Clarissa Shanahan is a fine and decorative artist living in Philadelphia. 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. 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.
A past member of the Society of Gilders, she has 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 20 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, as well as Woodmere Art Museum and Fleisher Art Memorial, Clarissa teaches such varied subjects as Medieval manuscript illumination, encaustic painting, symbolism of color, as well as film-related painting classes. Clarissa is represented by Gravers Lane Gallery in Philadelphia, and has exhibited her work in shows around the country. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections.