Clarissa Shanahan


Contact Information

clarissashanahan@me.com

Phone: 267-237-7500

http://www.clarissashanahan.com/

https://www.pafa.org/faculty-members/clarissa-shanahan

Please contact artist or galleries for purchases, commissions, etc.

Mixed Media/Painting

Artist's Biography

Clarissa Shanahan is a fine and decorative artist living in Philadelphia, PA. Originally from New York, she studied painting at the New York Academy of Art, The Art Students League of New York, and the Isabel O’Neal Studio on full scholarship. She holds a BFA from University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and is a Bread Scholar, a merit based full scholarship from UPenn, the first Pafa/UPenn
student ever to be awarded.

A past member of the Society of Gilders, she has extensive studies and professional experience in decorative arts. In 1993, she received a full scholarship and invitation from Friends of Vielles Maisons Francaises to restore a 19th-century horse carriage in Buxy, France.

After extensive studies and professional experience in decorative arts, with clients such as American Express, Oscar de la Renta, Bendels, Fendi, Planet Hollywood, Saks and Lord & Taylor, Clarissa spent almost twenty years in the film industry as a scenic artist, producing sets for over 40 film and television productions. In addition, she produced both original and reproduction paintings for numerous productions, including the Lee Krasner paintings for the film Pollock. Her credits include Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, Salt, Summer of Sam, Angels in America and Boardwalk Empire. She is a longtime member of the United Scenic Artists 829.

An adjunct faculty member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts since 2000, Clarissa has taught at the Isabel O’Neal Studio, The Studio School of Stage Design, Fleisher Art Memorial, Cerulean Arts Gallery and Studio and the Studio at the Nichols Berg Gallery.

Her work has been shown around the US.

Artist's Statement

The direction of my work really began with the idea of the past. This, I know, is broad. However as a subject, it encompasses memory, forgotten places, and how we look at the past with such a veil of revision and attachment. Anything ambiguous, forgotten, dreamed of, ghost-like - are issues that I explore in the imagery and method I use in my work.

I was really interested in urban exploration: buildings that were forgotten, abandoned, left to decay. What history had unfolded in these abandoned environments? These ruins are poignant, beautiful and allude to the personal history of someone or many someones. I’ll never know what has taken place in this history, or how that history has been perceived or revised or forgotten. I have only my own experience of a place, I can’t see the whole story. The gaps are where imagination can really live. I try to paint the gaps in the story.

What interests me also in abandoned, decaying environments, is that it’s possible to see layers of history superimposed over one another, seeing both what it was and what it is now. The details and nuances of these places are such a rich mine for imagery.

Most of the paintings that I’m including in this application are from series’ that explore environments such as churchyards, amusement parks, and asylums. Most do not depict people. I want to keep them in their dream-like, uninhabited state, where there’s a presence that’s lingering, but maybe not seen. That’s the way I experience these images.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2014
Carol Schwartz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2013
Carol Schwartz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2012
Nichols Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Group

2014
InLiquid: Benefit v.14, Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia, PA

On the Edge: Looking with New Eyes, Artists’ House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

On Hill and Dale: The Art of the Landscape, Artists’ House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2013
Paddle 8 in association with InLiquid, Philadelphia, PA

2013
Member Exhibition: InLiquid, PPAC, Second State, at Ice Box Project Space and Grey Area, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA

2013
InLiquid at Sundance TV Headquarters, New York, NY

InLiquid: Benefit v.13, Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia, PA

Artists’ House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2012
Reply Hazy, Try Again, Cerulean Arts Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Encausticon International Juried Exhibition, Gallery Nord, San Antonio, TX

The Future of the Past: Encaustic Art in the 21st Century, The Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA

Duo show, Nichols Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

After Dark, Greg Moon Art Gallery, Taos, NM

113th Annual Exhibition, Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA

Inaugural Windsor Whitney Biennial, The Biennial Project

InLiquid: Benefit v.12, Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia, PA

Featured Artist of the Month, R&F Encaustics

2011
Small Works Show, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Alumni Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Wax Poetic, The Nichols Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Artists’ House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Faculty Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

112th Annual Exhibition, Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Lucky New Year Show, The Nichols Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2006
Faculty Exhibit, Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2002
Annual Student Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA

2001
Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

1999
Paintings from the film Pollock, Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center, East Hampton, NY

1997
Fine Art Of Scenic Artists, Blue Moon Gallery Hot Springs, AK

Artist's Bibliography

2012
Moriarty, Laura "Artist of the Month," R&F Encaustics, February 1, 2012

"Movie and TV veteran brings artistic talents to Hill," Chestnut Hill Local, October 5, 2011

Professional Experience

2000 - present
Adjunct Faculty, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2014
Instructor, Cerulean Arts Gallery & Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Judge, 2014 Arts Festival Chestnut Hill, PA

2012 - present
Curator/Gallery Assistant, Carol Schwartz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2010 - 2012
Curator/Gallery Assistant, Nichols Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Instructor, The Studio at Nichols Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2006
Instructor, Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

1994 - 2010
Scenic Artist and Production Designer in the Film Industry, with over 40 credits

1994 - 1995
Instructor, The Studio School of Stage Design, Jersey City, NJ

1992
Instructor, Isabel O’Neal Studio For the Art of the Painted Finish, New York, NY

1991 - present
Freelance Gilding & Restoration

1991 - 1999
Owner/Principal Artist, Decorative Painted Finishes, Brooklyn, NY

Professional Affiliations

Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art
United Scenic Artists 829, Iatse
Contributing writer, The ArtBlog

Honors and Awards

2004
Recipient of the Bread Upon the Waters Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2003
Recipient of the Senior Associates Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

1993
Full Scholarship and Invitation from Friends of Vielles Maisons Francaises to complete full restoration of nineteenth century horse carriage in Buxy, France. Presentation and report to Board of Directors.

1992
Apprenticeship Program Recipient, Tromploy Studios, NY

1991
Full Studio Scholarship, Isabel O’Neil Studio, New York, NY

Lectures and Talks

2014
Lecturer, "Symbolism of Color," Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2012
Lecturer, "Applied Art and Design in the Film Industry," Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Lecturer, "Symbolism of Color," Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2011
Panelist and Interview, "Artists with Interesting Jobs," Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2010
Lecturer, "Applied Art and Design in the Film Industry," Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Publications

2013
The Future of the Past: Encaustic Art in the 21st Century, Boston Center for the Arts, August 20, 2013

Commissions and Projects

Created the paintings of Lee Krasner in the film Pollock (PT Charge Scenic)(2000)

Produced original and reproduction artwork for many film productions, including Boardwalk Empire, Explicit Ills and others

Produced sculptural mural in the style of Anselm Kiefer for the film The Tempest - Additionally, work from production installed as permanent display at Steiner Studios in NY

Restored 19th Century horse carriage in Buxy, France

Collections

Public
The Lutheran Theological Seminary
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Education

2005
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
BFA

2002
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1998 - 1999
New York Academy of Art, New York, NY

1991 - 1992
Isabel O’Neil Studio, New York, NY

1990
Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY