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Deborah Schafer is an accomplished fine artist as well as a caricaturist and cartoonist both nationally and internationally. She is the first woman cartoonist to join a USO tour entertaining our troops. She will be traveling to Iraq and Kuwait with the USO in October, 2011, and then joining Dr. Patch Adams and his troop to Russia in November 2011. (See www.patchadams.org)
Debbie's Big Date
DEBBIE'S BIG DATE: Debbie Schafer at Brooke Army
Medical Center, San Antonio Texas. First woman cartoonist to
join the NCS "Cartoon Posse".
As a caricaturist, Ms. Schafer, "Art-Girl", has delighted thousands of people with her drawings and congenial humor. The International Society of Caricature Artists recognized her immeasurable talents with three "Caricaturist of the Year” (including gold and silver) awards, the equivalent of the “Oscar” for the caricaturist in competition judged by peers.
Ms Schafer grew up in Allentown Pa. where she began her professional career at 17 drawing portraits in charcoal at Hess’s Department Store in Allentown. She suggested the idea to the storeowner who proposed she audition by drawing a portrait of him. The owner, a patron of the arts, allotted her a space on the first floor of the store. Her knack for capturing likenesses gave rise to a rewarding summer as a viable artistic direction began to emerge.
She has owned and managed a string of caricature retail locations along the south Jersey shore. She has taught classes and workshops in caricature and cartoon drawing as well as classical drawing and oil painting, including a weekly TV drawing instruction show for children, “It’s So Easy”, which she hosted live from Atlantic City.
Deborah graduated from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia where she earned her cum laude BFA. Her postgraduate studies continued at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Arts, Hahnemann University, and Temple University’s Medical School.
Serving three years as an art and activities therapist in an acute-crisis psychiatric hospital in NJ expanded Deborah’s experience to the wide scope of human conditions. Redirecting and reality-focusing patients while leading therapeutic art activities, she participated as part of the medical and psychological treatment team, sharing and recording her observations as well as contributing to patient well-being and recovery.
For over fifteen years, Ms. Schafer has worked with special-needs populations, especially cancer patients and their caregivers, creating more than an entertaining diversion for patients. She states: “Humor is powerful medicine with no ill side effects.” Deborah recently completed a two-year grant from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Pilot program, called “Face To Face,” paired 4 artists with 8 children, each undergoing dozens of craniofacial reconstruction surgeries throughout their childhood years. The resulting large oil portraits were unveiled at the Hospital in October, 2010 and remain on permanent display.
"Humor is the shortest distance between two people," Ms. Schafer says, "be it portraiture, caricature or any creative form. Art has the power to heal."

 


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