Clarissa grew up in rural Pennsylvania. She began her education with nine years of home schooling, which shaped her artistic practice and fostered keen perception of the world around her. Clarissa graduated summa cum laude from Ithaca College in 2010 with a B.A. in Art Education and a minor in Creative Writing. After college, she became a member of Ithaca’s Ink Shop Printmaking Center, where she discovered her interest in printmaking. Clarissa then studied for her Master's degree at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she taught printmaking and studio art. Clarissa received her Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking in 2013. Her thesis work, Recollecting Home, was exhibited at the Samuel L. Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz.
Clarissa completed a year as Printmaker-in-Residence at Pratt Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York, where she taught community workshops and classes and exhibited her work. She currently teaches Elementary Art at Trumansburg CSD. Clarissa’s work has been exhibited at the International Print Center in New York, the Roy C. Moore Gallery, Gainsville, GA, and venues around New York State, including the Schweinfurth Memorial Arts Center, Auburn; The Firehouse Gallery, Rochester; The Atrium Gallery, Corning; the Lockhart Gallery in Geneseo; Community Arts Partnership Artspace, the Handwerker Gallery and the Ink Shop, all in Ithaca. One of Clarissa’s prints was selected to be part of Print Zero Studio’s 8th International Print Exchange traveling show.
Clarissa’s work deals with the intersection of human and natural systems. In her prints, she responds to different facets of the earth, everyday life, and social systems. She aims to cause the viewer to pause, caught by a spark of recognition, surprise, or curiosity. She enjoys mixing techniques and media, including both photographic and three-dimensional elements in her pieces.