Barbara Schaefer

Nata nel 1949


data inserimento W.A.D. 10/2021



Summary: I am a visual artist with an interdisciplinary background and interests. My work in various art forms – dance, choreography, writing and music – informs, enhances and is integrated with my photography, painting, drawing, video and sound. The inter-relationship of these disciplines continually develops my awareness of the underlying principles that are essential and applicable to all art forms. My strength and penchant has always been in improvisation, so that whatever I learn, I instinctively make my own.

Education, Tucson: I attended the University of Arizona in the Fine Arts Department and received a BFA in 1975 and a teaching degree in Art Education, grades K – 12, in 1976. My primary studio focus as an undergraduate was in intaglio printmaking.

While attending university, I taught printmaking, drawing and painting classes at the Tucson Museum School of Art. Some of the classes were nestled within a cactus garden, which I found to be as inspiring and joyful for me as it was for my students.

I began taking dance classes as an undergraduate. Under the auspices and a program accredited by the university, I attended two summer traveling – camping and dancing in the California Redwoods – improvisation workshops, where I was introduced to various movement and theater techniques, like Feldenkrais Movement and Jerzy Grotowski’s theater training (which strives for integration of the physical and emotional). Afterwards, I also studied with Anna Halprin, a pioneer in Post Modern Dance.

I began exhibiting my etchings at the Museum School and elsewhere in Tucson and performing at the university. One memorable performance was a reenactment of Merce Cunningham’s Chance Dance, a semi-improvisational performance where the sequence on stage gets shuffled around before each show.

San Francisco: In 1976 I moved to San Francisco where I joined the San Francisco Printmakers Workshop and Gallery. One of my prints won an honorable mention in their gallery exhibition. I also worked in the San Francisco schools as a substitute art teacher.

I also took acting classes at the Eureka Theater in San Francisco and voice lessons with Robert Boyle, a former opera singer, in Marin County. I began to choreograph and perform dances in various venues in San Francisco, such as the Footwork Dance Studio, and acted in a theater production of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding and in The Dybbuk, a play on Jewish Mysticism. Invited to work with the composer, Dave Bass, I choreographed and performed a solo dance, Moon Over the Morning Fog, inspired by the Greek myth of Selene and Endymion, in 1978.

In 1982 I began a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at San Francisco State University. My first year’s work culminated in a performance in the hills of Tiburon.

Roma: I completed the second year of my MFA in Rome, Italy, in a two-part, six-person performance in Il Teatro in Trastevere. The show was entitled Visioni dai Tarocchi, after the Tarot and Anahit, inspired by the music of the same name by the late Avant Guard composer, Giacinto Scelsi. He was a mentor and friend and attended the opening performance.

I lived in Rome for twelve years, from 1983 – 1995, where I continued taking dance classes daily, and traveled to Paris and Cologne to study with the late Aaron Osborne, my exceptional teacher from San Francisco, and a former soloist with the Jose Limon Dance Company. I also performed more of my own dances in Rome and in Barcelona and worked in a theater-dance company in a traveling production of La Traviata.

In 1987 with the need to go inward, I began drawing and painting, regaining technical skills and reclaiming myself as a visual artist. I always planned on this; I just didn’t know when. My first mature body of work was akin to abstract expressionism’s action painting. But I used the wall rather than the floor, dancing into my paintings and launching broad energetic strokes of paint onto paper or canvas, nailed to its surface. Opportunities to exhibit in numerous group shows in Rome and around Italy arose naturally and surprisingly. Then, gradually, living amongst artists from the Transavanguardia and being a part of the Italian artist community in Rome, my work began to take a more formal approach.

Living in Rome had a significant impact and influence on my work and life. The city’s beauty inspired me toward refinement and aesthetic choice. Italian culture and language, so rich and lively, compelled me to think and act in ways I would not have otherwise discovered.

In 1992 I had my first solo exhibition — a series of collages and paintings on paper — at Galleria Miralli, in medieval Palazzo Chigi in Viterbo. The exhibition was entitled Extremely Urgent, after the U.S. express postal envelop. Emidio De Albertiis reviewed the show in Next, an Italian art magazine. Group exhibitions continued and another solo followed in 1994, Lavori su Carta, (works on paper) at Galleria Dusseldorf / Roma, in Rome. It was reviewed by Paolo Balmas in La Repubblica.

New York: Although I loved Rome and flourished there as a person and artist, New York remained the center of the art world and, like so many artists before me, I wanted to give my work a chance to make it in New York. I was encouraged by winning an Artist-in-Residency in 1997 at the Helen Wurlitzer Foundation, in Taos, New Mexico. And my instinct about coming to New York for artistic possibilities was further confirmed when I received grants from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2004 and an Artist-in-Residency at the Fundación Valparaiso, in Mojacar, Spain, in 2005.

