Karen L.Kirshner is an award-winning, widely exhibited,NY abstract artist.
Karen has exhibited in art shows and received numerous awards from the time she was a teenager, including — Mother & Daughter exhibits at Le Figaro Café. In Greenwich Village, Manhattan, and at the East Meadow Public Library. Also, exhibited at the Firehouse Gallery and won an award for one of her pen & ink drawings, submitted for Karen by her mother. Karen was youngest person to exhibit in the adult show, unbeknownst to the woman who curated. She exhibited along with her mother’s with the LBAA Gallery (of the Long Beach Art Assn.), and throughout Long Island with five fellow students of the BOCES gifted art program and she had her first solo show in the program. While residing in Australia, she exhibited, “A Woman like Mum,” an oil portrait in Canberra’s National Art Show.
Karen has been member of Pen & Brush Club. Currently, she is an artist member of the Art Guild of Port Washington, the Huntington Arts Council, and of the Art League of LI, Dix Hills, andGuild Hall, East Hampton, the Long Island Museum (Arts), Stonybrook, and the Suburban Art League, and most recently, a member of the IAS (Independent Artists Society), and most recently was accepted into the 0ldest, prestigious professional women’s arts organization, NLAPW (National League of American Pen Women).
As daughter of late humanist-expressionist painter /art educator, Betty B. Kirshner… “Art is in my blood,” she says with a smile.
Early exposure to the art world included a grandfather who was a primitive painter from the same Vitebsk region as one of her favorite artists, Marc Chagall. Memories of a first cousin’s father-in-law, Herko, the Bauhaus artist, and other artist friends in their lives, such as Netty Simon, abstract artist.
Karen’s direct exposure included:
Alton Pickens at Vassar College (1975- 1980); Alison and Jim Adley of MSU in London, England (1977); At the Art Students League (late 1970s, thru 1980s), well known artists as instructors included: Gregory d’ Alessio, Roberto de Lamonica (printmaking/etching), Gustav Rehberger, Marshall Glasier, Anthony Palumbo , Hannariah Harari.
When Karen and Betty attended his session together at the Art Students League, Marshall Glasier said, “Karen “can go as far as she wants… there is no limit” to what she can achieve as an artist. At that point, Karen did not want to pursue an art career, fearing poverty and not wanting to compete with her mother on Betty’s turf. It wasn’t how Betty saw it. She encouraged Karen.
Decades later, Karen’s comfort and passion creating art has led to the conclusion, “my mother was right. I should have listened to her. It’s not too late to pursue a career as artist now. People live into their 80s and beyond. I’ll do it. I have to do it.” … And she’s doing it.
As a member of the Baby Boomer generation Karen was strongly influenced by Picasso, Dali, Magritte, Chagall, Van Gogh, Matisse. People have said Karen’s “doodle drawings” remind them of Kandinsky, and Miro.
As a “baby boomer” and member of the “ME-Generation” “ Karen “does her own thing” and when left to her own devices art emerges reflective of a unique interpretation.
Karen has been working on new art, as well as developed the website (http://www.kirshnermuseum.com) — showcasing her mother’s and her own artworks, and honoring her father’s legacy. It was launched in early 2015 . (Karen updates and expanded it to include a store and important art links). She created another gallery site to showcase a small sampling of her work, and the site includes a popular Long Island art blog: http://www.karenkirshner.com.
After a decades-long hiatus, Karen returned to painting in 2013,. She attended studio sessions locally (inspired by artist Katherine Archie) (and exhibited “Playtime” and “Feed the monkeys!,”in a group show at the Garden City Public Library in 2014). She has been attending workshops and studio sessions the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, New York, (inspired by abstract artist Kevin Larkin). Karen has workshopped with Lorraine Rimmelin in watercolor painting at the Art League of LI, and attended a multimedia class, and has been printmaking, with Stephanie Navon-Jacobson. Although an abstract artist, Karen is sharpening her skills in open, monitored drawing sessions with a live nude model at the Art Guild of Port Washington, NY.
In 2016, Karen was proud to be selected as a Town of Oyster Bay Rotational Art Exhibitor and exhibited her paintings in various locations in the Town of Oyster Bay, including at the Hicksville Library with a one-woman show, and showcased in the Westfield/Sunrise Mall upstairs gallery. Karen’s painting, “Sentinel” (a.k.a. “Vigil”) was awarded “Honorable Mention” in the Members’ Showcase at the Art Guild of Port Washington in June 2016.
