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Shawna Scarpitti earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Auburn University with a concentration in sculpture, and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Ursuline College in Cleveland, OH. Shawna has been working as a nationally board certified art therapist for 20 years, while building her fine arts business during the past decade. Her enthusiasm for life and positive energy are unmistakable. She provides therapeutic space for creative expression and healing through the art making process, and she has witnessed miracles occur in the lives of many as they reconnect to their creativity and imagination. Shawna has stayed in constant connection with her own creative core throughout her entire life.
Shawna grew up in Jensen Beach, Florida, making art with seashells and mixing materials together to create endless “art projects” at an early age. Shawna’s mom explains that she was aware that Shawna was an artist without a shadow of a doubt since age 3. She preferred her crayons and coloring over playing with dolls or watching TV. A lifelong passion for creating was truly encouraged and nourished by Shawna’s family. They provided art lessons and supplies, inspired her with ideas, offering words of appreciation and affirmation. Shawna expresses genuine gratitude for her creative foundation.
Shawna’s ability to engage with others readily and build rapport easily is essential as an art therapist, and this makes for an extraordinary skill set as a visual artist as well. She shares her techniques and often hands her brush to observers, visitors, or patrons to try out for themselves what she demonstrates. She is a natural teacher and offering “demos” during shows is a major attraction for passers-by. Her colorful tissue paper flows and blows in the wind, displayed on hangers before being used in a piece. At first glance, most think her work is painting on canvas, until they give a listen and a closer look. People are intrigued to discover her work is layers of fine, fragile tissue paper collage.
Shawna’s passion for mixed media on canvas has become her signature style. Vibrant, water-sensitive tissue paper is her primary medium and the unpredictable outcomes each time she begins a new piece delight her—whether she works on very small or large canvas. She uses paper that “bleeds” when it becomes wet, and thus, a whole world of possibilities opens up every time. Shawna delights in all of life, actually, and her art is a direct extension of joyful living—it’s energetic, bright and ever-evolving!
Shawna is currently designing and executing the most exciting transition of her artistic life—launching her dream of making, showing, and selling her multi-media art as a full time, professional artist! Recent acceptance into fine art shows around the country has been the catalyst to leave her art therapy employment in south Florida and to seek opportunities to make, share, show, and sell her artwork on a much broader scale.