Susan Avishai creates sculpture from deconstructed, discarded clothing. Her work evokes awareness of the exploitive nature of garment manufacture and the paradoxically enormous problem of textile waste. Susan has mounted 17 solo shows, won many prizes in national and international juried exhibitions, and is represented in several large corporate and museum collections. She was elected into the Ontario Society of Artists in 2015. Originally from Montreal, Susan has a BFA (1971) from Concordia University, studied as well at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto,and the Académie Julien in Paris. She received an MA (2002, Hollins University, VA) in writing and literature. Toronto is now home, after years in Jerusalem, New York, Boston, and Ottawa. 

Her new work has been included in the book Dimensional Cloth, Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists by Andra Stanton; profiled in Fiber Art Now; and she was a featured artist in Australia’s Textile Fibre Forum. She was a presenting artist at the 3rd International Textile Symposium at the Mark Rothko Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia, was chosen for the 2016 Gardiner Museum’s Twelve Trees Christmas program, and is currently curating a show of 10 artists who also work with up-cycled  textiles, to be exhibited at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario. This past winter her recent work was shown at the Mary E. Black Gallery in Halifax, NS and she is participating in Fiberart International 2019 this Spring


M.A. 2002 Hollins University, Roanoke VA, English and Creative Writing

B.F.A. 1971 Concordia University (then Sir George Williams U), Montreal, Quebec 

(includes one year at Ontario College of Art, Toronto, and one year at Académie Julien, Paris)


Solo exhibitions

2019 Mary E. Black Gallery (public), Halifax NS

2017 Cedar Ridge Gallery, Toronto

2017 Varied Together (with Bill Schwarz), Earls Court Gallery, Hamilton 

2011  Less Prose, More Poetry, Rouge Concept Gallery, Toronto

        Fragments (with Bob Bernstein), Triangle Lofts Gallery, Toronto

2009 New Abstraction, Petroff Gallery, Toronto

         Spring Forward, Petroff Gallery, Toronto

2008  Soul of the Machine, TYPE gallery, Toronto

‘Scapes of the Clothed Figure, Hangman Gallery, Toronto ON

2007  On the Line, Ottawa School of Art Showcase, Ottawa

2006  Unbuttoned, Atrium Gallery, Ottawa

2004 Faces of Wellesley, Wellesley Free Library, Wellesley, MA 

2003 Unbuttoned, Perspective Gallery, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 

2001 Ci'-vis: Portraits of Newton, Newton Free Library, Newton, MA

1995 Prints & Drawings Lighthouse Gallery, Tequesta FL

1993 ‘Scapes of the Clothed Figure, Newton Free Library, Newton MA

1982 Silverpoint Drawings, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater MA 


2 -4 Person Exhibitions and Installations

 2017 Installation, Daniel Spectrum, Fashion Art Toronto 

 2016 Installation, The Artist Project, Toronto

 2012 A L O N E /Together, Artscape Triangle Gallery, Toronto

2007 The Underwood Series, IPO Gallery, Ottawa ON

 2000 Solitudes, Lyman Eyer Gallery, Newton, MA

 1999  Equinox, Randolph Associates Fine Art, Belmont, MA

 1998  Two Coasts/Four Visions, Horn Gallery, Babson College, Wellesley, MA

 1994  Three Figurative Painters, Andrea Marquit Fine Arts, Boston, MA

 1992  Two Women, Francesca Anderson Fine Art, Lexington, MA


Group Exhibitions (selected)

 2021 Ten Fibre Artists (my curation) Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, Almonte, ON

 2019 Fiber Art International 2019, Pittburgh PA

Sacred Threads (SAQA International), Herndon VA

Upcycled! (SAQA International), Houston TX

2018 E is for Earth, Toronto Design Offsite Festival

 2017 Art Prize 9, (Monroe Community Church) Grand Rapids MI

          In the Spirit of Indigo, Propeller Gallery, Toronto

 2016  12 Trees, Gardiner Museum, Toronto 

          Fibreworks 2016 Biennale, Queen's Square Gallery, Cambridge, ON 

         Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

          3rd International Textile Art Symposium Exhibition, Daugavpils, Latvia        

          Re-purposed, Core New Art Space, Denver, CO

          Excellence in Fibers, Print Catalog and expanded issue of Fiber Art Now

          Drawing Show 2016, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto

          From the Earth Textiles, Mardleybury Gallery, Datchworth, UK     

          Agape Me, Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora, ON

          World of Threads, International Exhibition, Oakville ON 

2015   Order/Disorder, OSA Open Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto

          OSA New Members Show, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto

          Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Nathan Philips Square, Toronto