Inspired by Riane Eisler’s book, The Chalice and The Blade, a feminist reanalysis of history, I began an ambitious project called The Song of Memory. The premise was, if what we know about history isn’t true, then where does truth lie? The Center for Partnership Studies and then the New York Foundation for the Arts became an umbrella for sponsorship. My work for this, which were mixed-media on canvas, long scroll-like un-stretched paintings, evolved from my previous phase of work about memory. I saw this process of painting as being like that of archaeological digging, in which I built up layers and scraped them away, to discover what was there, or what sought to emerge. I exhibited The Song of Memory in 1998 in Tucson, Arizona, in 2000 at Notre Dame College in Ohio and in 2003 in San Francisco, California at CIIS.

My work has been included in various group shows, such as the Goldstrum Gallery in New York, the Concepto Gallery in Brooklyn, a juried show on intuitive abstract painting at the William Patterson University in New Jersey, another juried show, the Eastern Regional Women’s Caucus for Art in Cambridge, in Taos at the Fenix Gallery, in San Francisco at the Lawrence F Abrahamsen Gallery and at the Jaffe/Baker/Blau Gallery in Boca Raton. I continued my relationship with Italy and my work continued to be shown in Rome, Bologna, Arrezzoli and Spello. In 2001 I had a solo exhibition, From New York to Athens, at the Kultur Raum Im Rosenhaf in Tegernau, Germany, which was reviewed in Badische Zeitung. Riane Eisler has written about my work in Sacred Pleasure, 1995 and in Tomorrow’s Children, 1999. And in 2000 a painting was published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, from Arizona State University.

Through the presence of the computer and technology, my work began to transform. At first I rejected it, but gradually embraced what was happening. In 2002, beginning with an email from a stranger, whose name remained hidden, I documented our five-month dialogue with images and words that eventually culminated in a solo exhibition, Invisible Realms – Dialogue with a Virtual Prince, at Studio Fontaine, in Viterbo, Italy, in 2006. Afterwards I also exhibited mixed-media on canvas at the festival, Il Celio in una Settimana, at L’Associazione Culturale Celiomatografo, in Rome.

Further transformation of my work began on a return visit to Rome, in December of 2007, when I was invited to participate in a group show, Pulling Down, honoring the Day of Memory, which was held in February 2008 at the Auditorium. I spent many hours walking the streets of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome, in preparation for the exhibition.  I sensed that the streets themselves would let me know what they wanted me to express – that I would find my inspiration there – since it was there where the Jews were forced to evacuate their homes during the Holocaust. Coming from a Jewish family, I was interested in exploring the historical events that took place in those streets during the Holocaust, from an artist perspective. From there, an exploration of absence and presence was born and continued in various settings, using only digital photography as my medium.  The work found its home in a one-woman show, Assenza Presenza, in May 2011 at MUSINF, Museo Comunale D’Arte Moderna e Della Fotografia, in Senigallia, Italy, which is home of the renowned photographer, Mario Giocomelli. I have continued this way of working – painting with light – since then. This work is a place where all my experiences in various disciplines come together and makes sense.

In 2011 I also received a grant from Franklin Furnace. Three photos were included in On The Issues Magazine, Winter 2012. My photography was exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris and at the Scope Art Fair in Miami in 2015. In 2016 I had a solo exhibition, The Dancer Returns Home and Other Stories, in Rome, Italy at Studio Matacotta, with critical text by Antonio E.M. Giordano. And my photos were entered in the Arcadia Auction in Rome, in June, 2016.

In 2017, I was part of a three-way collaboration exhibition, Uninhabited Rooms, at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, and was included in Giorgio Bonomi’s book, Il Corpo Solitario, L’autoscatto nella Fotografia Contemporanea, Vol II. In 2018 my work was featured in Kosmos Journal and OMEN Magazine.

In 2019 I had a solo exhibition at The Macro Museum in Rome. Then I returned to Rome in October for the projection of my video, Love Letter to Roma, tra mito e realtà, and for a group show, Child Marriage: L’Ombra di Barbablù.  In 2020 Child Brides: il lupo e la bambola, was also included in another group show. In May, 2021 I have an artist-in-residence at Rancho Linda Vista, in Oracle, Arizona.



