Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg

Social Practice Artist

Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg made the unseen visible in 2021 when she blanketed the National Mall for 17 days with 701,000 white flags, marking lives lost to COVID-19. Entitled In America: Remember, the art was judged by Artsy Magazine as one of 2021’s twelve best public art exhibitions worldwide. Washingtonian Magazine named Firstenberg a “Washingtonian of the Year.”

She represented the United States at the 2016 Harbin (China) International Ice Sculpting Competition and won the Creativity Prize. Then she interviewed hundreds of people in 24 states to create her seven-installation art series, the Empty Fix, meant to destigmatize drug addiction.

As a social practice artist, Firstenberg ventures beyond traditional media, employing buffalo skulls from her native South Dakota, concrete rubble, even shipping containers to broaden minds and change attitudes. She deeply researches each topic, then creates art: from micro-script drawings to 20-acre public, participatory installations. Her art attracts viewers through beautiful aesthetics, then delivers its powerful messages.