          Fantastic Fibers International, Yeiser Art Gallery, Paducah KY

2014  World of Threads, Int'l Exhibition, Living Arts Gallery, Mississauga

         On the Wild Side, Gallery 1313, Toronto  

         Fiber Content 2014, Burlington Art Gallery, Burlington ON

         Hard Twist, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto

         Drawing 2014, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto  

2013  Drawing 2013, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto

2006-9 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto

2007  Montreal International Festival en Arts, Montreal

         Drawing 2007, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto

2006  Faces of Boston, Boston City Hall, Boston, MA

          23rd Annual Portrait Show, Francesca Anderson Fine Art, Lexington, MA

2002   Diversity in White, Studios on the Square, Roanoke, VA

1998    The Male Image, Fowler Gallery, Provincetown, MA

1997    All New England Color Show, Cohasset, MA

1996    International Colored Pencil Society Exhibition, San Diego, CA

          Women in the Visual Arts/96, Erector Square Gallery, New Haven, CT 

1995    The Drawing Show, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA

1994     Realism '94, Parkersburg Art Center, Parkersburg, West VA

           International Colored Pencil Society Exhibition, Birmingham, MI



Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant

Elected into the Ontario Society of Artists, 2015

Curry’s Purchase Award at The Drawing Show, John B. Aird Gallery Toronto 2014

Third Place, The Drawing Show, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto 2013

First Place, Diversity in White, Studios on the Square, Roanoke VA, 2002 

First Place, All New England Color Show, Cohasset, MA, 1997

Merit Award, The Drawing Show, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston MA, 1995

Second Place, Realism ’94, Parkersburg, WV, 1994

Gallery Alliance Award, International Colored Pencil Society, Birmingham MI

Drawing Award, Cornerstone Gallery National Open, Falls Village, CT


Professional Associations

SAQA 2018-

Ontario Society of Artists 2015-

Colored Pencil Society of America 1993-1998

Graphic Artists Guild Boston 1990-1997, Board member 1994-96


Museum and Corporate Collections

Bell Canada, Toronto

Fed Ex Canada, Toronto

Bridgepoint Hospital, Toronto 

Shaare Zedek Synagogue, Montreal

Mark Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia



Third International Textile Symposium, Daugavpils, Latvia October 2016


Exhibition Reviews, Articles

Fiber Art Now, profile “Refashioning Memories” Fall 2018 issue

Textile Fibre Forum, June 2016  Feature article about my work

Fibre Art Now, Winter 2015-16  Excellence in Fibers 

Patrick Donohue, Dilettante's Diary Blog on the Drawing Show, 2/13 and on Toronto Outdoor 7/06

Ron Fletcher, Face Time (Faces of Boston, Boston City Hall), Boston Globe 6/25/06

Rachel Lebeaux, Drawing on Wellesley's human resources, Wellesley Townsman 10/04

Arts Outlook: Susan Avishai; Newton Magazine Vol. 3, Number 5, 2004

Powers, Nicholas, Faces of Newton, The Tab, February 22. 2001

Willard, Christopher, Drawing w/waxed-based colored pencils, American Artist (11/96).

Fletcher, William, Illustrating Books--Inside and Out, Artist's Magazine (Feb/1996), p.31-39, illus.

Exhibition catalog, 'Realism 94, Parkersburg, West Virginia, illus.

Boston Artists Explore the Figure as Subject, Antiques and the Arts Weekly, (December 23, 1994)

Temin, Christine, At BCA, drawings droll to dramatic, Boston Globe (September 28, 1993), p.61

Unger, Miles, review of The Drawing Show, Art New England, (December/January 93/94)

Reddy, Tara, Diversity of Drawing, The Harvard Crimson, September 1993

Estrada, Anita, Art Shows-Hot Pick, The Tab (January 26, 1993), p.41, illus.

Alexander, M. Darsie, The Drawing Show, South End News (September 16, 1993), p.14

Exhibition catalog, Realism 93, Parkersburg, West Virginia, illus.

Senay, Elaine, Exploring the Fabric of People, Boston Globe (December 27, 1992), pp.5-7, illus.

Van Jura, Gary, Variety by four at Artisans Gallery, Berkshire Eagle (November 21,1985)


Books that include my work

Stanton, Andra, Dimensional Cloth: Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists, Schiffler, (2018)

Curnow, Vera, The Best of Colored Pencil 4, Rockport Publishers, Massachusetts, (1997)

Curnow, Vera, Creative Colored Pencil Portraits, Rockport Publishers MA, (1996)

Curnow, Vera, Creative Colored Pencil, Rockport Publishers Massachusetts, (1995)

Rose, Ted, Discovering Drawing, Davis Publications, Massachusetts, (1995)

Curnow, Vera, The Best of Colored Pencil 2, Rockport Publishers Massachusetts, (1994),. 

Goldstein, Nathan, Figure Drawing, 4th ed., Prentice Hall, New Jersey, (1993)