Karen L. Kirshner, BA, MBA, MS
Karen Kirshner with her painting “FAITH”
at the East Meadow Art Show, April 2016
About Karen L. Kirshner of East Meadow, New York
Education: BA, Vassar College ’80; 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 semester (6 credits) in Graduate Art -Honors with MSU (following Freshman year at Vassar).
Attended painting and printmaking classes at the Art Students League in NYC in the mid-late ’70s thru late ’80s.
First one-woman show at age 16 in the BOCES Cultural Arts Gifted Art program, and exhibited hroughout Long Island with fellow students of the BOCES gifted art program and received an award for a surrealistic pen & ink still-life of a fruit bowl.
Published, Confrontations & Surrealistic Excuse Number One, a book of original poetry, 1981, with award winning “Quest for a Peace” pen & ink drawing on cover. Gave poetry readings, and participated in art shows and poetry readings, including — Mother & Daughter exhibits at Le Figaro Café. In Greenwich Village, Manhattan, and at the East Meadow Public Library.
Exhibited at the Firehouse Gallery, Garden City and won an award for one of her pen & ink drawings, (submitted for Karen by her mother, Karen was youngest exhibitor).
Exhibited with mother in the LBAA Gallery of the Long Beach Art Association.
Exhibited in “A Woman Like Mum” in the National Art Show of Canberra, Australia.
Former Member of Pen & Brush Club, NYC.
Member of the Art Guild of Port Washington, and of the Art League of LI, in Dix Hills, and of the Huntington Arts Council, member of Guild Hall, East Hampton and Long Island Museum (Arts), Stonybrook, NY, and the Suburban Art League.
Influenced and encouraged by “Humanist Expressionist” artist mother, Karen’s early exposure to the art world, included her beloved maternal grandfather, retired housepainter/contractor who was a primitive painter of landscapes. Influence also included a first cousin’s impressionable father-in-law, Herko, the Bauhaus artist and there were always artists in her sphere, including those whose studios Betty attended, such as Paul Margin, and Betty Holiday. 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 at the Art Students League, who left Karen to her own devices, included: Gregory d’ Alessio, Roberto de Lamonica (printmaking/etching), Gustav Rehberger, Marshall Glasier, Anthony Palumbo , Hannariah Harari..
Marshall Glasier told Betty, “Karen “can go as far as she wants… there is no limit” to what she can achieve as an artist.At that time, Karen was more intent on writing and considered art her private passion, and her mother’s realm. She did not want to compete with her for the spotlight. (Karen regrets rejecting her mother’s advice.)
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`. And, as a “baby boomer” in the “ME-Generation” “ Karen “does her own thing,” and when left to her own devices art emerges reflective of an organic and geometric unique interpretation of the world.
After nearly thirty years working up the ladder in the creative-end of Marketing Communications (from copywriter to Director of Marketing Communications, and Adjunct Professor of Marketing). She began a second career in the aftermath of 9-11. Teaching Social Studies in a violent gang-infested junior high school, and later Business, Marketing and Technology, applications courses at two inner-city high schools, exposed to more violence, Karen became an advocate for teachers, with a blog,” Ms. K’s NYC Teachers News & Commentary Line,” (now a website). She reported on events of interest and concern to NYC educators. Karen wrote the first draft of a novel based on her experiences as a teacher and the project was on hold, when her mother’s needs grew. Karen had been the only one of three who came forward to nurture and devotedly care for all Betty’s needs and fulfill her wish to remain at home. “Her mind was good, but her body was reaching it’s expiration date.” Karen says.
Karen’s passion for art was rekindled in 2013, and “one never forgets how…” “Rusty” at first, with encouragement from two artist/instructors (Katherine Archie and Kevin Larkin) who allowed her to “do her own thing,” Karen developed a new style. Then, to honor her parents, she created this website (new.kirshnermuseum.com), launched in 2015. In 2016, she created a separate gallery site that features samples of her own work, along with a popular art blog. Most of the new paintings are featured on the blog, along with other artists’, as Karen explores the local New York art scene.
Karen has been attending studio sessions locally, and at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, New York.
