East Meadow’s Karen Kirshner has been making moves in the art world for her abstract work that many have compared to the 19th-century Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky.
Her piece, “Rivaling Faith (Moving On),” published in 2018, is the cover artwork for the February edition of the BJ Spoke Gallery magazine, run by the Huntington venue of the same name at which Kirshner has had many of her paintings on display.
The same piece is one of many for which she has received awards and national praise. “Rivaling Faith (Moving On),” earned her the title of Abstract Artist of the Year for 2018 at the national competition Art Comes Alive. The piece was on display at the ADC Gallery in Cincinnati, OH., in October and was chosen from a field of 2000 or so artists.
Kirshner was an avid and detailed doodler at 14 as a student at East Meadow High School, when her English teacher spotted her drawing. Her first thought was that she was in trouble, but her teacher referred her to an advanced art program.
She has been perfecting her work since, taking a break, however, to focus on a career in marketing and business. “I didn’t have the time,” she previously told the Herald. “And I didn’t think I could have a career in art.”
When her late mother Betty, an artist who specialized in humanist expressionism, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the early 2000s, she became her primary caregiver. This reignited the artist’s inspiration as her mother has always wanted her to follow her passion. “I was happy when I was doing art with her,” Kirshner said. “When she died, the only way I could process it was by painting.”
Before her mother died, Kirshner promised that “the show would go on,” she said. In May of 2016, put on a mother-daughter art show to exhibit both of their works at the East Meadow Public Library. She also followed her mother’s footsteps and joined the art society the National League of American Pen Women.
Kirshner has work on display at Barnes Gallery in Garden City as part of an exhibition of the National Art League, which will be running through Feb. 23. Her work will also be shown at BJ Spoke Gallery in its Artist’s Choice Exhibition, running through Feb. 24, among several other exhibits.
The Art Guild on Port Washington’s juried RED exhibition, also running through Feb. 24, is displaying her work “Simply Red;” the Cape Cod Art Center’s 2019 exhibition “Opposites Attract,” running from Feb. 11 to March 17, includes Kirshner’s DUO painting; the National Association of Women Artists Small Works 2019 juried exhibition will feature Kirshner’s Concerto painting from Feb. 6 to Feb. 27; Gallery 104 will display her work “A Creation” from Feb. 7 to Feb. 28, and her work “After Irma” will be shown at the opening of the NYA Gallery.