Born in Clarksville, Tennessee, Kitty Harvill received her BFA cum laude in painting from SMU including a semester of study in Paris. She received an MA in art therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an AA in illustration from Ray College, Chicago. Prior to her work as a professional wildlife artist, she held positions of art director and creative director in the advertising industry, designing and supervising the production of such projects as the Dillard Department Stores annual report. In 1990, she formed Harvill Ross Studios Ltd., a commercial art firm.
She has illustrated "Bye Bye BIG" for Plum Street Publishers, released in Fall 2017, and also for Plum Street Publishers, "The Wishing Foxes", released in Spring 2017. "Up! Up! Up! It's Apple-Picking Time" was published in Fall 2003, for Holiday House, New York. "Sitting Down To Eat", Fall 1996, for August House LittleFolk, was named an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists and featured in the Dec. 2, 1996 issue of NEWSWEEK. It was also named a notable children's trade book in the field of social studies for 1997 by a joint committee of the National Council for Social Studies and the Children's Book Council. Other books include "Dancing with Little Teddy", Fall 1996, a biography of Dr. Joycelyn Elders, "Jack and the Animals", Fall 1995, August House, LittleFolk, and "Believe in Katie Lynn", also Fall 1995, Eggman Publishers, Nashville, TN. School division work includes "Others Were Here Before", Spring 2000, McGraw Hill School Division, "Adventure at Mitchell Caverns", Spring 2001, also McGraw Hill School Division. She has also done textbook illustration for Houghton Mifflin.
She has donated her illustrations for two wordless picture books for Developing Hearts of Stratford, Connecticut. Her work has appeared in Country America magazine, CATS magazine, on more than twenty book covers for August House Publishers, and she illustrated the 2002 poster for Arkansas Heritage month. Other clients include Scentations, Inc., Federation of American Health Systems, and Arkansas Lawyer magazine.
She has donated her artwork to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society Guild, RAIN of AR, the Quapaw Quarter Association (a historic preservation organization), the Humane Society of Pulaski County, Centers for Youth & Families, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Alzheimers Arkansas, the Children's Museum of Arkansas, Youth Home, Inc., the UAMS Preemie Unit, the Arkansas Arts Center, the Oasis, the American Heart Association, Central Arkansas Library System, Second Genesis, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Arkansas Hospice, and Arkansans with Disabilities.
She was accepted into Aqueous USA 2002, a National juried watercolor exhibit. She illustrated the cover and accompanying booklet for the audio book "The Animals Could Talk", a Parent's Choice Gold Award winner in 1994, published by August House Publishers. Additionally, she received an Award of Excellence for the Southeast Library Association Southern Book Competition for "The Folktale Cat", and the PIAS Award of Excellence for the cover of "Southern Hospitality Cookbook", which were both published by August House Publishers.
Now having dual residency in both the states and Brazil, Harvill divides her time between the two countries, currently specializing in wildlife art and specifically endangered species. She is currently working in acrylic, pastel and oil in addition to her watercolors. See below for her artwork supporting conservation, including the release of 4 children's picture books.
Harvill has been actively involved with the conservation efforts in her home in southern Brazil since 2006. Such organizations include SPVS (Society for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education) where she is active in the Red-tailed parrot project, having participated in several years' census counts, donating her artwork for t-shirts, and having illustrated "Vida Livre" a 48-page children's picture book in cut-paper collage and watercolor. Written by Brazilian author Adélia Woellner, the book details the life of the endangered Red-tailed parrot and the efforts of SPVS to save this species. The book was accepted by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and was sponsored by EcoVia. The official launch was June 4, 2012. Of the 3,000 books printed, 1,500 were distributed free of charge to school children along the southern coast of Brazil to raise awareness about this parrot and its habitat. Visit www.spvs.org.br.
