Born in 1920 in Newport, Rhode Island and raised in Paris, Peter Shoemaker grew up to become a noted painter and longtime educator in the arts. He attended U.C. Berkeley until he was drafted into the army at the onset of World War II. Post-war, Shoemaker continued his studies at the California School of Fine Arts with Clyfford Still, Elmer Bischoff and David Parks. He remained constantly inspired by the cultural vibrancy of the time and struck up friendships with many prominent writers and poets in the Bay Area.