Born and raised in New York City, Clarissa Fortier graduated from Oberlin College in 2013 with a B.A. in environmental studies and studio art. Since then, she has been the artist-in-residence in both Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in northern California and Zion National Park. Fortier moved to Telluride in the summer of 2014 to work for the Telluride Academy, and continues to work for them, leading youth in exploring Telluride’s backyard of the San Juans-- on foot, bike and boat.
Fortier is an avid rock climber, and her pursuit of climbing has brought her to the desert of southwest Colorado and eastern Utah, to places like Indian Creek, Moab and the Colorado National Monument. Fortier is intimately aware of the dynamic forces shaping the landscapes she explores, and her paintings are expressive in brushstroke as a reflection of that ever-changing rocky terrain.