In 2012, "WISDOM, the Midway Albatross" was also released. Written by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by Harvill, this children's book details the life of the world's oldest wild banded bird - WISDOM, an endangered Laysan Albatross. Of the 22 species of albatrosses, 19 are endangered. WISDOM's survival of the 2011 tsunami and other natural and man-made disasters are chronicled, including the deadly practice of longline fishing and the death of thousands of albatross chicks each year due to plastic pollution in our oceans. The book won first place in the Writer's Digest Annual Self-Published Awards in the children's book category and received a starred review by Publishers Weekly. It was named a Finalist in the Children’s/Juvenile Non-Fiction category of the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and is available in the Smithsonian Museum stores. It was nominated for the Sakura Medal for 2015, this book award is voted on by children from international schools in Japan. It even made its way to the halls of the U.S. Congress in support of a Bill to protect sea birds from longline fishing at the request of the Audubon Society.
Harvill has been commissioned by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment - ICMBio, to create the cover paintings for their National Action Plans for the Conservation of Endangered Species. She has completed 12 covers to date, one of which is the Spix's Macaw, considered Extinct in the Wild, with only approximately 85 birds existing in captivity. Harvill's cover painting is for the international version of the National Action Plan for the Conservation of Endangered Species, which includes a re-introduction program for this macaw.
She is also active in the project "Ararinha na Natureza" of SAVE Brasil (the Brazilian affiliate of Bird Life International) that is working for the re-introduction of the Spix's Macaw or Ararinha Azul. She was invited to lead workshops in São Paulo at the Avistar Bird Conference in May of 2013 and again in October 2013 in Curacá, Bahia, the former home of the Spix's Macaw. She was a guest speaker at the opening ceremonies and led 2 days of workshops for approximately 300 children from the area.
In May of 2013, she donated a giclée print of her Maned Wolf painting, "Lonely Lobo", to be raffled by World Land Trust-US (now Rainforest Trust). The proceeds from the sale of the print went to buy 28 acres for Maned Wolf habitat in Bolivia.
In 2014, she created and donated artwork of 10 bird species in initiatives of SAVE Brasil/Bird Life Intern'l. to reduce trafficking of wild birds through their ClickAves and Plano de Voo (Flight Plan) programs.
Also in 2014, she teamed up with Rainforest Trust again to support their initiative to help the Serra Bonita Reserve in Bahia by photographing and creating a portrait of a Northern Brown Howler Monkey couple, a critically endangered species. https://www.rainforesttrust.org/news/2014/serra-bonita-q-wildlife-artist...
In March of 2014, her children's picture book, "ABAYOMI, the Brazilian Puma" written by Darcy Pattison was released. The team of Pattison and Harvill that created "WISDOM, the Midway Albatross" now brings you the story of an orphaned puma cub, struggling for survival in a fragmented forest world and the scientists that are helping him to be able to return to the wild. In 2015, the Brazilian version of the book "ABAYOMI, um Encontro Feliz", a project of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and sponsored by FMC Corporation was released with the goal of distributing all 3,000 copies free of charge in the 17 municipalities where the pumas live. These municipalities ran an " ABAYOMI in the Schools" program.
Harvill created the Facebook group 52 WEEKS - Nature Painting Challenge in 2014 which ran for two years and was transitioned in 2016 to ABUN - Artists & Biologists Unite for Nature. As founders of ABUN, Harvill and her husband, Christoph Hrdina, now have more than 1,000 group members, with participating artists creating artwork in collaboration with biologists and organizations worldwide working for the conservation of endangered species and endangered ecosystems. The Artwork images are donated to support educational and marketing efforts. Posters and Music Videos are created for each Project. As of June 2022, ABUN is on its 40th Projects with Artist members on all continents and Projects completed on all continents as well - visit https://abun4nature.org/.
Harvill and her husband, naturalist Christoph Hrdina are partners with several prominent biologists in the private reserve - Reserva Bicudinho-do-brejo in the state of Paraná in southern Brazil. To date, 269 bird species, 11 of which are endangered have been listed on this reserve which is 30 hectares in size or approximately 90 acres. Harvill created illustrations for a children's book of the endangered Bicudinho-do-Brejo, a resident of the reserve. The 48-page picture book received the authorization of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and was published in 2018.
