Growing up in the inner city of Chicago, Kathleen Letona had few direct experiences with nature until her family moved to Hawaii and lived on a boat. Moving from a world that was densely surrounded by concrete buildings, alleys, and exhaust fumes, to one with palm trees, sun, and the ocean, was a transformative experience. The contrast of these living environments made a lasting impression and are a source of inspiration in her work. She attended Columbia College Chicago where she received her BFA degree. Letona has exhibited in shows throughout Illinois and her work is in private and public collections.