ABC7 News Feature

Don Hershman’s Dual Passion – From Surgery to Art

don hershman TV interview
Discover the fascinating double life of Don Hershman, a San Francisco-based podiatric surgeon and accomplished fine art painter. Don recently joined Reggie Aki on ABC7 News to discuss his first-ever solo art exhibition, a reflection of his unique journey and profound inspirations.

Interview Highlights

Reggie: Your work often tackles profound themes such as code-switching and sexuality, resonated deeply with the LGBTQ+ community. Your current exhibit, however, focuses on barns. Can you explain this shift?

Don: The exhibit is titled “I AM A BARN.” The idea took root during the pandemic lockdowns when my partner and I took road trips to Mendocino. I became captivated by barns—symbols of survival and stoicism, enduring through weather and time. Their resilience during the silent pandemic inspired me to start painting them, leading to this collection developed over several years.

Reggie: You’ve described the barns as embodying wear and tear while standing strong, a metaphor for your own life experiences. Can you elaborate?

Don: Turning 70 this year, I’ve lived through two pandemics—the AIDS crisis and COVID-19. Starting my private practice during the AIDS crisis, I cared for many dying patients, an intense period that shaped my resilience. These barns, with their peeling paint and broken windows, yet enduring beauty, mirror my own perseverance through life’s challenges.

Reggie: What do these weathered barns signify to you as an artist?

Don: They symbolize steadiness and the willingness to endure. Painting them has been a way to reflect my survival and thriving spirit. Despite their apparent decay, they hold a unique beauty, much like portraits of elderly individuals who have lived through significant experiences.

Reggie: So, what’s next for your artistic journey after this exhibition?

Don: The future is open. Each series of paintings reflects my reactions to my environment and current inspirations. After this show, I plan to take some time to meditate and determine my next project.

Don Hershman’s dual career as a podiatric surgeon and fine art painter exemplifies a life rich with diverse experiences and creative expression. His “I AM A BARN” exhibition is a testament to resilience and the enduring beauty found in weathered, steadfast structures. Stay tuned to see where Don’s artistic journey will lead next.

KRON4 “Live in the Bay!”

Acclaimed Artist Presents Solo Exhibition in San Francisco: Don Hershman

don hershman on liveInspired by his dual experiences as a physician and an artist, Don Hershman’s solo exhibition in San Francisco, “I AM A BARN,” showcases paintings on wood that depict growth and persistence. Using barns as metaphors for overcoming life’s challenges, Hershman blends his medical background with his artistic vision to create a powerful narrative of resilience.

Interview Highlights

Jessica: Welcome, Don. You’re both a surgeon and an artist. How do these professions connect?

Don: Both require a meditative focus and precision. Mastery in each field brings a similar zen-like state.

Jessica: When did you realize your talent for art?

Don: It started in childhood but became serious during my medical studies when a renowned artist encouraged me to pursue painting.

Jessica: Tell us about “I AM A BARN.”

Don: The idea began during the pandemic. Barns symbolize resilience and endurance, much like my own life experiences. Painting them over four years led to this exhibition.

Jessica: What do you hope viewers take away?

Don: I want viewers to reflect on their own lives and find beauty in resilience and survival.

Jessica: How can people learn more?

Don: Visit or check out the Radian Gallery’s details on “I AM A BARN.”

Jessica: What does this exhibit mean to San Francisco?

Don: It reflects the city’s resilience and enduring beauty, much like the barns in my paintings. Despite challenges, San Francisco remains vibrant.

Don Hershman’s “I AM A BARN” exhibition is a profound exploration of resilience and beauty through art. Drawing from his dual experiences as a surgeon and artist, Don uses barns as a metaphor for endurance and survival, inviting viewers to reflect on their own lives. Visit or the Radian Gallery for more information on this inspiring exhibit.