Katie Runnels is a mixed media artist originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas. She received an M.F.A. in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004. She has studied art and art history in Rome and Lacoste, France, through the University of Arkansas and SCAD, respectively. Through SCAD’s generosity, her artwork has exhibited internationally, most notably at the Mona Bismark Foundation in Paris in 2004. In Fall 2003, President of Savannah College of Art and Design, Paula Wallace, personally hired Katie to develop a cutting edge gallery/boutique that would exclusively feature artwork and designs of students, faculty, and alumni. Katie sought out a partnership with close friend and retail expert, Amy Zurcher and together they cofounded shopSCAD (shopscad.com) that continues to thrive in downtown Savannah, Georgia, Lacoste, France and online. Katie served as art director until September 2006. In this role she was responsible for the interior design, decoration and displays for shopSCAD and shopSCAD, Atlanta. In addition, she proposed the original design concept for shopscadonline.com, curated fine art submissions, styled website photography, and created artwork and design concepts for shopSCAD’s promotional materials.
Since relocating to Columbia, SC (2007) and then Indianapolis, IN (2010), Katie has worked independently by establishing her own creative brand and blog, The Constant Gatherer. Her artwork, tutorials, design ideas, and editorial work have appeared in numerous magazines and blogs of note including, Martha Stewart Weddings, Better Homes and Gardens, Design*Sponge, Craft Stylish, Decor8, Poppytalk, Creature Comforts, and Mary Engelbreit. Katie's work was also featured in Appliqué Your Way (2009) by Kayte Terry and Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (2012) by Cheryl and Griffith Day.
My love of arts and crafts began with my mother’s example as a painter and creative homemaker. The various handicrafts of my grandmothers and aunts, not always appreciated while growing up, are now some of my most beloved treasures. I work in several different media including paint, textiles, found-object sculpture, ceramics and collage, much the same as the women in my family before me. My love of handmade objects, vintage design, nostalgia and homespun details inspire my graphic design aesthetic and are the basis for everything I create.
MFA Painting, Savannah College of Art and Design 2004
BA Art, University of Arkansas, 2000
Theater, Emerson College 1995-1997
it’s impossible to mention shop scad without talking about its former art director: katie runnels. katie was responsible for the interior design and decoration of shopscad and proposed the original design concept for their website, as well as curating fine art submissions, styling website photography, and creating artwork and design concepts for promotional materials.
in addition to the amazing work katie did for shopscad, she’s done equally amazing work on her own, through her studio, the constant gatherer. katie is primarily a mixed media artist whose collage-style sculptures have become a big hit on sites like etsy and poppytalk handmade. she has a real knack for combining found objects (which are often vintage) and turning them into beautiful sculptures, vignettes, and yarn wreaths.
for me, katie’s work represents a powerful segment of the young southern artist community. she and her counterparts have a great respect for the art, objects and traditions of the past and always seem to find creative ways to work these actual objects and fragments into their contemporary work. i personally love katie’s use of non-traditional accents like vintage scrabble letters and vintage millinery flowers, but her work is so wonderfully varied that there’s always something for everyone.
-Grace Bonney, Design*Sponge guest blogger for Knack Studios, March 2009.