In 2006, after 25 years as a firefighter and fire officer for the New York City Fire Department, Brenda retired to pursue a life-long desire to create art. Having no formal training, she began to draw and paint, trying out different media. In 2008, Brenda began studying printmaking at the Art Students League. Most of her current work is in lithography (drawing on and printing off a stone) and copperplate etching. She is continually inspired by New York City but also creates images that embody female energy and strength as well political critiques.
In 2011, ten years after 9-11, Brenda (who was a first responder on 9-11) organized a collaboration of fourteen artists from many different backgrounds. In “The 9-11 Decade” all the artists expressed their reactions to 9-11 and the ten years after. For the past three years, Brenda has been creating the series of stone lithographs “Thirty-six Views of One World Trade Center.“ Referencing previous print series by such artists as Hiroshige, Hokusai and Henri Riviere, “Thirty-six Views” documents both the rebuilding and the memories of the World Trade Center site.
For 8 years, Brenda has volunteered for the 9-11 Families Tribute Center as a walking tour guide for the 9-11 Memorial Plaza. Since 9-11, she has continually looked for ways to honor those who were lost on 9-11 as well as try to help other communities in the United States and abroad who have suffered catastrophic losses from both natural and man-made disasters.
More about the artist can be found at the Makers website: http://www.makers.com/brenda-berkman-0
The Women You Should Know website:
and in the Emmy-award winning documentary about the Art Students League: