Friday, August 2, 2019
IN OUR BACKYARD
Inspired by the study of natural and medical sciences, Kathy Shuster is the retired Director and Head Illustrator of the Scientific Illustration and Photography Unit of Purdue University’s Biology Department in W. Lafayette, Indiana. Shuster has a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and an MFA in Scientific Illustration. Her work has been published in a multitude of scientific journals, exhibited both nationally and internationally, and remains in permanent collections at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., museums in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Taiwan, and is included in the permanent traveling exhibit collection of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators featured at museums, colleges, and universities around the United States and abroad.
In 1995, Shuster relocated to Bethlehem, New Hampshire, to help her aging parents and decided to stay in the White Mountains to raise her son Jason in “God’s Country.” Jason followed his mother’s footsteps into the sciences, earned his Ph.D. in Plasma Physics at the University of New Hampshire’s Space Science Center, and is currently working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he is doing cutting-edge research in magnetic reconnection. Shuster continues to live in Bethlehem and recently returned her artist’s eye to focus on the north country subject matter. She occasionally accepts commission work for portraits and natural science subjects, when she’s not training for the US Open on the tennis courts with Jason.
“I credit my mother with instilling in me a love of nature and the outdoors from a young age. As a family growing up, we vacationed in Bethlehem, NH, every summer of my informative years. After a 20+ year long career working in the field of Scientific Illustration in the midwest, I returned to the White Mountains in Northern NH to raise my son, and I eventually returned to studying natural science subject matter in my artwork. I am fascinated with the details of color and patterns (fur, feathers, etc.) and try to duplicate on paper the way I ‘see’ my subjects. I believe we have been given a plethora of joy in sharing the natural world, and in return, I study what I see and attempt to share it.”