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Ackerman completed her BA (Fine Arts) & Honours by 1973 at Rhodes University with her major being painting. She is proud to state that she studied under Prof Brian Bradshaw, Prof Rob Brooks, Tom Mathews, Joss Nel and Neil Rodgers.
Over the years Ackerman has travelled and lived in various places in South Africa including Mpumalanga, Southern KwaZulu-Natal and currently Somerset West. It is places in these provinces and areas that is seldom the subject of her work.
Being famous for her paintings and etchings, Ackerman recently explored more printmaking techniques and her work now includes reduction woodcut prints as well.
Ackerman did the book illustrations for A Gift for Madiba by Evelyn Benatar (the proceeds of this book goes to the Desmond Tutu's Children with Aids association). During April and May 2008 she was a resident at the Cite International des Arts in Paris.