SHEILA NOVAK is an interdisciplinary artist, whose parallel practices in sculpture, mixed media drawing, and social practice explore the interwoven experiences of internal and external landscapes to ameliorate the widening gulf between our bodies, the earth and each other. Her artistic practice is centered on personal and collective narratives of vulnerability, focalizing the natural world as an extension of the body and as a locus for healing.
Sheila has created large-scale drawings hung in the woods, delicate sculptures combining cast bronze with organic materials, and most recently, collaborative “CoVictory Gardening” to build social solidarity during COIVD-19. Sheila’s work is rooted in the belief that personal stories and actions have profound implications on larger societal levels. Her work explores deeply vulnerable stories, which most recently have been informed by the internal landscapes of grief resulting from the loss of her mother to cancer. Her social practice work is informed by this process, creating spaces of connected healing and public grief by blurring the boundaries between public and private life.
SHEILA NOVAK is an interdisciplinary artist and arts administrator living in Boston, MA. Currently, Sheila serves as the Public Art Project Manager for the Greenway Conservancy. Sheila has been working in the the nonprofit arts sector intersecting creative practice with public art, creative placemaking and arts equity since 2013. Sheila is committed to producing and creating art in social and public spaces.
In 2018 Sheila was awarded the New England Fellowship with National Arts Strategies shortly after arriving in Boston from Minneapolis. Sheila has served as the Artist in Residence at Hennepin County Medical Center (2015-2017), as well as an Artist in Residence in Ecology, Spirituality and Community at Holden Village (2014). Sheila received her B.A. in Studio art from St. Olaf College (2012).
As an artist Sheila has created various public and social projects. To view these projects see:
CoVictory Gardensacknowledgement :: response
Public Work gallery
PUBLIC ART Consultation and Management
SHEILA NOVAK is 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.
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.