a ritual for



Grow a pollinator garden in Boston while exploring personal, spiritual, and collective growth with others. Over two weeks, participants will engage in a daily sprout- and spirit-watering ritual, gathering together twice to share reflections.

This event is free, although space is limited and RSVPs are required.

Reserve your spot on eventbrite, here.

Join artist Sheila Novak and grow a pollinator garden of plants native to the Northeast at the garden space behind the Egleston Square Branch of the Boston Public Library. Over two weeks, participants will sprout seeds through a daily watering ritual exploring the parallel processes of ecologic and spiritual growth.

Gathering twice at the Egelston Square Branch of the Boston Public Library, participants will be provided with a free kit to support growth and will meet again to transplant their seeds. All participants need to commit to both meeting times.

Details for A Ritual for New Growth

What is the story behind the project?

This project grew from the lessons from my project CoVictory Gardens. I developed CoVictory Gardens in April 2020 as a balm amidst the anxiety and isolation of the pandemic. I continue to be grateful for how it blossomed, such as my summer Residency at the Urbano Project. Yet, I found that despite starting the project to create connection with others and the natural world, I spent a LOT of time on screens, in a space that I started the project to get away from!

I wanted to create growth and spiritual and ecological nourishment for my human and more-than-human community. This drive pushed me to develop A Score for New Growth in 2021, a project created in collaboration with artists Alex Mastny and Juliette Walker for the non-traditional exhibition space, The Cake Stand. The performance score tracks the transformation of a seed, from dormancy through germination to growth, linking processes of personal, collective and ecological growth from internal and unseen to external and visible transformation. These are the roots for A Ritual for New Growth.

What is the project?

Over two weeks, participants of a A Ritual for New Growth will engage in a daily sprout- and spirit-watering ritual, gathering together twice to share reflections. Through collective action, we will all ground in our own growth while also collectively sprouting and nurturing the seeds for a pollinator garden at the public library.

Participation is FREE, but spots are LIMITED. Please register to join now!

Those who participate will receive a ritual kit for folks to do self-guided reflections and growth at home. The first meeting will be to pick up the kit and share your reason for participating; the second meeting will be to deliver and plant your sprouts, and to share your experience. The daily reflection period is self-guided, and therefore may be as deep of a commitment as you are interested in making!

What are the dates and times?

Tuesday, May 31, 5:30-6:30 PM:
gather together, receive a growing kit, set intentions, and plant seeds together -behind the Egleston Square Branch of the Boston Public Library

Wednesday, June 1 - Monday June 13:
a daily ritual of growth - self-guided and independent, in personal space

Tuesday, June 14, 5:30 - 6:30 PM:
transplanting sprouts into the garden, sharing reflections -behind the Egleston Square Branch of the Boston Public Library

Why now?

This project is intentionally designed to integrate into larger celestial movements and patterns. The project starts at the new moon and ends at the full moon, following a trajectory from darkness to light, from questioning to realization, from searching to discovery. The project connects these powerful energies with trajectories of ecological and personal growth. Plus, many plants are rumored to have greater success in growth when planted in line with lunation patterns!

This cycle is especially important in June. Starting with a new moon in Gemini, we encounter a uniquely auspicious time to plant seeds, real and metaphorical. Grounded in exploration, this is an ideal time to start something with room for discovery. The project culminates with a full moon in Sagittarius, a time of ripening thoughts, ideas and experiences. This full moon encourages us to broaden our viewpoints. Additionally, Gemini and Sagittarius are sister signs, occupying opposite energies and a balance in perspectives. As we move from inward reflection to outward, collective energies, the moon will carry us through.

Who should participate?

This project is best suited to those who are looking for a few moments to pause, reflect, get grounded, and grow each day.

Why is it art?

Over the past few years I have become most interested in social practice art projects, which focus on social engagements as the method of creative experience. I find social art projects to be both exciting artistically while also serving to create the world I want to live in by thoughtfully exploring how we live together.

Is it COVID safe?

All meetings will be held outdoors with social distancing.

This project is supported by a Transformative Public Art grant from the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.