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Kate Samworth

Guest Instructor

Kate Samworth is an artist and has illustrated several books, including her own Kirkus Prize winning Aviary Wonders Inc. and the NYT best-seller Why Fish Don’t Exist, by Lulu Miller. Her work is in public and private collections around the country and has been published in magazines including Orion, Illustoria, Southern Review, High Country News, and World Watch. She is represented by Le Mieux Gallery in New Orleans, LA and RJD Gallery in Romeo, MI.


Samworth uses  imagery to tell stories about minor and major changes to the natural world. Her work contains loose narratives that combine memory, imagination, and observation. Her most recent series follows a young woman through the edge of the woods. Using abandoned spaces and resources, she makes the most of an altered environment, while grappling with the spiritual questions raised by living with the mess of consumption. She keeps company with bears, deer, and raccoons. Her pointed hat and broom refer to folk magic, which she uses in the hope of influencing the unpredictable and to ask the forces of nature for mercy.


Samworth studied painting at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art and earned a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has been teaching since 1992 and currently offers online courses through the PA Academy and the Peabody Museum of Natural History.

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FirstEncounter 72
Ch. 13-Why Fish-Deus ex Machina
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Ch. 5-Why Fish-Genesis
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