Merrill Shatzman

Professor of the Practice in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies


114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Bay 10, Room 260, Durham, NC 27701


(919) 684-2017

Merrill Shatzman received her B.F.A. degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work as an abstract printmaker includes images in relief, silkscreen, lithography, bookmaking and digital media. Over the past fifteen years her prints have been exhibited in ninety solo, invitational, group and juried shows throughout the United States and internationally, including a solo exhibitions at the Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University (April 2009), Roanoke College (2008). Shatzman's award winning prints are found in numerous museum and corporate collections in the United States including: the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Boston Public Library, The Fogg Museum, UCLA's Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Mint Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Art, California State University Long Beach, Museum of Art, Texas Tech University, National Museum of American Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution. Her abundantly detailed woodcuts explore the "universal language" created by signs, writing systems, symbols and pre-imagined images (such as maps, charts, photographs, texts and written language). Inspired by her passion for written forms from multiple cultures, including Middle Eastern, Far Eastern and Mesoamerican, her black-and-white relief images are rich with calligraphic marks, camouflage, patterning and symbols, which allude to signs and letters, condensed and illegible. Her symbolic interpretations of the visual letterforms respond to the rich cultural history of the civilizations from which they are inspired, contemplating ideas of relics and interweaving the domains of philosophy, religion, mysticism, linguistics and humanistic inquiry. Her most recent prints combine digital imaging and silkscreen printing, uniquely highlighting the similarities between these different media through her abstract, highly patterned written forms.


  • M.F.A. 1981, University of Wisconsin at Madison


2007 Johnson and Johnson Purchase Prize Award, Hunterdon Museum of Art

2003 Purchase Award, Prints USA 2003, Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, Missouri

2002 Exhibition Award, 22nd Annual National Print Exhibition, Artlink, Fort Wayne, Indiana

2002 Finalist Prize, Masters of the Print, International Juried Print Show and Exhibition, 416 West Gallery, Denison, Texas

2002 1st Place Exhibition Award, Hollywood Biennial Juried Print Exhibition, Art and Cultural Center of Hollywood, Hollywood, Florida

2001 Renaissance Graphic Arts, Inc. Material Award, The Print Center 75th Annual International Competition, Philadelphia, PA