Kelly Novak

Kelly Marie Novak began her career in the arts as a graphic designer, before making a mid-career shift to teaching. Discovering metalsmithing while earning her teaching certification, she became obsessed with the potential metalsmithing held for material exploration and self-narrative works. Earning her MFA from Indiana University, Novak was exposed to phenomenal contemporary metalsmith instructors, workshops, and peers within the field. Currently Kelly Marie Novak is a member of Garnet Studios, and an art educator for the Chicago Public School system.

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In The Periphery I

Date of Creation: July 20, 2022

List of Materials: Coffee filters, Blue Embroidery Thread, Unraveled Twine

Dimensions: 24" X 18"x .5"

Photographer's Name: Rachel Jaffee

Model's Name: Kelly Novak

Other Contributors: Materials received form Jina Seo as a challenge.

Conceptual Statement: In this piece I ruminated over the phrasing “it must be nice.” How and when this is used, often is meant to chide, shame, or stunt my decisions that are often based in opportunities for growth. My personality and stature is not one of a delicate nature, but the passive aggressive statements made to me when I choose myself or my future first, often make me feel as though I am being infantilized. In this series I let go of fetishizing the final object, and was able to be present in the process. The documentation of the work reminded me of the excitement of the haus of covid series from the beginning of the pandemic and all the immediate creativity the small crew of us were able to generate.

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In the Periphery II

Date of Creation: 21/07/2023

List of Materials: Coffee Filters, Gold file tab connectors, blue embroidery thread, unraveled twine, brass wire, blue enamel paint

Dimensions: 10" x 8" x 8"

Photographer's Name: Aleya Lanteigne

Model's Name: Kelly Novak

Other Contributors: Materials received as a challenge from Jina Seo.

Conceptual Statement: In this piece I wanted to explore the concept of living in a fog. Being present but unseen, and disconnected from the moment. The materiality of the filters allows for some bend but the addition of height and volume was intriguing to me. The wisps of onion skin twine were added sparingly to initiate pauses in the folds. The color palette of the materials were mirrored perfectly in the Arrowmont dorms and created a perfected environment for camouflage. n this series I let go of fetishizing the final object, and was able to be present in the process. The photographing of the work reminded me of the excitement of the haus of covid series from the beginning of the pandemic and all the immediate creativity the small crew of us were able to generate.

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In the Periphery III

Date of Creation: 21/07/2023

List of Materials: Coffe filters, Blue embroidery thread, Gold tab connectors, unraveled twine, brass, blue enamel paint

Dimensions: 24" x 10" x 8"

Photographer's Name: Aleya Lanteigne

Model's Name: Kelly Novak

Other Contributors: Materials received from Jina Seo as a challenge

Conceptual Statement: This piece materialized last and was an exploration of the idea of having one’s head in the clouds. The materials were assigned at random and this was my last deconstruction of the onion skin twine and reconfiguration of the filters. In this series I let go of fetishizing the final object, and was able to be present in the process. The photographing of the work reminded me of the excitement of the haus of covid series from the beginning of the pandemic and all the immediate creativity the small crew of us were able to generate.

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