Susan R. Kirshenbaum

art and life - both the cherries and the pits


Susan KirshenbaumComment


Ah, September. After three months blogging about my travels and posting photos, I’m buckling back down to art-making. Getting ready for Open Studios is major, and for the first time I’ll be showing with the artists at Pacific Felt Factory. I’ve also been jumping into a few shows in food and beverage venues as part of my getting back on track and on schedule with my art as work and everything that goes with that. And I’m looking for a studio space. I’ve simply outgrown a home-based work area. Hoping to find a great place so that next year my open studio can be in my very own studio.

September has always represented new beginnings to me. It’s my birthday month, it’s the Jewish New Year, and it was the start of the new school year in the midst of the seasonal changed. That’s from a perspective of major Pennsylvania foliage changes. It’s also my favorite month of the year. Pinecones fall in the fall, like leaves. While in Yosemite in early September there was almost no sign of autumn, but loads of sticky, sappy pinecones around our campground. Okay - so I have to mention this one little trip we just took that was so different from Spain and France - we stayed local and visited Yosemite - a gorgeous national park (with Barbie and friends).

Look how big this pinecone is compared to Barbie (she never dresses appropriately for roughing it)!

Sequoias and Redwoods are giants without compare. But sad to see so much forest burned to black stumps and sticks. It’s so deadly dry. I was really feeling the Western forest experience. No fall foliage to speak of…

Alarmed by a completely dry lakebed, we explored Mirror Lake at Yosemite where we watched a caterpillar burrow (below).

We watched this caterpillar burrow in a dried up Mirror Lake. It is a White Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar (asked on FB and got my answer!).

Found this comfy crook in a tree at our campground, perfect for a little R&R.

The trees are so beautiful in both black and white AND color. We were treated to seeing and hearing several rare woodpeckers pecking away.

Burnt trees everywhere, but the landscape is coming back to life to varying degrees.


Fall season began with a reception at The Rite Spot Cafe. This exhibition opportunity came through Artspan as part of their “Art in the Neighborhoods” program. My work in this group show is called “Graphic Nudes - The Poster Series”.

Me and my buddy, author Marta Acosta, in black and white.

Bright end-of-day light penetrates the dark walls at the Rite Spot. At the opening of my show on Sept. 9 (SF). Stop in for an excellent performance or a happy hour and an art viewing through November 3.


Let’s meet for a drink or a meal at The Mosser Hotel in downtown San Francisco (4th St btw Market & Mission). My work is hanging there through February 2020 once again through Artspan’s Hub program. It was especially exciting to be selected for this venue since it’s not easy to get figurative art into public venues, hotels, and restaurants.

“Vins” is one of five pieces at the Mosser Hotel through Feb 2020. The photo in this collage was shot in Sete, France this past summer.

“The Tonic” is at the Mosser Hotel through Feb 2020. I just love the this brand name I photographed in Sete, France, “Creative Tonic”.


Hot Colors

“Hot Colors” is the theme for the September front gallery show at SFWA - juried by Priscilla Otani of Arc Gallery, SF. Show ends October 4.

“Wall Series: Happy Yet Sad” is a composition which includes a photo of a painted window grate in Spain with a life drawing of “the model with lilac hair” who also appears in “Thistle Twins” below.

“Botanical Series: Thistle Twins” is hanging in “Hot Colors”. It is a face-mounted 20 x 20 inch acrylic print (so is “Happy Yet Sad”).

Language & Letters

“Language & Letters” is the second show at SFWA in September, juried by Rhiannon MacFadyen of Black & White Projects. I have two pieces in this show up until October 4 (see images below, left).

A wall of the show with my two pieces on the left. Above is a piece by artist/curator Joseph Abbati and to the right is the award-winning photo of two figures by Mobina Nouri. I very much admire these two artists.

“Llibertat” (also above) has multiple layers of photos all shot in Catalonia last summer. Llibertat is Catalan for liberty.


I’ve been looking off and on for several months for a studio space in San Francisco and now I’m putting it out to the world to let me know if you know a place. I need both a clean and a messy space for the different types of work I do. I’d like a window for some natural light and a door so I can lock up. I want to be part of an art community. I need safety. Parking and an elevator would be nice. Any leads? Email me at Thanks.

“Burmese Heat” is also at the Mosser Hotel. I shot this photo in Myanmar a couple of years ago. All of my work at The Mosser Hotel are metal prints.

“The Situation”, at the Mosser Hotel, has several iterations so you might see other versions (above left at SFWA). The typographic portion of this collage is a photo I shot in Washington state.

“Word Series: Her Boots” is one of five pieces hanging at the Mosser Hotel. The collaged photos are from a recent trip to Barcelona.

“Word Series: Her Boots” is one of five pieces hanging at the Mosser Hotel. The collaged photos are from a recent trip to Barcelona.


> SF Open Studios | October 26-27: ONE PERSON SHOW + Many more artists!

See the new editions of my Barbie zines and enter into my “Phase 2: Barbie on the Cusp” as the work continues to evolve. Plus I’ll be showing more new work. The installation will be in the main gallery (flex-space) at the Pacific Felt Factory art studios. See our PFF Group poster here.

Located at: 2830 20th St. btw York & Bryant (SF).

Don’t miss our Mimosas on Sunday 11am-1pm.

Participating artists include: Truong Tran, Sandra Yagi, Rodney Ewing, Karen Olsen-Dunn, Cindy Shih, Ron Moultrie Saunders, Brian Singer, Irman Arcibal, Theresa J. Giannattei, Jon Fischer, and Shane Izykowski

Cover art for new photo zine


Come and see my first large Barbie prints from my three little publications - one is brand new and all photos, and two are updated versions of my Barbie story with illustrations.

Phase 2 has Barbie hitting the road in her black sequins and long gloves (she lost her shoes along the way). Barbie’s summer travels included Catalonia, Spain, France and Yosemite National Park (California).

The Barbie series is a subversive, feminist art project about the 60's, adolescence, transitions, adulthood, memories, relationships, secrets, games, bodies, role models, and behavior modeling. This exhibition includes photographic works that bring my story into the present, as well as zines, illustrations, and installations. All of my work is figurative and this chapter is especially exciting as it marries my interest in drawing the figure with story-telling, personal history, photography, book arts, drawing and illustration.

Barbie in Girona on the balcony

Barbie in Girona on the balcony


I know there must be so many great stories out there yet I have only received a few. So if you’re putting off sending them please send them now any old rough form is fine. I’d like to be able to consider including your stories in my “Phase 2: Barbie on the Cusp”. Got stories? Email me at Thanks.