susan c. dessel



I am comfortable in my skin and I believe that my life experience strengthens my art. New York-based, I am fortunate to have had extensive exposure to diverse cultures through my pre-art professional work, travel, and studies. This broad perspective is manifest in my work.

art education

2006 MFA Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY). Sculpture.
2003 BFA Hunter College, CUNY. B.F.A. Sculpture, Highest Honors.
2003/04 The Skirball Institute, NYC. Artists’ Study Group with Tobi Kahn.
2002 The Art Students League, NYC. Stone Carving with Gary L. Sussman.

awards & honors

2013/2014 Frankel Fellowship, Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan. Project Title: A Voice From the Black Maria [conceptual art based on the life and work of Activist & Journalist Martha Gruening (1889-1937)].
2012 Manhattan Community Arts Fund (MCAF) Grant, supported by the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), NYC.
2010 Artist’s Grant. Puffin Foundation Ltd. (NJ)
Lighton International Artists Exchange Program Grant, Kansas City Artists Coalition (K.C., MO)
2009 Manhattan Community Arts Fund (MCAF) Grant, supported by the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), NYC.
2008 Emergency Grant. Foundation for Contemporary Arts. New York, NY.
2007 HEART AS ARENA includes Dessel on TOP 10 ART THINGS 2006
2006 Dessel heads Hoggard’s 2006 HIGHLIGHT’S list
Research Award (GIP). Brooklyn College, CUNY. Brooklyn, NY.
Cerf Award for Excellence in Art. Brooklyn College, CUNY. Brooklyn, NY.
2005 Cerf Award for Excellence in Art. Brooklyn College, CUNY. Brooklyn, NY.
2004/2005 Graduate Merit Award. Brooklyn College CUNY. Brooklyn, NY.


2011 Visiting Artist, Umm el-Fahem Palestinian-Israeli Art Gallery. Umm el-Fahem, Israel.
2010 A.I.R. ACSL (Art & Cultural Studies Laboratory). Yerevan, Armenia.
2008 Artist-in-Residence Tondach Brick Factory. Prague, Czech Republic.

solo exhibits

2016 “BRICK IN A SOFT HAT Series 2 Nos. 1-8 (Portraiture of Martha Gruening)” The Gomez Mill House (Marlboro, NY) Summer 2016
2016 BRICK IN A SOFT HAT Series 2 Nos. 1-8 (Portraiture of Martha Gruening)”. Nolen Art Lounge, Smith College (Northampton, MA) Feb/March 2016.
2014 BRICK IN A SOFT HAT Series 2 Nos. 1-8 (Portraiture of Martha Gruening)” The Gomez Mill House (Marlboro, NY)
2013 “american samplers, series 3 (the chicken chronicles, nos. 1-14)”. The Gomez Mill House (Marlboro, NY).
WHAT A NEIGHBORHOOD!” Bloomingdale Branch NY Public Library (NYC).
2012 “crystal clear”, an installation. Park Avenue Synagogue Gallery (NYC). This solo exhibit was made possible in part through a 2012 Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant, supported by the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
2010 “optimists” chashama gallery 266 (NYC), supported in part by a grant from the Puffin Foundation.
“nothers” Naregatsi Art Institute Gallery. Yerevan, Armenia. This exhibit was the culmination of an ACSL Residency in Armenia funded by the Lighton International Artists Exchange Program, A Project of the Kansas City Artists Coalition.
2009 “still lives”. This solo exhibit was made possible in part through a 2009 Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant, supported by the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Culpeper Gallery Abrons Arts Center at Henry Street Settlement (NYC).
wishbone series, nos.3-5. Jeffrey’s Gallery. Essex St. Market, NYC.
2006 OUR BACKYARD: A Cautionary Tale”. Curated by James Wagner & Barry Hoggard. Dam Stuhltrager Gallery Sculpture Garden, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NYC).

