Shasti O’Leary Soudant is a multidisciplinary artist, sculptor, designer and writer whose colorful public art is inspired by humanist, philosophical, political, and scientific concepts. This work is developed in collaboration with community, designed to invite engagement and interaction, and involves hidden systems, power dynamics, human relationships, balance and hegemony.
A creative professional whose work has been included in museums, galleries, public and commercial spaces, she has a unique perspective on the different methods and modes that art-making can occupy.
Shasti O’Leary Soudant was born in New York City, dropped out of The LaGuardia School of the Arts (Formerly know as Music & Art), received her BFA in Sculpture and Photography from Purchase College and obtained her MFA in Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo. She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Buffalo State University.
The artist’s recent work is mostly situated in public space, including Kaleidoscope Grove for the City of Erie, Pennsylvania, LIFESIGNS for the City of Buffalo, Do Not Mistake Our Softness for Weakness that sits outside the entrance to the Burchfield Penney Art Center, and De Nobis Abundans at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha will be installed in the Spring of 2023.
Previous works include Weeping Wall for the Savarino Companies at 500 Seneca, Wish Field at Roswell Clinical Sciences Center, Gut Flora in the NFTA’s Allen/Medical Campus Station, commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative, and Jaxoscope, an interactive kaleidoscopic sculpture for the City of Jacksonville.
Soudant’s public art practice began with Nuit Blanche in Toronto in 2014. For the artist’s talk she delivered at Hallwalls in 2017, curator John Massier wrote, “As part of the 2014 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, she produced Performance Anxiety: Halflife, a conceptual art work in which she, and a group of 100 actors used invisible ink to mark the skin of attendees throughout the city of Toronto. By the end of the night, the performers had spread the “infection” to 10,000 participants. Halflife contained many of the impulses that are integral to Shasti O’Leary-Soudant’s artistic practice: the use of light and electric colors, the outward currents of impact as a project travels from its nexus into a wider community of people, the self-imposed structure that dictates repetitive and systematic actions, and the intimacy of individual interactions that produce a larger collective experience.”
Her work is in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Savarino Companies’ 500 Seneca project, The Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative in partnership with the NFTA, the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the City of Jacksonville, Florida, and is an artist fellow for the City of Erie, Pennsylvania.
In addition to being a sculptor, she also designs and/or illustrates book covers for some of the world’s best-selling authors, including Stephen King, James Patterson, Danielle Steel, Jodi Picoult, John Grisham, Sandra Brown, Caleb Carr, Jeffery Deaver, E.L. Doctorow, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Laura Lippman, Rhys Bowen, Lee Goldberg, Patricia Cornwell, Dan Brown, Nelson DeMille, Jacqueline Mitchard, Walter Mosley, , Marisha Pessl, Anna Quindlen, and Gore Vidal.