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Deirdre Schiffer

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Deirdre Schiffer Obituary
schiffer, Deirdre Deirdre Schiffer, beloved wife and life companion of Joseph, passed away on December 20, at her home on the Farm River in Short Beach, Ct. Deirdre was the loving mother of Paul of Ridgefield Ct., and Jordan of Brooklyn N. Y., dear mother in law to Paul's wife Isabel, loving grandmother to Amelia, and beloved sister of Shawn Baker of Great Barrington Ma. Born August 30, 1943 in Hyde Park, N.Y., Deirdre's early childhood was spent in a home on the Connecticut River in Old Lyme where her parents pursued their interests in art and design. The family then moved to N.Y.C. where Deirdre received a scholarship to attend The Dalton School. Filled with a passion for art, she entered and received her BFA in painting and print making from The Cooper Union and continued post graduate studies at Indiana University, Yale, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was awarded fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and The Women's Studio Workshop. In 2006 Deirdre was selected by the Aldrich Museum as one of ten noteworthy emerging artists from Ct. and N.Y. Her work was lauded for "the evocative portrayal of subjective emotional states", and was selected for juried group shows at The Silvermine Arts Center, The Maryland Federation of Art, The John Slade Ely House and The Creative Arts Workshop. For 15 years Deirdre maintained a lovely light filled studio at Erector Square in New Haven where she pursued her vision in a happy community of dear friends and colleagues. Prior to her full time commitment to painting, Deirdre founded a graphic design studio which developed award winning designs and logos which continue in use today. Friends knew Deirdre for the many things she loved; companionship and laughter, intense conversation, long walks, museum visits, talking art, the movies, New York shopping, and a well prepared salad. Deirdre took great joy in physical activity. An outstanding swimmer, an avid and "cat quick" tennis player, and a gym enthusiast for aerobics and pilates, she became a devotee to the practice of yoga and retreats in Mexico. She loved the sweater patterns of Kaffe Fassett, knitting some of his most wonderful designs for the pleasure of their colors and patterns. A natural teacher, with appointments at local schools, Deirdre particularly enjoyed sharing the art of image making with her granddaughter Amelia, and mentoring aspiring artists. For almost 60 years she and her family have summered in Provincetown Ma., a place with deep roots in the arts and a landscape which inspired and renewed. Her home on the Farm River was a constant source of pleasure with its connection to a landscape filled with bird life and access to lazy serene row boat rides to the Sound. In her last years she drew energy and joy from long walks at Hammonasset State Park. Those who would want to remember her in some tangible way are asked to donate in her memory to "Friends of Hammonasset" or "Friends of the Farm River Estuary". Her family will be having a small private service and will be arranging a memorial gathering in the near future. The family extends its thanks to all those who have sent expressions of their love and support. Deirdre has left us and we will miss her presence deeply. But we were blessed and are thankful for having had her in our lives, and thankful that her presence continues in her children and in her glorious work which will forever grace our lives and communicate the beauty of her spirit.

Published in the New Haven Register on Dec. 23, 2011
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