Kathryn Smith studied painting and printmaking at the University of Maryland, receiving a BA in Fine Arts, with further studies at Maryland Institute of Art, Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Boulder, and graduate studies at University of Northern Colorado.
In 1981 Smith returned to Provincetown to resume studies with her grandmother, artist Ferol Sibley Warthen, painter and practitioner of the single-block, multicolor print developed in Provincetown in 1916. Since 1981, Smith has continued to produce white-line prints in the traditional manner as taught by Blanche Lazzell. She has been a year-round resident of Provincetown since 1988, teaching at PAAM since 1991 and at Provincetown International Art Institute (PIAI), which she co-founded, from 1999-2006. She has lectured extensively on the history of the Provincetown Print, teaching workshops in the United States and Japan. Her work is represented in museum, corporate and private collections nationally and internationally.