In 2020, Harvill's paintings of the Atlantic Forest flora and fauna were used in a comprehensive book detailing the 3 reserves of SPVS, with 12 images serving as cover and chapter opener pages.
She has led Plein Air Paint-outs for the ABUN group from 2014 - 2019, in the U.S and in Brazil.
She was named a "Madrinha" (godmother) for Mater Natura's campaign: "Parceiros da Biodiversidade", joining a small number of invited artists to celebrate and raise awareness of nature through their arts. Visit www.maternatura.org.br (Environmental Studies Institute).
- 2016 - Light Space & Time Online Gallery
"Autumn's Offerings", Acrylic - Special Recognition, March 2016
"Jewel of the Rainforest", Acrylic - Special Recognition, May 2016
- 2015 - Nature as Art - Art as Awareness, Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN
Participated in a group show of endangered species, based on the Facebook group that Harvill founded in 2014 - 52 WEEKS - Nature Painting Challenge
- 2015 - Pinceladas da Natureza
Solo exhibition Sept 15 - October 20 at Quintana Restaurant, including an "ao vivo" art performance.
- 2015 - A Walk in Two Worlds - Nature Paintings of Brazil and the U.S.
Solo exhibition Nov 12 - Dec 15, more than 60 nature paintings from the two countries, watercolor/pastel/acrylic
- 2015 - Light Space & Time Online Gallery
"Herald of Spring", Watercolor - Special Merit & "Tropical Christmas", Watercolor - Special Recognition. January 2015
"Breaking Through", Watercolor - Special Recognition, March 2015
"Mico", Pastel - Special Merit, July 2015
"Little Blue Patriot", mixed media - Special Recognition, December 2015
- 2015 - The Wildlife Art Society International Award
For the third year in a row, Harvill was awarded The Wildlife Art Society International Award for her group of paintings focused on the critically endangered Northern Brown Howler and the Serra Bonita reserve in Bahia, Brazil.
- 2014 - Outstanding Science Trade Book Award
Awarded by the National Science Teachers Association to "ABAYOMI, the Brazilian Puma".
- 2014 - Special Recognition - Nature Art Exhibition - Light Space & Time Online Gallery
"Hide-n-Seek Hyacinths", Watercolor, 40" x 60". November 2014
- 2014 - The Wildlife Art Society International Award
Harvill was awarded The Wildlife Art Society International Award again this year at the exhibition for her "Spix's Macaw - A Dream of Home", watercolor, 15" x 22".
- 2014 - O Mundo é Uma Bola (The World is a Ball)
Dates : Sunday, June 01, 2014 to Friday, June 27, 2014
Location : Av. Jaime Reis s/n, Galeria Arcadas de São Francisco, Sala 07 São Francisco, Curitiba - Paraná, Brasil
Details : An exhibition by associate members of APAP (Associação Profissional dos Artistas Plásticos do Paraná) during the event of the world Cup in Brazil.
- 2014 - Artists for Conservation International Exhibiton
Two paintings accepted into the AFC Annual Exhibition, featured online and in the exhibit book.
- 2014 - Honorable Mention - "Animals" - Art-Competition.net
"Saira-de-Sete-Cores", Oil, 60" x 36".
- 2014 - Exhibition, Usina de Criatividade - Semana Lixo Zero
Participated with five works in a group exhibition of the Center of Creativity of Curitiba, November 2014.
- 2013 - RAÌZES E ASAS - Roots and Wings
Harvill's watercolors of Brazilian butterflies featured in a group exhibition in Galeria de Arte Mirtillo Trombini, Morretes, PR, BRAZIL, Jan 6 - Feb 17.
- 2013 - AFC Conservation Artist of the Month, April
Harvill was named AFC Conservation Artist for the month of April, for her outstanding artistic contributions to nature conservation.
- 2013 - The Wildlife Art Society International Award
Harvill was awarded The Wildlife Art Society International Award at this year's exhibition for her "Hide-N-Seek Hyacinths", watercolor, 40" x 60".