MFA Interdisciplinary Arts, San Francisco State University    1983

BA    Art Education, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona   1976

BFA Studio Art, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona           1975

 Areas of Specialization: Painting, Photography, Sound, Video, Dance


Solo Exhibitions

2019 – Love Letter to Roma MACRO Museo D’Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy

2016 – The Dancer Returns Home & Other Stories, Studio Matacotta, Rome, Italy

2014 – Echo Art Fair – Central Library, Buffalo, NY

2011Assenza Presenza, Museo Comunale D’Arte Moderna, Senigallia, Italy

2006Invisible Realms – Dialogue With A Virtual Prince, Studio Fontaine, Viterbo, Italy – Il Celio in una Settimana, L’Associazione Culturale Celiomatografo, Rome, Italy

2003 – The Song of Memory, CIIS, San Francisco, CA

2001 – From New York to Athens, Kultur.Raum Im Rosenhaf, Tegernau, Germany

2000 – The Song of Memory, Notre Dame College, S Euclid, Ohio

1998 – The Song of Memory, Int. Conference for Partnership, Tucson, Arizona

1994Lavori su Carta, Galleria Dusseldorf / Roma, Rome, Italy

1992Extremely Urgent, Galleria Miralli, Palazzo Chigi Viterbo, Italy

 Group Exhibitions

2021 – Lost & Found: A Personal Vision, NYArtistsCircle, virtual during Covid, to be exhibited at Carder Burton Gallery, New York, NY, 2022

2020 Child Brides: il lupo e la bambola, Nuovo Cinema Aquila, Roma, Italy

2019Child Marriage: L’Ombra di Barbablù, Sala Consiliare del Municipio Roma I Centro

2017Uninhabited Rooms, a three-person collaboration, El Barrio’s Artspace, PS109, New York, NYMe, My Selfie and I, Hudson Guild Gallery, New York, NY MALEfemmina, Casa della Cultura di Villa De Sanctis & Teatro Arciliuto, Rome, ItalyLa Shoah dell’Arte, Galleria Nazionale di Roma

2016 – Participating in Evolution, Continuum Movement Arts, Omega Inst., Rhinebeck NY     

2015 – Scope Art Fair, Miami, FloridaNight Collection, The Louvre Museum, Paris, France

2014Murales per Studio Ra, Studio Ra, Rome, Italy

2011 – Foundation Art Fair, New York Armory, New York, NYCurate NYC, Rush Arts Gallery, topped ranked entries, New York, NYNon Cercarti Fuori Di Te, Grand Hotel de la Minerve, Rome, ItalyL’Europa/L’Africa, Galleria Ottagoni, Rome, Italy

2008Pulling Down – Giorno Della Memoria, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy

2004 – Art in Boxes, Concepto Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2003 – International Paper Exhibition, Monique Goldstrom Gallery, New York, NY & MG Art International, CVB Space, New York, NYIl Principe Azzurro, Studio D’Ars, Milano, Italy and Galleria 9ColonneIl Resto del Carlino, Bologna, Italy

2002ExpoChronos, CMF 40×40, l’altrArte, Rome, Italy

2001 – Sothebys on line, New York, NY

2000Intuitive Absract Painting, William Patterson University, Wayne, NJGenerations II, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

1999 – The Passion of Art, Richard Anderson Gallery, New York, NYDrawing Show, Artists Space, New York, NY

1998Group Show, Rancho Linda Vista, Oracle, Arizona

1997Mostra Collettiva sul Bianco, Arrezzoli, ItaliaGroup Show, Fenix Gallery, Taos, New MexicoGroup Show, Lawrence F Abrahamsen Gallery, San Francisco, California

1996Pulse Points, Eastern Regional Women’s Caucus for Art Juried Exhibition, University Lutheran Church, Cambridge, MAArt Celebrates Life, Goldstrom Gallery, New York, NY

1995La Soglia Estrema: Caravaggio, Galleria Polmone Pulsante, Rome, Ital II Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, Palazzo del Comune, Spello, Italy

1994Artisti a Pordenone, Fiera di Pordenone, Pordenone, ItalyFiori, Frutta e Ortaggi, Galleria Eralov, Rome, ItalyExhibition, Jaffe/Baker/Blau Gallery, Boca Raton, FloridaVertigo, Darius Gubala Gallery, New York, NYUltima Thyle, Centro d’Arte l’Officina di Gorgia, Rome, Italy

1993Arte Fuori Circuito, Caffè Latino, Rome, ItalyXXI Premio Sulmona, Palazzo dell’Annunziata, Sulmona, Italy

1991Artisti della Galleria, Galleria Pont des Arts, Rome, ItalyPresenza, Rocca Paolina, Perugia, Italy

1990L’idea del Volo, Galleria Tempo Reale, Calcata, Italy

Private/Public Collections

Lee Ufan Foundation

Carol and Scott Glenn, Ketchum, Idaho

Museo Comunale D’Arte Moderna, Senigallia, Italy

Notre Dame College, South Euclid, Ohio

Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona

Fundación Valparaiso, Almeria, Spain

Studio Fontaine, Viterbo, Italy

Palazzo Chigi, Viterbo, Italy

Isabel Allende, San Rafael, California

Bonita Brindley, Washington DC

Center for Partnership Studies:

