Katayoun Stewart is a Persian-American artist born in Tehran, Iran in 1966. From very early age she was making countless drawings as a response to what she saw or experienced.
During her early teens, following the Iranian-Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran spent eight long years at war with Iraq. Katayoun, in high school at this time, was encouraged by the staff to use her drawing and painting skills to create several large wall murals of soldiers, tanks, and war stories. For a teenager, the militaristic subject matter was disturbing; however, Katayoun chose to turn it into a positive educational experience, focusing strongly and methodically on the human form.
After several years working as a self-taught artist, she decided to pursue a formal art education in 1993. During her studies at Tehran’s Alzahra University of Art she was introduced to a much larger art world. Katayoun was intensely moved by abstract artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Joan Miró. From here her curiosity grew and after receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1997 she knew she had to experience more of the world.
This curiosity for the art and culture of other lands has taken her on a journey of discovery. In 2000 she moved to her neighbor country of Turkey. She lived there for 3 years and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hacettepe University of Art in Ankara.
In 2003, Katayoun moved to the United States. Amazed by the vastness, culture, and beauty of this country she felt her heart belonged here. She has since traveled through many parts of the country, being particularly moved by the natural beauty found through it endless forests, mountains, and lakes. She has lived in California, Michigan, Florida and currently lives in Pennsylvania. In 2013 she decided to do a year of postgraduate work at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to experience art education in this country.
Since the mid-2000’s, much of Katayoun’s art (stylistically Abstract Impressionistic pieces) has been sold to private collectors. Oakland University in Michigan commissioned her to paint a series for display in their Kresge Library and an upscale hotel in Michigan commissioned her to create a series of paintings for their lobby and business offices.
Currently Katayoun spends her days as a full-time artist. She also teaches art classes and has taught art at the elementary, high school and college levels.