The Judges said "This was a good balance of colours and tones in a complex composition. The image shows the birds as an integral part of their environment and indicates natural behaviour."
- 2013 - Indie Book Award Finalist
"WISDOM, the Midway Albatross" has been named a Finalist in the Children’s/Juvenile Non-Fiction category of the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Also, we are thrilled that the book will now be available in the Smithsonian Museum stores. If you visit Washington, D.C., look for her face in the bookstores.
- 2013 - Pintando Curitiba
Participated with 2 paintings in a group exhibition of APAP (Professional Association of Artists of Paraná) entitled "Pintando Curitiba - A sustentabilidade na visão do artista" or "Painting Curitiba - Sustainability in the vision of the artist" - Sept 21 - Oct 6, 2013
- 2013 - Artists for Conservation International Exhibiton
Harvill's "Spix's Macaw, A Dream of Home", watercolor of the Extinct-in-the-Wild Spix's Macaw was accepted into this year's annual AFC competition.
- 2012 - 1st Place Award Winner - Writer's Digest 20th Annual Self-Published Awards - Children's Picture Book Division
"WISDOM, the Midway Albatross", illustrated by Harvill in watercolor, is the recipient of the first place award in the children's picture book category of the Writer's Digest annual competition in self-publishing. The award winners will be featured in the March 2013 issue of the magazine.
- 2012 - "The Passion of Kitty Harvill"
Customs House Museum solo exhibit of watercolors and pastels of the birds of Brazil, November 2 - January 14, 2013. The Customs House Museum is located in Clarksville, TN, USA.
- 2012 - Award of Merit,
"Majestoso", an oil portrait of the endangered Red-tailed parrot of Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest, received the Award of Merit in Guests Gallery's 4th International Animal Arts Contest.
- 2012 - Customs House Museum National Juried Exhibition 2012
"The Guardian", a life-size watercolor portrait of a Jabiru stork was accepted to the Customs House Museum's National Juried Exhibition in Clarksville, TN. The Customs House Museum is Tennessee's second largest general interest museum. The exhibit dates are May 10 - August 5, 2012.
- 2012 - Natureza em Cores (Nature in Colors)
Solo exhibition of watercolors, pastels, and oils, April 28 - May 13, Galeria de Arte Mirtillo Trombini - Morretes, Paraná, Brazil.
- 2012 - A Beleza da Natureza
Solo exhibit at the Mokiti Okada Cultural Center, Curitiba, Brazil. Features 24 oil, watercolor and pastel paintings of the exuberant yet threatened nature of Brazil. Dates of exhibit : Jan 10 - 31, 2012.
- 2012 - How Pictures Speak for Change - Depicting WISDOM, Inspiring Hope
Guest speaker at the 16th Biennial Children's Literature Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii - June 21-23, 2012
- 2011 - BRAZIL - An Endangered Beauty
Solo exhibit of 36 watercolors and pastels inspired by Brazil's Atlantic Forest and Pantanal, March 11 - April 9, Cantrell Gallery, Little Rock, AR, USA.
- 2011 - Artists' Haven Gallery - International Juried Fine Art Painting Competition
The watercolor painting "Saw-billed Hermit Hummingbird" was one of 45 entries selected from 1500 entries to be included in the Wildlife/Animal category. The painting was also published in the companion book. The exhibit was held at Artists' Haven Gallery in June 2011.
- 2011 - National Week of Mata Atlântica Conference
Invited to display seven paintings inspired by the subject matter of the Atlantic Forest.
- 2011 - The Artist's Magazine 28th annual competition
"Mico Leão-de-cara-preta" was selected as one of 310 finalists from more than 7,000 entries.
- 2010 - The Art of Conservation - AFC's International Exhibit of Nature in Art
"Mico Leão-de-cara-preta" and "Saíra-de-sete-cores sobre Frutas da Palmeira" oil paintings were selected for the exhibition.
