Born in Georgia, Cher Shaffer spent much of her childhood on a farm, forging strong bonds to the rural way of life. Parental influences gave her a healthy respect for the spiritual side of life; her father was a strong Baptist and her mother was of Native American descent.
It was her mother's death in the late 1970's that led Cher to paint scenes of her childhood, rich with memories. Another childhood source of inspiration was the black sharecropping families who were her neighbors. A fascination with their customs, superstitions and church services is reflected in many of the subjects that appear in Cher's wide repertoire of images.
A self-taught artist for over 30 years, Cher works in both two and three dimensions, often with nontraditional materials. Canceled checks, pages from old catalogues, leather suitcases, and old wire mesh screen are just a few of the surfaces she renders into art. Her series of dolls (or spirit figures) capture emotions in a most tangible way. Some are used as talismans for good luck, fertility, or love.
Some of her noteable collectors are celebrities such as Whoopie Goldberg, Rob Reiner, Jane Fonda, Henry Winkler, and more. Her paintings hang in the permanent collection of the state of West Virginia, and in the collection of Jay and Sharon Rockefeller.