Kathleen Piercefield grew up in Homewood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. As an only child, she filled her solitary hours with reading, drawing and explorations of her backyard-- activities that grew into enduring interests in literature and nature, and an ongoing art practice.
She studied studio arts at Murray State University, watercolor at Baker-Hunt Art Foundation in Covington, Kentucky, and printmaking at Northern Kentucky University, where she completed a BFA. Following that she expanded her home studio to include an etching press, and printmaking has been her primary medium ever since, although drawing and painting are still an important part of her practice. She was awarded an Individual Artist Professional Development grant by the Kentucky Arts Council in 2009. She is a member of Tiger Lily Press in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has taught several printmaking classes in their studio.
Her work has been exhibited at the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington, KY; the Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Illinois; Mixed Magic Theater in Pawtucket, Rhode Island; the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts; and a number of other venues in Ohio and Kentucky. Several pieces from her ongoing series inspired by Moby-Dick have been reproduced in scholarly publications on Melville, including an etching featured on the cover of the book Melville and Women (edited by Elizabeth Schultz and Haskell Springer, published by Kent State University Press in 2006.) Other publications that include her work are A Companion to Herman Melville, (Wynn Kelley, ed. London: Blackwell Publishing, 2006); Moby-Dick A Longman Critical Edition (Herman Melville; John Bryant and Haskell Springer, ed. New York: Pearson Education Inc., 2007); and Robert K. Wallace's book, Douglass and Melville: anchored together in neighborly style (New Bedford: Spinner Publications, 2005.)