- 2013 - Customs House Museum
"The Guardian", 60" x 16" life-size watercolor of a Jabiru stork of Brazil's Pantanal, the largest stork in the world and symbol of the Pantanal. Painting completed in 2011, accepted into permanent collection in 2013.
- 2011 - Norte Energia
Painting created for the ICMBio (Brazilian Ministry of the Environment) National Action Plan to conserve the endangered species of the Xingu River region. Watercolor, 15" x 22".
- Working to Save a Species and its Rainforest (2016)
Author - Authored an article about my experience photographing and interacting with the critically endangered Northern Brown Howler monkey and exploring its habitat at Serra Bonita Reserve in Bahia, Brazil. Also featured the work of our 52 WEEKS - Nature Painting Challenge group and their artworks painted in support of this species and its habitat.
Author: Kitty Harvill
Published by: TWASI Magazine - The Wild Side
- BIOPARANÁ (2015)
- "A arte a serviço da Biologia" (Art in the Service of Biology), an article featuring the works of Harvill published in Publicação do Conselho Regional de Biologia da 7a. Região - Paraná
Author: Aldy Coelho
- Natureza em Evidência (2015)
- A 4-page interview of the artist and her work, specifically her involvement in conservation in the December 2015 issue.
Published by: Revista DECOR
- Fauna & Flora International - Gallery Section (2015)
- The artist's works were included as well as others of her 52 WEEKS - Nature Painting Challenge group.
Published by: Fauna & Flora International
- ABAYOMI, the Brazilian Puma (2014)
Illustrator - 32-page children's picture book in watercolor. Accurate depictions, research and reference photography by Harvill. - The story of an orphaned puma cub, struggling to survive in a fragmented forest world and the scientists who are helping him be able to be released back to the wild.
The book was translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil through a project of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture in order to distribute 3,000 copies in the 17 municipalities where this puma lives, now together with an "ABAYOMI in the Schools" program.
Author: Darcy Pattison, Illustrated by Kitty Harvill
Published by: Mims House/Brazilian Ministry of Culture
- Histórias de um Lobo/Stories of a Golden Wolf (2013)
More about Histórias de um Lobo/Stories of a Golden Wolf
Contibuted four pastel paintings of the Maned Wolf for this publication. - 264 page book in text, photos, paintings, and drawings of the endangered Maned Wolf/Lobo Guará of Brazil´s Cerrado, written by the biologist who has spent more than 15 years studying and working with them with photos by world recognized photographer Adriano Gambarini.
Author: Rogério Cunha de Paula & Adriano Gambarini
Published by: Avisbrasilis Editora
- WISDOM, the Midway Albatross (2012)
More about WISDOM, the Midway Albatross
Illustrator - Children's 32-page fully illustrated picture book in watercolor, about Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, the oldest documented bird in the world. Her story of survival and hope.
Author: Darcy Pattison, Illustrated by Kitty Harvill
Published by: Mims House
- Vida Livre - A História do Papagaio-de-Cara-Roxa (2012)
Illustrator - A 48-page fully illustrated children's picture book about the life of the endangered Red-tailed parrot of Brazil's southern coast. Richly illustrated in cut-paper collage and watercolor, the story depicts the life of the parrot and the efforts of SPVS to save this species and its habitiat.
Author: Adélia Woellner, Illustrated by Kitty Harvill
Published by: A project of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture
- BIOPARANÁ (2011)
- "A Arte a Serviço da Vida" (Art in the Service of Life), an article about the artist published in Publicação do Conselho Regional de Biologia da 7a. Região - Paraná
MAR/ABR/MAI - O ano International das Florestas (International year of the Forests).
Author: Rony Santos
- International Contemporary Artists Vol. II (2011)
- Juried into this publication with 287 artists from 40 countries.
Published by: ICA Publishing
- 2012 - TWASI
The Wildlife Art Society International
- 2011 - Birding Art
Invited to be a part of Birding Art, an international site for bird art based in Great Britain.
- 2009 - AFC
- 2009 - APAP/PR
Associação Profissional dos Artistas Plásticos do Paraná
(Professional Association of Painters of Paraná)
Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil