The Artist

“I paint horses both because I love the way they look and because they can express emotion and mood far more effectively than humans. Where we are often hindered by our attempts to communicate with words, horses express themselves physically. In addition to a full range of facial expressions, horses also use their moveable ears, bodies and four legs to show a mood or concept.

My horse paintings fall in two main categories: ” expressionistic horse paintings” that capture horses’ pure joy of movement or the way light falls across skin in dappled sunlight, or a hip in the light of early dawn; and ” human paintings” expressing social issues or coping with everyday life issues expressed through the horse. The latter category becomes a collaboration with the viewer. I paint my experiences, and the viewer adds the depth of their own personal interpretations.”

Kate Esplen was born Catherine Van Toch in Montreal, Canada. She studied at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under Group Of Seven member Arthur Lismer, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia), worked in the interior design and graphic design fields, and established Van Toch Designs Limited. The firm served national and international clients and over a period of fifteen years winning numerous awards for art and design, including the prestigious Toronto Art Directors Club awards and Canadian Direct Marketing awards.

Kate has exhibited in the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts annual juried show, Florida Museum of Art, Deland Florida; Mt. Dora Center for the Arts, Mt. Dora Fl; Left Side Gallery, Flesherton, Ontario; Loft Gallery, Clarksburg,On., Collingwood, Ontario; Georgian Bay Arts and Crafts Association gallery; Toad Hall Gallery, Costa Rica, Ormond Beach Museum, Ormond Beach, Florida, and numerous private galleries. Her work hangs in private, municipal and corporate collections in Canada and the USA.

1968-1972 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Sir George Williams University, Concordia
1999-2006 Independent Directed Studies, ProArt Institute, Atlantic Center for the Arts


2010 Squatters’ Gallery, Flesherton, Ontario

2010 Matilda Swanson Gallery, Clarksburg, Ontario

2010 Curiosity House Gallery, Creemore, Ontario

2010 Rustica Gallery, Cochrane, Alberta

2010 Eklectica Galerie, Collingwood, Ontario

2009 Burdette Gallery, Orangeville, Ontario

2009 Wolfe Gallery, Deland, Florida

2009 Bemused Gallery, Clarksburg, Ontario

2009 L.E. Shore Library Gallery, Thornbury, Ontario

2008 Bright’s Gallery, Intrawest, Collingwood, Ontario

2008 Left Side Gallery, Flesherton, Ontario

2008 Curiosity House Books, Creemore, Ontario

2008 Wolfe Gallery, Deland, Florida
2007 Lexington Public Library, Lexington , Kentucky
2007 Burdette Gallery, Orangeville, Ontario
2007 Loft Gallery, Clarksburg, Ontario, Featured Artist
2006 Toad Hall, Costa Rica
2006 Florida Museum of Art, Juried Show, The Devine Equine, Deland, Florida
2006 Mt. Dora Center For the Arts, Central Florida Juried Show, Featured Artist
2006 Left Side Gallery, Feature Artist, Flesherton, Ontario
2005 Deland Museum of Art, Equus, Celebrating the Art of the Horse, Deland, Florida
2005 Chautauqua Design Gallery, Kate Esplen-Recent Works, Clarksburg, Ontario
2005 Renato Art Gallery, Group Show, Collingwood, Ontario
2005 Flying Fish Gallery (featured Artist) Eustis, Florida
2005 Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts , Collingwood, Ontario
2005 Fifth Avenue Café, (Two person Show) Mt. Dora , Florida
2004 Chautauqua Design Gallery, ( Solo Show) Clarksburg, Ontario
2004 Private solo show, Horses as Humans , Thornbury, Ontario
2004 City of Tavares Art Gallery, Multimedia (Juried Show) , Tavares, Florida
2003 L.E. Shore Memorial Gallery, Horses as Humans. (Solo show), Thornbury, Ontario, Canada
2003 Harbor Muse Gallery, (Group Show) Thornbury, Ontario, Canada
2003 Ormond Memorial Art Museum, The ProArt Story, Artists’ Work 1997-2003 Retrospective (Juried) Florida
2002 Ormond Memorial Art Museum, Four Footed, The Domestic Animal Depicted in Art (Juried Show) Ormond , Florida
2002 Pettitjean Gallery, Horses and Roosters, Paintings and Sculpture of Kate Esplen & Valerie Tennant, Creemore, Ontario
2001 Collingwood Atrium Gallery, Kate Esplen, Paintings and Sculpture,(Solo Show) Collingwood, Ontario
2001 Arthaus, Artist as Curator (Juried Show) Port Orange, Florida
1997 Georgian Bay Arts and Crafts Gallery, Group show ,Thornbury, Ontario
1978-1993 Founded a graphic design firm, Van Toch Designs Limited, served national and international clients. Won numerous prestigious design and marketing awards

Design, A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists and Craftspeople; Steve Aimone, Lark Books

Dining and the Arts magazine, Collingwood, Ontario

Mosaic magazine, Ontario

Equine Art Guild
Naples Art League