judged competitions

2014 - 2015 “Home is Where The Art Is”. Lazarus Gallery (New Rochele, NY).
2012 “Sacred Time – Sacred Space”. Still Point Art Gallery (on-line exhibit)
International Jewish Artist of the Year Award (IJAYA) Certificate of Commendation. BEN URI GALLERY The London Jewish Museum of Art (London, England)
2011 “End of an Empire”. Grass Gallery. Juror: Richard Rand, Senior Curator, Clark Art Inst. (No. Adams, MA).
A.I.R. GALLERY 9th BIENNIAL. Juror: Alexandra Schwartz, MoMA; Montclair Art Museum. (DUMBO, Brooklyn, NYC).
2008 “Discover Emerging Artists”. Nurture Art Benefit (Oct. 27th) Jurors: Koan-Jeff Baysa, Lowell Pettit, Amy Rosenblum Martin, & Lilly Wei. At James Cohan Gallery (NYC).
2007 “Politics of Power”. Brooklyn Artists’ Gym (BAG). (Brooklyn NY).
“In Praise of Physical Labor”. Woman Made Gallery. Juror: Ursula Kammer-Fox, Artist. (Chicago, IL)
2006 10th Anniversary Tokyo-New York Friendship Ceramic Competition (Sculpture). Nippon Gallery. Jurors: David McFadden, Chief Curator, Museum of Arts & Design, Shinichi Doi, Conservator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cora Rosevear, Asso. Curator, MoMA, Yoshiko Ebihara, Gallery 91, Arthur Pogran, Ceramist. (NYC).
2005 VISIONS IX”, International Juried Art Exhibit. The Cathedral Foundation. (Catalogue). Recipient, JURORS’ Award. Jurors: Matthew Distel, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, Susan B. Halpern, Film Council of Greater Columbus, OH,Trevor Martin, Betty Rymer Gallery & School of the Art Institute of CHICAGO, IL. (Covington, KY).
2004 “2004 International Jewish Artist of the Year Award”. Finalist (Sculpture). London Jewish Museum of Art & The Ben Uri Gallery. Tram Studios Exhibition. (Catalogue) Jurors: Dr. Andrew Renton, Dir. Curatorial Programs-Goldsmiths College, Univ. London & Columnist Evening Standard. Dr. James Hyman, Art Dealer & Writer. Artists David Breuer-Weil, Carole Berman Sujo & Naomi Alexander. Rachel Dickson, Curator. Marion Naggar, Collector & Patron. (London, England).
2002, 2001 Tokyo-New York Friendship Ceramic Competition (Non-Functional). Nippon Gallery (NYC).
2000 Faculty Committee, Hunter College Art. Dept. Gallery (NYC).

