Artist Spotlight | Q & A with Susan Feldman

This month’s LA Art blog features a Q & A with artist Susan Feldman.
"Self Portrait Fraction of a Refraction"

IMAGE_ Self Portrait_Fraction of a Refraction_

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – This month’s LA Art blog features a Q & A with artist Susan Feldman.

 The artist I want to be when I grow up is Susan Feldman. She has a zest for life and a collected mindfulness that somehow is balanced with a confidence and air of unflappability. She’s warm, but not for the sake of being a warm figure, she just is. Feldman gives off cool aunt vibes. Feldman is also cool enough to have grown up in North Hollywood before it was branded “NoHo”.

Feldman is honest and feels right in the thrust of life; which is to say, her works mirror life and perhaps even predate current events and zeitgeist. 

This month’s LA Art blog features a Q & A with artist Susan Feldman.
“Aretha’s Window” at Contemporary Craft Museum

Inspired by renowned artists of both mainstream and underground persuasion, Feldman’s training may be informal, but her influences are very formal and diverse. Feldman’s charm shines through in how her works are both fantastical as well as pragmatic. Feldman jokes as well that her artworks are limited by her studio size.

Recenty, Feldman exhibited at the MOAH in Lancaster, CA, featuring My Own City (MOC). The idea of home is a consistent thread seen throughout Susan Feldman’s practice, whose affinity for wood has transformed into works that include wall art, sculpture, and installation. This exploration of space and architecture is examined through a fragmentary lens, utilizing materials like scrap wood, plexiglass, string, paint, and her own personal collection of ephemera. Through her creations of architectural fantasy, she blends the past and the present, envisioning a future for all.

Feldman’s mixed media, site-specific installation, MOC (My Own City), further explores her fascination with architectural utopia through her creation of her ideal city. The installation contains 50 miniature buildings primarily made from found wood and other added embellishments meant to create a visual pun. The city features structures like a coffee house, a meditation center, a funhouse, an art museum, among others. For Feldman, MOC is a visual representation that encapsulates freedom, a sense of belonging and hope for the future.

This month’s LA Art blog features a Q & A with artist Susan Feldman.
“MOC” (detail) – Susan Feldman at MOAh 2023

Below is a Question and Answer with Susan Feldman that the North Hollywood Arts District was graced with. We hope you enjoy!

Q: How long have you been an artist? What has been your professional trajectory/arc?

A: I’ve been an artist all my life, and have always, for as long as I can remember, made stuff that was called “art”. In order to get a regular paycheck, I began working in production in the music business, followed by years as a graphic designer and then art director for an international magazine. After the birth of our first child, I left the work force and took a studio outside our home to work on my own art (while raising our then two kids, now 30 & 27).

Q: How has your practice changed over time?

A: I first began with oil painting at age 8 thru 15. Then stayed with just Drawing with pencil for about 5 years. I went to college for a minute, while also working in interior design of fabric. I couldn’t stand going to school any longer, so I dropped out to pursue my own practice. As I mentioned above, all of my so called jobs were always art related, in various mediums. I spent a long time with oils and then switched to acrylic and mixed-media painting, as well as various installations. I’ve always played around with sculpture too, (stone carving, clay, and literally building things with wood, nails and screws, and other mostly found materials). Most recently, I’ve been really into painting, drawing and creating these mixed media abstract pieces I call “Sscapes,” originally inspired by a recent trip to Iceland.

Q: What media do you use to create your art? What process do you use to create your art?

A: About 12 years ago, I began to work with Found Wood, creating “Ladders”. Very simple structures with just the found wood wrapped with string or rope. Very basic. These were inspired by my meditation practice. When I meditated, I began to get a profound feeling of moving UP and wanted to capture that in my art work. I realized that making these simple yet powerful objects felt very meditative to me as well. I would go into that meditative state by wrapping the ropes and string around the wood, and I found that process held a very powerful inspirational hold over me.

