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Carmen Schaefer is a multifaceted artist whose work encompasses drawing, photography, and mixed media. Born into a career Navy family, Carmen’s nomadic upbringing, devoid of a hometown, instilled in her a unique perspective, which deeply influence her creative expression.

Carmen’s pursuit of art led her to prestigious institutions such as Stony Brook University, Indiana University, and Ohio University, where she honed her skills and developed a profound appreciation for the intersection of art, history, and culture. These academic experiences equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of visual language, composition, and storytelling techniques. Today, Carmen resides in Rochester, New York, where she maintains a studio in a historic downtown loft. Here, she continues to explore themes of identity, memory, and emotion, drawing inspiration from her surroundings and personal experiences.

Carmen’s artwork reflects a unique blend of introspection, expressionism, and realism. Her creative process is deeply personal and intuitive, characterized by observation, experimentation, and emotional expression. Through her art, Carmen seeks to capture the essence of her subjects and convey their emotional depth, inviting viewers to connect with her work on a deeply personal level



Carmen Schaefer’s artistic process begins with inspiration drawn from her surroundings, experiences, and emotions. She finds beauty and meaning in everyday moments and the complexities of the human experience. Carmen’s work explores themes of identity, memory, nostalgia, and emotion, aiming to capture the essence of her subjects and convey their emotional depth through her art. Her approach is rooted in realism but embraces exploration and experimentation, allowing her creativity to flow freely across various mediums, including drawing, mixed media, and photography.

In her artwork, Carmen employs a layered approach, building depth and texture through successive layers of color, line, and texture. She experiments with techniques such as chiaroscuro and sfumato to create dynamic compositions that captivate the viewer’s eye. This meticulous layering process infuses her work with richness and complexity, inviting viewers to explore the subtle nuances of her creations. Carmen’s commitment to emotional expression and authenticity is evident in every piece, as she channels her own emotions and experiences into her art.

The interplay between light and shadow, combined with expressive mark-making and a diverse range of techniques, defines Carmen’s unique style. Her work is characterized by its depth, sensitivity, and visual richness. Through her exploration of themes such as identity, emotion, and nature, Carmen creates artwork that invites viewers on a journey of introspection, contemplation, and discovery. Her mastery of expressive techniques such as mark-making, layering, and symbolism adds to the emotional and visual impact of her art.

Dancer’s Hand
Graphite and charcoal on paper
24 x 32 inches
Time Passage
Color pencil and ink on paper
24 x 32 inches



My artwork is underpinned by a deep-rooted philosophy that celebrates the time/space continuum, the beauty of the natural world, and the transformative power of art as a means of self-expression and connection. I delve into questions of self-discovery, self-expression, and the complexities of human experience, inviting viewers to contemplate their own sense of identity and belonging within the world. Embracing the full spectrum of human emotion, from joy and wonder to sadness and longing, I believe in the power of vulnerability and emotional honesty as catalysts for connection and understanding.

Nature serves as a constant source of inspiration and metaphor in my artwork. I celebrate the beauty, diversity, and resilience of the natural world, drawing parallels between the cycles of nature and the rhythms of human life. My work emphasizes our shared humanity and interconnectedness, fostering empathy, understanding, and compassion among viewers. By exploring themes such as identity, emotion, nature, and interconnectedness, I seek to create spaces of inclusivity and belonging where differences are celebrated, and unity is embraced.

At its core, my artwork is driven by a desire for personal expression and self-discovery. Through my creative practice, I channel my emotions, experiences, and reflections into visual form, using art as a means of processing and understanding the complexities of my own inner landscape. Engaging with the creative process with a spirit of curiosity, experimentation, and play, I see my artwork as a journey of discovery and self-discovery. My goal is to inspire, challenge, and uplift both myself and others, fostering a deeper understanding of ourselves, each other, and the world we inhabit, in the ordinary, in the everyday.




  • Bachelor of Arts, Ohio University
  • Master of Arts, Indiana University
  • Master of Fine Arts, Ohio University

Selected Exhibitions:

Carmen’s career spans over 40 exhibitions in prestigious galleries and institutions around the globe. Here are some highlights:

  • Solo show, Austin Harvard Gallery, Pittsford, NY
  • Group Exhibition, Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
  • Group Exhibition, Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY
  • Group Exhibition, Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ
  • Group Exhibition, Ellington-White Contemporary, Fayetteville, NC
  • Group Exhibition, First Street Gallery, New York, NY
  • Photography exhibited at Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY; Alex Ferrone Gallery, NY; Plymouth Centre for the Arts, MA; Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts, RI; Texas Photographic Society International Competition, TX; PH21 Gallery, Budapest, Hungary


  • Jurors Merit Award at the NAWA 135th Annual Anniversary Annual Members Exhibition at One Art Space, New York, NY.
  • 33rd Bradley Print and Drawing Exhibition Winner
  • 29th International Drawing & Print Competitive Exhibition at Gormley Gallery, Notre Dame of Maryland University Winner
  • 53rd Annual National Drawing & Small Sculpture Show Winner, TX
    Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts CAFA+ Winner (2021, 2023)
  • 2020 American Art Award Winner
  • Photography December 2021 HelveArt honorable mention
  • 2020 Plymouth Center for the Arts Plymouth MA, second place
  • 2023 American Art Award Winner
  • 2023 World Art Award Winner


  • Lake Affect Magazine (Cover)
  • Along Magazine
  • Spotlight Contemporary Art Magazine
  • Upcoming Edition, Eastern European Magazine Women Art, Vol 43
  • First edition Sfumato Art Magazine 2024