She has taught at Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Israel and the University of Michigan before joining the faculty at SUNY New Paltz in the fall of 2003. Prior to that she served as designer, production manager at the historic Pewabic Pottery in Detroit.
Since 2006 she is engaged in addition to her own studio practice in critical studies. She teaches seminars that focus on the cultural and critical background that creates the context for the creative practice in the field of ceramics, crafts and art today and has collaboratively organized: Contemporary Issues in Clay: A British Perspective (2006), Why Clay? (2008) and Beyond Hand Made (2008). All symposiums examine the current theoretical and social and economical trends that are the context in which creative practice in visual arts occurs today.
Shiftan’s own work in clay explores the subject of ambivalence in floral and zoological imagery and the representation of nature in art. Her printed images reflect on the dialectic relations between man and nature, focusing on the ambivalence reflected in the heroic yet destructive aspect of human intervention in nature, nature's response, and the glorification of both. In her ceramic work she explores sculpturally the traditions of Still Life paintings and botanical drawings. Her research also explores the history of ceramics technology and design exchange between east and west, and the representation of nature in ceramics. Recently she had a solo show at Greenwich House Pottery, NYC, and Vessels gallery in Boston.
Awards, Honors & Recognition
Shiftan has twice received the Michigan Grant for Individual Artists twice and has exhibited her work extensively in both the United States and Israel.