That process then led to me wanting to add color to the work, so I began incorporating colorful yarns and textural elements and actually weaving into the ladders. Some thought I had become a Textile artist, but really I was just using the yarns as a color element like paint. And the combination of the found, distressed wood, along with the textural colorful components just felt so good to me like nothing I had ever experienced before with my work. That led me to start building large 3D sculptural structures with these same materials. These were perfect for creating Site Specific Installations that became a whole other part of my practice. Soon I was adding other components like I had been doing with my wall works, (layering with photography, plexiglass, string, etc…)…And then came MOC (My Own City).

Q: What is your inspiration? Who has been an inspiration to you personally and professionally?

A: I get very inspired by my meditation practice and other journeys I’ve taken, whether through various substances, and/or actual journeys outside my body. I also can get very inspired by just looking around me, observing nature, colors and forms that speak to me. Music is also a huge part of my life and I’m constantly listening to all different kinds of music while I work. It helps to take me to all kinds of places inside my head. Artists that have inspired me include Red Grooms, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, David Hockney, Picasso to name a few…

Q: What message do you hope your audience imparts from your work?

A: That it doesn’t have to “Make Sense.” Just go with the feeling it brings to you when you fully immerse yourself in it. Art is fun and can open you up to so much within yourself. Don’t try to figure it out too much, or think about it, just dive right in. Get in touch with that childlike quality we all have within us, before we learned to judge ourselves so harshly. For me, it feels so authentic to reach inside and just create from that openness. I hope people get some of that takeaway.

Q: What is life like, as an artist?

A: I wouldn’t really know per se. It’s my life, It’s me, It’s who and what I am…I always say “I breathe, I make art” It’s just something I have to do.

Q: What has been an artistic challenge you have faced and how did you overcome this?

A: I very much try not to feel limited in what I can make based on the size of my studio. I have often thought about having a show called “Things I’m Not Making Because My Studio Is Too Small”. Like what’s hiding inside my head that is unable to really come out because of size restrictions??? In spite of this, I have managed to create some works that defy my physical boundaries. These are mostly Installations. But then they just end up taking up so much space! Once it’s made, (and I am very fortunate to have been able to show a lot of this work), it ultimately gets taken apart or spread out in other ways. So at least I get to have the experience of MAKING it. Often I recycle my work and incorporate them into other pieces so that helps. Also, it helps me to realize that the actual JOY comes from creating the work in the first place.

Q:  What project or piece of work have you been most proud of to date?

 A: I would have to say MOC.

Q: What is your dream project?

A: Building one of the MOC structures life sized!

This month’s LA Art blog features a Q & A with artist Susan Feldman.
“Passing Through” – Susan Feldman 2018

Susan Feldman is a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Los Angeles. Before pursuing her career in art, she worked in the music business as a production coordinator, graphic designer, and art director for an international design magazine. For over 30 years, she has exhibited in galleries throughout California, including Los Angeles, Culver City, Berkeley, La Canada; in New York: Saugerties; Woodstock; and museums in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Lancaster, California. She is also a “vinyl only” DJ. 

Feldman’s upcoming exhibitions include LIFE IN THE ABSTRACT. Curated by Bradford Salamon at the Baldwin Avenue Gallery. In an exciting group show, for the first time Feldman is branching out from wood, structures, architecture, etc. 2024 is beginning with a new direction for the artist, and is sure to satiate viewers.


Susan Feldman

Upcoming Exhibition:


Baldwin Avenue Gallery (The BAG)

12 North Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, CA 91024

This month’s LA Art blog features a Q & A with Susan Feldman and don’t miss her upcoming group show LIFE IN THE ABSTRACT at Baldwin Avenue Gallery (The BAG).


January 20th – March 20th 

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Raleigh Barrett Gallina
Raleigh (Barrett) Gallina from LA ART. Raleigh has been writing for the NoHo Arts District since 2015. Raleigh explores everything from large-scale commercial exhibitions to gratis solo exhibitions showcased by amateur galleries. While her preferences are ever-evolving, her favorite exhibitions include large-scale sculpture or paint, as well as artwork which holds socio-cultural underpinnings. She hopes that by capturing a large array of media and voices (including that of curators and the artists themselves), that readers are able to enjoy and voyeur out of their comfort zones.