Carole Shepheard trained as a designer. Initially teaching in high schools, Shepheard subsequently lectured in printmaking at the University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Art, becoming Professor of Fine Art. She graduated with a Doctorate of Fine Arts in 2004 with a thesis called Lieux de mémoire : the object, the artist and the museum.
During her time at Elam she completed several site specific works including 'A Constellation of Memories' at Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne.
In 2006 she took early retirement to focus on her studio practice. Moving to Kāwhia, Shepheard opened Te Puti Art Studio for teaching, community art activities and maintaining her own practice.