and send a message. Intellectual content is mandatory and often references to nature. A Tribute to the Bee was a response to the varroa mite which is destroying bee colonies. The book celebrates bees, their importance and plight, an ecological disaster in the making.

Unknown woman is a tribute and my commemoration of an unnamed Japanese woman and the short lives of her three children from 1895-1900 from her brief diary in Revelations – Diaries of Women, edited by Mary Jane Moffat and Charlotte Painter. I was compelled to honor her hard work, devotion and love of family.

Two artist books, Common Mullein and Klamath Basin Water Samples for the Jefferson Nature Preserve and the EcosInstitute [Medford, OR], interpreted data concerning the increase in global warming compiled by the EcosInstitute. I made a presentation to the Jefferson County community explaining my research and interpretations.

Passim features the minority members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and their highly important contributions to the success of the venture. It won an Honorable Mention from the National Parks Service and City of Astoria in the Lewis and Clark Journey’s End National Art Competition.

As microplastics have invaded the environmental, particularity plastic grocery bags, I responded with the Single-Use Plastic Grocery Bag Book made entirety from recycled bags. Grocery bags are used for approximately 12 minutes before being discarded.

With an aversion to art one-liners, I go for the intellect. Using poetry, literature, biography and personal experience, I expand ideas into politically-charged art. 

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Art Ability, Main Line Health, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital 

     [Malvern, PA]: 2nd prize [$200], mixed media

Northern Red-legged Frog [traditional loom beading] 

Elisabeth Jones Art Center [Portland, OR]

Invited to participate in The View From Here, a collaborative project in which a local artist is paired with an international one to create pieces together based on Jasper Johns philosophy of the object combined with the pandemic. I was paired with Amna Mazoor from Lahore, Pakistan. We each exchanged an object online and developed an artwork based on that object. Amna, focussing on the idea of the confinement of threads, sent a silk cocoon while I sent a photograph of myself from 1949 [the one pictured by my bio] to connect my experience of the polio epidemic with the current virus. Two shows resulted, one in the gallery and the other online.

Portland Art Museum [Portland, OR]

Selected to participate in the 14-member Accessibility Advisory Committee to advise the museum and architects for the new Rothko Pavilion about disabled needs. 



At Right Angles to the World*: 13 Talented and Influential Lesbians [Portland, OR]

One-woman pop-up show at Frida's Den [10.11.2019] showcasing an artist book for each woman, 30 additional artists books, 50 botanicals and artwork from my artist-in-residency at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

*Pultizer Prize winning poet, Elizabeth Bishop, Poems, Prose and Letters.


Portland Gay Pioneer Project [Portland, OR]

Local artists were paired with gay pioneers and celebrated with an exhibit. I was paired with Maurice Evans, a black AIDS activist and employee of Cascade AIDS Project.


Elisabeth Jones Art Center [Portland, OR]

Neighborhoods Rock!: 2 colored pencil botanical drawings of the Boise Eliot Native Grove in the Boise neighborhood and a traditionally beaded Northern Red-legged Frog to support the Linnton Neighborhood Association Frog Migration Restoration. 

Chrisman Gallery  [Portland, OR]

Two botanical drawings exhibited.


Oregon Garden [Silverton, OR]
Four-month contract for a day of drawing in the garden each month for engagement with tourists and special events.


Crater Lake National Park Art-on-the-Rim [Crater Lake, OR]
Former artist-in-residents are invited to return to show and sell their new work for two days.


Elisabeth Jones Art Center [Portland, OR]

Painting to Save the TreesInvited to document trees endangered by development over two days. The resulting show raised awareness; I exhibited two graphite drawings.

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area [Lovell, WY]
Awarded a two-week artist-in-residency to explore native plants and biodiversity.


Chrisman Gallery [Portland, OR]
Two drawings from my Bighorn residency were selected for display and sale.


Clackamas County Gallery [Oregon City, OR]
I showed 22 artist books for a month.


Art at the Rim [Crater Lake National Park, OR]
Returning artist-in-residents displayed their work for the weekend.


23 Sandy Gallery [Portland, OR]

Famine Foods [artist book]: Purchased by the University of Michigan.


Illahe Gallery [Ashland, OR]
Sin, The Handbook of Dreams, OR-7:Journey [artist book]:Purchased


Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Center [Malvern, PA]
unknown woman [artist book]: Honorable mention/cash prize.


Illahe Gallery [Ashland, OR]
spring [artist book]

National Parks Service Artist-in-Residency Exhibit []
Through Your Eyes Web Exhibition: Whitebark Pine graphite drawing.


Jefferson Nature Preserve and EcoInstitute [Ashland, OR]
Selected to interpret ecological data through art concerning the increase in global warming.

Common Mullein and Klamath Basin Water Samples [artist books]


Art at the Rim [Crater Lake, OR]
Returning artist-in-residents displayed their work for the weekend.


Illahe Gallery [Ashland, OR]

Dovecote and Blue Between [artist books].


The Cabin at Shotpouch Creek Artist-in-Residence [Coastal Mountains, OR]
Two-week residency: Flora Delanica and China Plate series.


Crater Lake National Park Artist-in-Residence [Crater Lake, OR]

Two-week residency: Florilegia and Whitebark Pine “Ghost” Tree[artist books]


Women’s Studies Quarterly

Passierschein [artist book]: theme of women’s safety.


National Council for Marketing and Public Relations [Klamath Falls, OR]

Western Regional Conference: Silver Medallion Award for the 
Klamath Community College Student Handbook.


Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Center [Malvern, PA]

Stranded Sunlight [artist book]


McCormick Tribune Foundation First Amendment Sculpture Competition[Chicago, IL]

McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum: The Sentinels [metal sculpture]



Migratory Birds Centennial Sculpture Competition [Klamath Falls, OR]
Pacific Flyway [metal sculpture]



Lewis and Clark Journey’s End National Art Competition [Astoria, OR]

Passim [artist book]: Celebrates the minority members of the expedition. 
National Parks Service and City of Astoria: Honorable mention.


Harvey Milk Memorial Plaza [San Francisco, CA]
Architectural design and two proposed sculptures for the urban memorial plaza.


Eugene Public School District 4J [Eugene, OR]
6-panel educational kiosk at the McKenzie River Fish Hatchery


National School Public Relations Association: Electronic Media Contest [Eugene, OR]

Eugene Public School District 4J 1995-96 Calender: National Award of Merit


Little Bighorn Indian Memorial Competition [Billings, MT]
Building design with sculpture: Presentation boards toured the U.S. for two years


Laverne Krause Gallery: University of Oregon [Eugene, OR]
A Tribute to the Bee [artist book]


Mayor’s Art Show [Eugene, OR]
A Girl, a Table and an Inkpot [artist book]


Paper Stars: National Women’s Art Exhibition [San Francisco, CA]
A Girl, a Table and an Inkpot [artist book]: Purchased



Minnesota Government Communications [St. Paul, MN]
It’s Never Too Early; It’s Never Too Late:

Northern Lights Award of Excellence for Book Design

New approach to teaching the developmentally disabled.

artist statement

artist CV