Public Art Project Management & Consulting
I entered the realm of public art and public art administration grounded in the belief that the public realm is uniquely situated to support social change, and that art in the public realm has the potential to develop equity and spatial justice due to its capacity to hold complex ideas, such as celebrating history and community culture while also acknowledging oppression. I am grounded in my belief that creative work in the public realm can uniquely create empathy, belonging, and hold our space for our complex histories.
My vision centers on a commitment to cultural equity actualized through creativity in the public realm as a central methodology in the work of cultural equity and social justice.
I am committed to producing public art that strengthens communities and prioritizes equity. At the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Sheila manages the creation and installation of new, temporary public artwork for this unique urban park. Sheila seeks to grow the Public Art Program to encompass placemaking and community-based projects to build space for Boston’s diverse communities along The Greenway and throughout Boston.
At The Greenway, Sheila utilized her fellowship with National Arts Strategies to design the Greenway’s first public art project that placed the power of selecting an artist and the vision for an artwork into the hands of the community. The artwork built upon the community’s existing tradition of hanging lanterns over The Greenway during the harvest moon season, and developed cultural equity by both investing in this tradition and releasing the burden of funding this work from small community organizations that often struggled to fund this work. Sheila developed relationships with numerous community members and leaders and ultimately designed a project where a community jury selected artist Yu-Wen Wu to create a light-based artwork which continued to involve the community in the design and content for the artwork. The resulting artwork, “Lantern Stories” has not only created vibrancy and joy in the public realm in Boston, but also has developed relationships and aided in the community feeling more ownership over the public plaza within their neighborhood and joy in seeing their stories and shared histories of oppression and resilience alongside messages of hope for Boston’s Chinatown displayed on a series of custom lanterns created by Yu-Wen.
Prior to working for The Greenway, Sheila worked on placemaking and public art projects in Minneapolis, Minnesota, including Northern Spark, Art Shanty Projects and the John Biggers Seed Project. Sheila was a Creative Community Fellow with National Art Strategies in 2018.
Sheila is eager to grow her involvement with public art projects in her community. She is available to jury, consult and project manage as a public art and placemaking consultant.