Sheila Pepe is best known for her large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made from domestic and industrial materials. Since the mid-1990s, Pepe has used feminist and craft traditions to investigate notions concerning the production of canonical artwork, as well as the artist’s relationship to museum display and the institution of art. Venues for Pepe’s many solo exhibitions include the Smith College Museum of Art and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, as well as her traveling exhibition, Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism, produced by the Phoenix Art Museum. Her work has been included in important group exhibitions such as the first Greater New York at PS1/MoMA; Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art & Craft (Contemporary Art Museum Houston); and Artisterium (Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia). Her most recent project is Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe: Tabernacles for Trying Times, produced by the Portland Museum of Art; highlights of the exhibition will be on view at the Museum Of Arts & Design in New York City, opening late spring, 2021.
Pepe has taught since 1995 at Brandeis University, Bard College, Cornell University, Columbia University, Pratt, RISD, Skowhegan School, Stanford University, SVA, Williams College, and Yale University, among others. Her own artistic development was a mix of academic training and non-degree-granting residencies: BA, Albertus Magnus College; BFA, Massachusetts College of Art; Haystack School; Skowhegan School; MFA, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ Tufts University.