Clarissa Shanahan is a Philadelphia-based fine artist. Originally from New York, she 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.


Teaching courses in such varied subjects as encaustic painting, gilding, symbolism of color, and film-related painting, Clarissa was an Adjunct Faculty member at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for eighteen years. Additionally, she has taught painting and gilding at Fleisher Art Memorial, Nichols Berg Studio, Wayne Art Center, and the Isabel O'Neal Studio in New York.


With a professional background and extensive studies in the decorative arts, Clarissa had numerous private clients as well as completed commercial projects for American Express, Oscar de la Renta, Bendels, Fendi, Planet Hollywood, Saks and Lord & Taylor. 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. 

Clarissa additionally 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.

Clarissa is represented by Gravers Lane Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, and the B. Deemer Gallery in Louisville, KY. She has exhibited her work in shows around the country. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections.


 © 2012 by Clarissa Shanahan. 

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