Karen exhibited “Faith” in the BJ Spokes Gallery in July 2015 and exhibited previously three other works at the same gallery, in Huntington,NY. Two recent paintings (“Joyride” and “Cityscape” ) were exhibited in the Art Guild of LI “Lines: through Thick and Thin” show . In the East Meadow Art Show, Karen won an award for the abstract painting, “Faith”and the same prize in the 2015 East Meadow Art Show, for a powerful portrait (“A Woman Like Mum”, which she had not shown in the U.S.). Karen was the featured artist showcased in the Westfield-Sunrise Mall in Massapequa, NY for the month of April 2016. And, she was a participant in the Town of Oyster Bay Art Council’s Art Exhibition & Sale in May, 2016. An exhibition of two-dozen limited edition prints of Karen’s artwork have been shown at the No. Bellmore Public Library during the months of July and August 2016. The most recent exhibits include the (October and November 2016) Town of North Hempstead’s “Arts Matter 2016” with the painting “Lovebirds” and the(October 2016) Huntington Arts Council’s “Conversations in color” abstract show in the Main Street Gallery. Karen received “Honorable Mention” for her painting, “Blue Rhapsody” at the Art Guild of Port Washington, Dec. 2016. She had two paintings in the annual East Meadow Invitational Art Show, at the East Meadow Public Library through the month of December 2016, and she had two paintings in the BJ Spoke Gallery for the Winter Harvest Show. In addition, Karen’s unique and lively lyrical painting, “Rhapsody” was on exhibit in the Art League of Long Island’s Members’ Showcase in the gallery, and two more were in the strolling gallery. “MAMA” is on display thru March and April 2017, in the Town of North Hempstead’s Multiculturalism in North Hempstead exhibition in Town Hall, Manhasset, NY. The painting received “Honorable Mention”. Karen’s solo show, “Abstractions” is at the Farmingdale Public Library’s gallery. The Reception took place, March 4, 2-4 PM. The exhibit took place through her mother’s birthday month of March, 2017.
Numerous exhibitions after these listed are cited on Karen’s art blog, as they occur. For example, Karen was recently in the Art Guild of PW’s “America” show and in the BJ Spoke Gallery in which she is a member, and Guild Hall in East Hampton, and she has a painting in the “Flight” exhibition June thru August,in the Dehn Gallery in Manchester, CT. “Black Doodle/Night” is on exhibit during June, in the Art Guild of Port Washington Members Showcase, and Karen’s painting “Fantastic World” is on exhibit in the Huntington Arts Council’s Members Showtime at the Main Street Gallery. As a member of the BJ Spoke Gallery, Karen has exhibited “Carnival” in April and “In Play 1” and “Boogie Woogie” in May. Another painting, “In Play 2”, and “Chat” were on exhibit during June.Three more paintings were on exhibit at the gallery in the July “Summer Fun” Members Exhibition. “Faith” was on exhibit at the Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery for the “Absolutely Abstract Show, in August 17 thru September 9. Two of Karen’s rare portraits were on exhibit in the Art Guild of Port Washington’s Faces & Figures show, September 2 thru Oct. 1. Three paintings were shown with fellow BJ Spoke Gallery members in September, while one of Karen’s favorite local artists, Katherine Criss’ solo show “Surreal Encounters in Paint & Pixels” was on exhibit at the gallery.Karen has “Carnival) a 30×40′ painting on exhibit online in the (International) Celeste 2017 Prize artists gallery, and she has other paintings in online galleries, including Xanadu Gallery of Scottsdale, AZ’s online site, and three of her paintings appeared in the gallery’s July 2017 catalogue (page 45), and three paintings were published in the September issue (page 13), as well. Karen was a finalist in the Long Island Museum’s “Animal Kingdom” exhibit in Stony Brook, NY and “Elephant Crush” is on display thru October. The East Meadow Herald published two articles about it during September, featuring photos of Karen and the painting. Karen’s “Zip-a-dee-do-dah” painting was in the Suburban Art League exhibition at the Barnes Gallery on Nassau Blvd.,Garden City, NY during October. The artist also had three new paintings, in the October 2017 exhibition at BJ Spoke Gallery, and four in November, with one featured in the window,widely viewed by visitors. The venerable cooperative gallery has been nominated best LI gallery for 2018 (please vote). In November, Karen received Honorable Mention at the National Art League for “Faith” and is showing two additional paintings for the Douglaston, Queens NAL’s Holiday Exhibition and Sale. Karen’s painting, “Fantastic World (in winter)” is on exhibit December thru January 28 at the Long Island Museum, in the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Exhibition.