selected group exhibits

2019 - 2020 UTOPIA: VISIONS & TRADITION. Gallery Stanton Street Shul (NYC)
2019 - 2018 Still Point On-line Art Gallery, “The Time For Home” Exhibit.
2018/17 RESISTANCE. City Lore Gallery (NYC)
2017 LEAVE YOUR SWORDS AT THE DOOR. Riverfront Gallery (Yonkers, NY).
FAR FROM THE FRONT LINES. Evanston Art Center (Chicago Area).
2016 “Trees of Life and Evil Eyes: A Contemporary Take on Superstition, Symbols and Mysticism.” Abrazo Interno Gallery, Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center (NYC).
2014 America Scores Inspired Art Benefit, (NYC).
CITIGROUP Showcases Small Works Exhibition, (LIC, NYC).
2013 Momenta Art Spring Benefit, (Brooklyn, NY).
CITYarts Benefit Art Auction, (NYC).
“What A Neighborhood!”. Bloomingdale School of Music, (NYC).
2012 “Small Works Summer Show, II”. Sterling National Bank (LIC, NYC).
“Along The Line: The Sketchbook Project 2012 World Tour”. For Digitized version of Dessel’s drawings See LINKS page(Sketchbook Project).
2011 “Wish You Were Here 10”. A.I.R. Gallery, (DUMBO Brooklyn, NY).
CITYarts Benefit Auction. On-line and TIME WARNER Center, (NYC).
DISTANT COUSINS”. Curator, Haifa Bint-Kadi. Philipse Manor and Manhattanville College, (NY).
LIC ARTS OPEN Artists Open Studios”. LIC Art Center (NY).
2010 “ArmoryFest 2010”. Clocktower Building Gallery, (LIC, NY).
“Countdown To Peace”. Missing Peace Art Museum, (On-Line).
“The 12th Annual POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE”, A Benefit for Visual AIDS. Hosted by ZieherSmith Gallery, (NYC).
2009 “Countdown to Peace”. St. Augustine’s College, (Raleigh, No. Car.).
LIC Artists INC Armory Week Exhibit – A DAY IN QUEENS. Paintcan Studios. (LIC, NY).
2008 TheArtConspiracy (December). Gallery Korea, NYC.
COUNTDOWN TO PEACE. East Carolina University (Greenville, No. Carolina). Installation conceived and curated by ECU art faculty members Catherine Billingsly and Jodi Hollnagel-Jubran.
“Jircany 2008”. Galerie EcceTerra, (Prague, Czech Republic).
2007 “Small Rays of Hope and Fragments of a Larger Idea”. Curated by Rhonda Schaller and Dave Jaquish. Rhonda Schaller Studio. One of five artists invited to create and exhibit a large work. (Art Calendar “Small Rays of Hope 2008”) (NYC)
ACCESS: A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE”. Curated by Rhonda Schaller and Dave Jaquish. Rhonda Schaller Studio. (Catalogue) (NYC).
2006 “Dangling Between The Real Thing And The Sign In The Window”. Curated by James Wagner and Barry Hoggard. Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, (Williamsburg, Brooklyn).
Plan B Prevails – MFA Thesis Exhibition. (May 24-June 16, DUMBO (Brooklyn), NY).
“Plan B MFA Thesis Exhibition”. Brooklyn College Art Gallery. Catalogue Essayist Dena Schottenkirk. (May 3-4, Brooklyn, NY).
2004 VISIONS & DREAMS”. Curated by Tobi Kahn. A.I. Gallery, (Sag Harbor, NY).
2003 SEPTAGON Hunter College BFA Degree Show”. Curated by Nari Ward. Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, (NYC).
2001-2002 Public Art. 105th Street DOG RUN. Riverside Park (NYC).
2008 Guest Artist, “Long Beach Island Foundation 2007-2008 Artist Residency and Retreat Exhibition”. LBI Fdn. of the Arts & Sciences, (Loveladies, NJ).

Publications & Presentations

2021 Susan C. Dessel. “Martha Gruening: ‘Brick in a Soft Hat’”. THE ART of BEING DANGEROUS: Exploring Women and Danger through Creative Expression, Editors Jo Shaw and Ben Fletcher-Watson, Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2021, 126-131. Print.
2018 Winter 2018 Issue 32. Still Point Arts Quarterly features “The Time For Home” Exhibit. Dessel’s KITCHEN CABINET is among the selected works.
2016 - 2017 The Dangerous Women Project, University of Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Artist’s Essay accompanied by slide show of drawings of Dangerous Woman Martha Gruening, “BRICK IN A SOFT HAT Series 2 Nos. 1-8.”
2015 Smith College 2015 Otelia Cromwell Day. "Brick in a Soft Hat: Activist, Suffragist, Crusader, Martha Gruening ‘1909’ ", an illustrated presentation by susan c. dessel.
2014 Dessel, Susan. “A Voice From the Black Maria: Martha Gruening (1889-1937)”. New Perspectives on Gender & Jewish Life, 2014 Frankel Institute Journal. Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies Univ. of MI, pp 24-27.
2013 “A Word From the Black Maria”. Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies University of Michigan. Artist Susan C. Dessel presents her research as a Frankel Fellow and the art she created based on the life and work of suffragist & civil rights activist Martha Gruening (1889-1937).
2012 “An Introduction to the Visual & Material Culture of NYC Jews, 1654-1865” Linden, Diana L.,Visual Ed. CITY of PROMISES, Dash Moore, Deborah, Ed., Rock, H.B. NYU Press 2012. pp. 276-7.
Kansas City Artists Coalition, Lighton International Artists Exchange Program (LIAEP) Panel (K.C., MO.). Lighton Grant Recipients Susan C. Dessel, Ehren Tool, & Jessica Segall.
2011 “Art in the Arab Sector”. PEACE X PEACE Raise Women’s Voices Build Cultures of Peace. Nov. 22, 2011( Dessel recounts her experience as Artist-in-Residence, Umm el-Fahem Gallery, Umm el-Fahem, Israel.
2010 Mid-Manhattan Main Branch NY Public Library. “The Women Buried in Manhattan’s Jewish Cemeteries: First Shearith Israel Graveyards,” with conceptual artist, Susan C. Dessel.
2009 Gotham History BLOTTER. Gotham Center for NYC History, CUNY Graduate Center. A CONCEPTUAL ARTIST LOOKS AT JEWISH CEMETERIES. November 6, 2009.

