Clarissa Shanahan is a fine and decorative artist. She has been an adjunct faculty member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts since 2000, teaching varied subjects such as Medieval manuscript illumination, encaustic painting, symbolism of color, and film-related painting classes. Clarissa is represented by Artists’ House Gallery and Carol Schwartz Gallery in Philadelphia, and has exhibited her work in shows around the country. Her work is included in numerous private collections.
Originally from New York, Clarissa studied painting at the New York Academy of Art, The Art Students League , 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.
As 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 private clients as well as commercial projects for 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.