In the fall, Karen exhibited the painting, “The Gathering” at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, during their Members Exhibition. Karen also showed four paintings at the Universalist Unitarian Congregation in Freeport as a guest artist with the National Association of Pen Women, of which her mother was a member. Karen has since been unanimously voted in as a new member, fulfilling her wish to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
During December, Karen exhibited three paintings (Floaters, Mixed Up, and Sweep) in the annual East Meadow Invitational Art Show, of past winners of EM Art Shows. The reception was held, Dec. 3, 2017.
In January,at the Barnes Gallery with the National Art League.
Invitational Show in January-February at BJ Spoke Gallery, where Karen exhibited with a favorite artist, Figurative-Conceptual artist, Caroline Kaplowitz. There was a lot of press coverage for the event.
The Members Show which was juried at the National Art League, resulted in the Honorable Mention Award for “Faith”.
TheHoliday Exhibition and Sale and the Juried Big & Little Exhibitions at the National Art League. Karen received the Merit Award for “Burying the Hatchet”.
In February, The Suburban Art League Annual Members Showcase which was juried resulted in Karen receiving the Award of Excellence for “Joyride”.
There are more events, including the “BLUE” exhibit at the Art Guild of Port Washington in March, 2018.
Karen is in the group NLAPW exhibit at the Freeport, NY Universalist Unitarian Congregation in March. In addition, a painting accepted for the juried National Show in Des Moines, Iowa, which will be on display in the Art Centre during the convention in May 2018
Please refer to the Recent and Upcoming page.
Included are schedule solo shows. (BJ Spoke in Oct. 2018, Bryant Library, Roslyn in Sept./Oct. 2019 and Farmingdale Library in March 2019).
On May 1, 2016, there was an excellent turnout at the the long-awated “Mother-Daughter Art Show” at the East Meadow Library. On exhibit through May, were nearly 40 paintings. All are works by Karen and Betty Kirshner. Karen planned the show with her mother two years in advance and promised on Betty’s deathbed, “The show will go on!”.
The show honored Betty B. Kirshner’s legacy.
Betty had passed away in July, 2015, at the age of 86, a devastating loss to Karen. She has since found solace immersing herself in art and the art world. Every painting she exhibits, she dedicates to Betty’s legacy. “It is my passion, my purpose, my love,” and as Marc Chagall said, “Art must be an expression of love, or it nothing.”
After Betty’s passing, Karen fulfilled a dream and joined the BJ Spoke Gallery, In February 2018, the Roslyn News and seven of Island Now’s newspapers printed and posted online, newstories about the Artists Choice Exhibition. Karen is included in the article herein, with a new painting ©Razzle-Dazzle 2017. (All rights reserved.) Five of her paintings are in the exhibition which ends February 25, 2018.
For Karen’s gallery portfolio samples: http://www.bjspokegallery.org/member-artists/karen-lynne-kirshner/
Education: BA, Vassar College ’80 (minored in Art); MBA, Marketing, with Distinction, and Medallion Award, Hofstra University’s Frank Zarb, School of Business Administration Dec. ’91; MS, Secondary Education, Social Studies, Molloy College ’05;NYS Certified k-12 Business & Marketing (inc. Technology), and Social Studies 7-12, 5-6 Ext.; Certificate: Desktop Publishing and New Media, Baruch College ;
Studied Art abroad at London University, Bedford College for a (6 credit) semester in Graduate Art -Honors with Michigan State University (following Freshman year at Vassar).
Studied during the late 70s and the 1980s at the acclaimed Art Students League in NYC. She exhibited in her teens and early adulthood with her mother locally, at the Firehouse Gallery, and with the Long Beach Art Association, and in East Meadow Public Library Shows as well as in Soho, NYC at the Le Figaro Cafe’, here she also gave a poetry reading. Published, Confrontations & Surrealistic Excuse Number One, a book of original poetry, 1981, with award winning “Quest for a Peace” pen & ink drawing on cover. Sold nearly 1000 copies to poetry enthusiasts. Gave poetry readings in bookstores in Manhattan and Long Island and other venues. Karen combined her passion for writing with her passion for art. She continues to do so with her art blog.
Ms. Kirshner’s artwork is in numerous private collections in the United States and Australia.
An Art Critique About Karen Kirshner, as artist – from past National President of the National League of American Pen Women, Anna Di Bella:
© Karen L. Kirshner 2016, 2017, 2018. All rights reserved.