professional affiliations/experience

2012 to present Member, New York Artists Circle (NYAC)
2010 to 2012 Member, Kansas City Artists Coalition. K.C., MO.
2009 to Present Member, Jewish Art Salon
2007 to present Member, Long Island City Artists Inc.
2004 to 2010 Panelist. ARTS in the SCHOOLS GRANTS Panel – Queens Council on the Arts.
2005 to present Member, Women’s Caucus for Art
2004/2005 Assisted Professor Karin Giusti (3D Sculpture). Brooklyn College, CUNY (Brooklyn, NY)
2001 Assisted Ruth Borgenicht, Mold Maker/Ceramic Artist. Hunter College, CUNY (NYC)
2000 Assisted Artist Juan Sanchez with “Cries and Pain”, co-published by LESP & Dieu Donne Papermill. Lower East Side Print Shop,Inc. (NYC)

Reviews, ...

2016 “Superstition Vies With Faith at Yiddish New York”, Tayla Zax. THE FORWARD. December 21, 2016 <>
2010 For reviews of Desel’s 2010 “nothers” exhbit in Yerevan, Armenia, please go to PRESS PAGE.
2009 “Up Close With Susan Dessel’s ‘Still Lives’”. The Lo-Down: News From the Lower East Side. November 06, 2009.
“Leah, “‘still lives’ and the Women of the 23 Souls””, September 4, 2009.
Stone, Amy. ““FEMINIST FUNERALS Art Opens the Conversation””, Lilith Magazine Summer 2009 V.32 No.2, p.31
2008 ARTIST CLAIMS ACTION IS CENSORSHIP, May 14, 2008. The Sandpaper <>
ARTIST CLAIMS ACTION IS CENSORSHIP”, continuation. The SandPaper, May 14, 2008. <>
“I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts (or An Exhibition Space’s Responsibilities with Regards to Potentially Offensive Materials)”. Ed Winkleman, May 12, 2008.<>
NOT MY VOICE”. James Wagner, May 12, 2008. <>
“Susan Dessel’s ‘OUR BACKYARD’ Censored by Gallery”. James Wagner, May 11, 2008. <>
“Hiding the Bodies in Our Backyard”. Brent Burket, May 12, 2008. <>
2006 ““Body Count””. HEART AS ARENA. Brent Burket, November 6, 2006. <>
““Dangling Between the Real Thing and the Sign in the Window””. tom moody, November 4, 2006.<>
tinsquo “Dangling” at Dam, Stuhltrager . November 1, 2006. <>
ARTINFO “Poli See” NYC. September 7, 2006.
James Wagner “Brooklyn College MFA works resurrected, with scars”, June 6, 2006.