Catherine May was born in Dallas, Texas and lived in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina before moving to Richmond, Virginia to study in the Graduate Sculpture Program at Virginia Commonwealth University from which she received her MFA. She earned a BA in Art History from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in the Book Arts at The University of Alabama. She completed her training as a bookbinder at Booklab in Austin, Texas. Her first sculptures were artist books. Her work employs techniques of sewing and fabric manipulation and has been exhibited in Virginia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Alabama, and Texas.