Ste-Marthe, Quebec CANADA
Lenka Novakova was born in the Czech Republic, received her undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia and MFA from the Concordia University in Montreal. Her practice is concerned with an ephemeral poetic quality a moment of recreation and reflective thought through constructed environments, simple technologies and moving light; with crossover in cinema and theatre technologies.
Within this foundation she explores qualities of space, architectural environments and installation by means of moving light. She has been recipient of numerous fellowships, awards and has an active exhibition record in Canada and abroad. Recent fellowships included Coring Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, Urban Glass, Brooklyn, New York, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont or La Chambre Blanche in Quebec. Recent solo exhibitions included Cambridge Public Art Gallery, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Fofa Gallery and others. Further, selected awards included Anne Fish Award in fibres, Campaign for Concordia Graduate Award, Campaign for New Milllenium Graduate Scholarship and Gley Sperling Award.
To see more of Lenka’s work, please visit www.lenkanovak.com
Blue Sky Project offers a re-defining experience of collaboration and shifting perspective of the creative process. The youth of the Dayton/Montgomery County bring not only local insight to the developing projects but also fresh air to established methodologies. The everyday experience also proves to be an adventure where new ideas and directions surface in the most unexpected ways. The critical analysis and input of the youth were an eye-opener and an important part of the work. My own process became a mirror of the youth I worked with and I took a true pleasure in becoming a part of this ever-changing reflection on a curious, enriching and adventurous journey.
Blue Sky from my point of view was also testing the limits of creative expression and its visual interpretation. Generous resources, as well as the open arms of the community were simply beyond my expectation. It pointed me to directions that I was not able to foresee and made experimentation and the process a dream. Dayton, seemingly a sleeping giant at first, proved to be an ocean of possibilities and a treasure chest of hidden architectural secrets. Thanks to the openness of Blue Sky Project, the University of Dayton and the community, we were able to explore the idea of art making in relationship to alternative spaces. In the end, I do question if projects I explored in Dayton could ever be accomplished at a different place and time.
Looking back at the experience I must say Blue Sky is a unique and powerful approach to community-building and an eye-opener for the visiting artists. Having arrived back to my studio, I will yet take time to contemplate the richness and complexity of this summer, which without a doubt broadened my own perspective and understanding of collaboration.