Born in Houston, Patti Shanks was raised and went to college in Texas and Oklahoma. Coming to Columbia for graduate school at MU, she spent time immersed in art history before moving to studio art. She received her MFA through MU’s Fine Arts Department concentrating on papermaking and textiles.
Patti taught Fibers in the School of Visual Arts at MU for over 20 years. As one of the best papermaking facilities in that part of the country, MU Fibers provided the wet studio where she continued her research with large-scale papermaking, and she shared that knowledge through teaching.
Currently, Patti's art practice involves the use of overbeaten paper pulps in 2 and 3 dimensions as well as the use of native plants and long bast fibers like kozo.