Dr. Riane Eisler, Carmel, California

Dr. David Loye, Carmel, California

Abby Garfagnoli, San Francisco, California

Kimberly Miller, New York, New York

Paul Mithcell, Rome, Italy

Gianmaria Ponzi, Viterbo, Italy

Dr. Lucilla Ricottini, Rome, Italy

Dr. Gary and Loekie Schwartz

Dr. Franco Weisz, Rome, Italy

Peri Winkler, New York, New York

Cynthia Young, Los Angeles, California

Dr Hans Smit

Reviews and Texts


LA SHOAH DELL’ARTE, a cura di Vittorio Pavoncello

Catalogue Child Marriage 2020 (page 38)

Kosmos Journal

Omen Magazine (page 79 -89)

Il Corpo Solitario, L’autoscatto nella Fotografia Contemporanea, Vol II di Giorgio Bonomi

On The Issues Magazine, Winter 2012, photo in article by Merle Hoffman

On The Issues Magazine, Winter 2012, photo in article by Corinne A. Carey

Vittoria Biasi, Ruggero Passeri, Assenza Presenza, 2011

Badische Zeitung , 9/14/2001, Freiberg, Germany

Hayden’s Ferry Review, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 12/2000

Riane Eisler, in Tomorrow’s Children, 1999

Riane Eisler, in Sacred Pleasure, 1995

Giorgio De Genova, XXI Premio Sulmona, Catalogue Review, 1993

Emidio De Albertiis, Extremely Urgent, Next, (Italian Art Magazine) 1992

Gianluigi Biagioni Gazzoli, Interview in Q di R, (Magazine of Rome) 1991

Vittoria Biasi, Extremely Urgent, 1992


 2021    Artist in Residency, Rancho Linda Vista, Oracle, AZ

2011    Franklin Furnace

2005    Fundación Valparaiso, Mojacar, Spain, artist in residency

2004    Change; Robert Rauschenberg Grant

1997    Artist in Residency, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Taos

1996    Sponsorship of The Song of Memory, The New York Foundation for The Arts, New York, NY

1995    Sponsorship of The Song of Memory, Center for Partnership Studies, Carmel, CA


Additional Expertise

 Writing: Poetry, Fiction, Memoir

Dance/Choreography, Music (play guitar, songwriter)


 Italy, traveled extensively and lived in Rome for twelve years (1983 – 1995)

Europe (UK, Denmark, Former Yugoslavia, Germany, France, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Romania, The Netherlands) Tunisia Mexico Israel

Italian             Fluent; speak, read and write                      

Spanish           Speak, understand

French             Understand




Teaching Experience


2011    Instructor of Painting, Drawing Photography and Mixed Media Abruzzi Mountain Workshop, Italy, New York            

1998    WritersCorps Program, Bronx, New York

1997 –  Instructor of Art and Creative Writing, National Endowment for the Arts

1995    Drawing and Painting private students since 1988, Rome, Italy

1995    Visiting Artist, Lectured and Critiqued – Artists & Galleries, Temple University, Rome, Italy

1994    Visiting Artist, Lectured and Critiqued (RISD) Rhode Island School of Design, Rome, Italy

1992    Instructor of Art and English, American School of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – Art to private students, Barcelona, Spain – Instructor of Dance Improvisation for Actors, Teatro – Studio, Castelnuovo di Porto, (RM) Italy

1989    Movement (integrated techniques from various disciplines), – Jonas Tanking Association, Rome, Italy

1986    Modern Dance and Floor Barre, I.A.L.S. (Syndicate School of Dance), Rome, Italy

Piazza Dante School of Dance, Rome, Italy

DMA Dance/Mime Association, Rome, Italy

1975    Instructor of Printmaking and Drawing, Tucson Museum School of Art, Tucson, Arizona


Rivoluzione e Resurrezione #3 (R-1)

    2021 – 44 x 60” (111.76 x 152.4 cm) – painting with light/Archival fine art Inkjet print

    Rivoluzione e Resurrezione #9 (R-2)

      2021 – 60 x 44 inches (111.76 x 152.4 cm) – painting with light/Archival fine art Inkjet print

      Tandem #1

        2016 – 27 x 40 inches (68.58 x 101.6 cm) – painting with light/Archival fine art Inkjet print

        Two-sides #1

          2020 – 12 x 8 inches (30.48 x 20.32 cm) – acrylic on cardboard

          Two-sides & three circles

            2020 – 10.5 X 9 inches (26.67 x 22.86 cm) – mixed media/acrylic on cardboard