She was selected as a Town of Oyster Bay Rotational Art Exhibitor for 2016. She has exhibited her paintings in various locations in the Town of Oyster Bay, including at the Hicksville Public Library, with a one-woman show (February 2016).
Karen’s limited edition prints of her paintings were on exhibit at he North Bellmore Public Library during the months of July and August, 2016.
She has exhibited in Huntington’s highly-rated BJ Spoke Gallery, first in August 2015 with “Blue-Green Melody” and “”. And, she exhibited “Faith” there in July 2015.
Two recent paintings (“Joyride” and “Cityscape” ) were exhibited in the Art Guild of LI “Lines: through Thick and Thin”, and she received Honorable Mention for her abstract “Sentinel/Vigil” later, in the Art Guild’s Member’s Showcase exhibit, June 2016.
Karen and her mother, long-time participants in the annual East Meadow Art Shows, garnered awards and recognition in their community. Most recently, Karen’s abstract painting, “Faith” received the second place ribbon in the April 2016 East Meadow Art Show, the same prize in the 2015 East Meadow Art Show, for a powerful portrait (“A Woman Like Mum”, (which she had not shown previously in the U.S.).
Karen was the featured artist showcased in the Westfield-Sunrise Mall in Massapequa, NY for the month of April 2016.
Exhibited more than a dozen paintings in the Town of Oyster Bay’s Town Hall, twice (Jan. and July 2016), in Massapequa, NY.
Artist participant in the Town of Oyster Bay Art Council’s Art Exhibition & Sale in Woodbury, May, 2016.
“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 death bed, “The show will go on!”. The show honored Betty B. Kirshner’s legacy.
Most recent exhibits include “Lovebirds” in “Arts Matter!, the Town of North Hempstead show during October and November, and “Chaos”/ “Kinetic”and “Black Abstract/(Mask)” in the October 2016 Huntington Arts Council’s “Conversations in Color” exhibit. Karen has two paintings in the December “Annual Invitational East Meadow Art Show” in the East Meadow Public Library, and one painting( “Blue Rhapsody,” which received Honorable Mention) in the Art Guild of Port Washington’s “Beauty in the Abstract” exhibit (Dec. 3-Jan. 8). Karen also had two paintings in the BJ Spoke Gallery’s “Winter Harvest” Exhibit in Huntington, and “Rhapsody” (a.k.a. “Did I Channel Calder?”) in the gallery at the Art League of Long Island Members Showcase (Dec. -Jan). Two paintings were in the League’s Strolling Gallery through January.
Karen’s painting “MAMA”, which has received the “Honorable Mention” Award, will be on display in the Town of North Hempstead Winter 2017 Multi-Cultural Art Exhibit at North Hempstead Town Hall, 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY which runs February 28-April 28, 2017.
A solo show at the renovated Farmingdale Public Library’s gallery during the month of March 2017 featured new and recent works. (New paintings are not posted on her websites, pending copyrights.) Opening reception was on Saturday, March 4, from 2-4 PM. (Note: No photographs are allowed at exhibits. You must attend to see and buy the latest paintings.)
Starting April 2017, Karen became a member of the BJ Spoke Gallery in Huntington, NY. She’s thrilled, as she admires the artist members and their work, and the contemporary, hopping, popular gallery in the heart of the historic village.
Karen has been exhibiting in several different venues each month in 2017. (Please see gallery site for updates and details).
She is an artist member of the Art League of LI, the Art Guild of Port Washington, Guild Hall of East Hampton, Long Island Museum Arts, Suburban Art League, and the National Art League.
Karen has exhibited with online gallery sites, including the (online and print) catalogue of the Xanadu Art Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona in July and will continue in September. Karen’ paintings are scheduled to be included in the Blink Art Catalogue int he spring of 2018.
Karen’s pen & ink drawings and paintings are in numerous private collections, in the USA and abroad.
Betty Kirshner had been pleased with the website, which has since been expanded. Sadly, she passed away in July, 2015. Devastated, Karen has immersed herself in art ,and the art world. “It’s a way I can continue to connect, with Mom,” she says. “Every painting I exhibit is dedicated to my mother and her legacy. In this way, she continues to live.”