Mary Shaffer


mary shaffer

Portrait photo courtesy Saarin Keck

Artists Bio:

Taos NM & Marfa TX , USA

I studied Painting and Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). My paintings were exhibited in the States and in Italy. About 5 years after graduation I decided I wanted to back paint on glass also that I wanted to paint on an undulating surface. Strangely enough this brought me to bending glass. I was living in Providence RI then and no one in the glass department at RISD knew how to bend glass so I started experimenting using a small test kiln. I called these experiments ‘drawings’ and the work became the foundation for much of my subsequent glass pieces. As I never learned slumping or bending glass from anyone, I am self taught. I call the process I developed ‘mid-air’ slumping. I do not use a mold and every piece is unique.

Before developing my glass slumping technique I made conceptual work and large scale installations both in the States, at University Galleries, Museums, and on the streets of Rome. In some of these works I used glass either breaking it as in ‘Do Not Break the Glass’ or sheets of plate glass combined with high temperature heating elements to show heat wave patterns.

Through the years I have been fortunate to receive many grants, Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in NYC I received one of the first Visionary Awards, several from the NEA, a USA Fellow Grant from United States Artists, and the Rasmusson Foundation, among many others.

My work is represented by Christian Cheneau Gallery in Santa Fe. I have had over 50 one person exhibitions and shown in over 80 museum shows, my latest one person show was at the Katzen Museum in DC.


Individual Exhibitions

2021 Mary Shaffer: Behind the Curtain The Katzen Arts Center American University Museum Washington DC

2019 Recent Work Christian Cheneau Gallery Santa Fe NM

2018 Reflections and Form Bellas Artes Santa Fe NM

2015 Reflections & Contradictions: Five Decades the Katzen Arts Center American University Museum Washington DC

2014 A Different View Blumenschein Museum Taos NM

2013 Mary’s Tools O.K. Harris Gallery NY NY

2012 Fluid Line Zane Bennett Contemporary Art Santa Fe NM

2010 Shaffer Précis Zane Bennett Contemporary Art Santa Fe NM

2008 Mary Shaffer: Clear Vision Reflection Transparency & Glass Ellen Noel Museum Midland/Odessa TX
Reflected Clarity Hodgell Gallery Sarasota FL
Mary Shaffer Habatat Gallery Boca Raton FL

2007 Mary Shaffer: Visions 1970-2007 Gerald Peters Gallery Santa Fe NM