L’ETAGE Magazine: Sheila Elias, Ground-breaking Artist

An interview with Sara Nardea ->

Read interview from L’etage Magazine (PDF)











Art Business News: iPainting the Future

An interview with Rebecca Pahle

Sheila Elias modernizes the Act of Creation with Her iPad.
Read interview from the Winter issue of Art Business News

iPainting the Future













Visionary Art Trends: David Hockney, Sheila Elias and the iPad


“Throughout her career, Sheila Elias has expressed herself through many artistic mediums. This well known Florida artist has also taken on the Apple iPad with tremendous creativity. Sheila also uses her finger and various apps to open the potential of the iPad to produce new technological visions. She manipulates and explores new colours, lines and forms. She enlarges the abstract shapes that emerge from her iPad onto larger canvases and often adds touches of paint to complete her works of art. Stunning otherworldliness. A shock of cold water on the senses……. In a historic first, The Apple Store, will be presenting Sheila on Oct 17 to demonstrate how she creates her works of art.” ~ Roberta Gonella



Departures Magazine: iPad Art Heads to Miami Beach

By Erin Schumaker

Sheila Elias iPainting the Future

After years of using a paintbrush, Miami-based artist Sheila Elias is exploring a new medium—digital painting on Apple’s iPad. Vividly colorful and full of movement, the large-scale works, printed on canvas and then touched up with paint, appear to be portraits from another world. In October, Elias demonstrated her craft during a live event at the Apple Store on the Upper West Side of New York. After showing at Manhattan’s Mayson Gallery, she is taking her series, “iPaint on My iPad,” to Florida for a pre–Art Basel Miami Beach kick-off exhibit starting December 4. (She will also be showing her more traditional works within Red Dot Art Fair, which is part of Art Basel.) We caught up with the artist for insight into her innovative technique. Read blog post here >

DEPARTURES: An American Express Publishing Corporation.


ArtDistricts: “Sheila Elias: In Search of Light”

By Ashley Knight

Sheila Elias iPainting the Future

Sheila Elias is a multidisciplinary artist based in Miami Beach whose works capture those invisible connections between art and social consiousness. through her ouvre, she portrays the collective soul of a country that today tries to overcome with cleverness and optimism the debacle of the American dream. ArtDistricts talked to her about her successful artistic trajectory, the sources that motivate and inspire her work, her new series “iPaint on the iPad” and her mid-career retrospective book Somewhere-Anywhere, published by Nova Southeastern University.

Read entire article here (PDF) >

ARTDISTRICTS supports the local and regional art scenes with up-to-date articles, interviews, reviews, news and calendars covering the most significant events and exhibitions. Every two months, a new issue of ARTDISTRICTS is available at galleries, museums, art centers, and artist studios throughout Florida; it is also distributed in up-scale hotels and condominiums. ARTDISTRICTS is an invaluable reference for residents and visitors.


“iPaint on my iPad”

Apple Store, Lincoln Center, New York City
October 17, 2012

Sheila Elias iPainting the Future

Artist Sheila Elias uses her finger and various apps to open the potential of the iPad to produce new technologica visions. She manipulates and explores new colors, lines and forms with the sole use of her iPad. Watch now >


Sheila Elias’s book, Somewhere-Anywhere

From Le Louvre to Skid Row Los Angeles, Sheila Elias’ unconventional, provocative art is now the subject of a new must have book, by fêted Los Angeles critic, curator, and historian Peter Frank, and New York critic Fulbright Scholar,
Robert C. Morgan.

Somewhere-Anywhere, a hypnotizing 144-page turning, color-orgy publication by Lightning Press, in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University, is an artfully narrated exhibition of Sheila Elias’s dynamic collection of work including paintings, collages, sculptures, photographs, and installations over the past three decades.

Book available at, select Books & Books in South Florida, Bass Museum, Frost Art Museum, Miami Art Museum (MAM), and via Paypal.







Sheila Elias is also featured in the following online galleries:


Art Dimensions Inc. Los Angeles, California

City Smart Magazine
click here to read article

six degrees mag
click here to read article


ARTnews New York Reviews:
Sheila Elias’s 911 Series
Michelle Rosenfeld Exhibition

October 2002
Review by Mary Schneider Enriquez













Laredo Morning Times Newspaper [ Special to the Times ] : ‘Somewhere, Anywhere’ takes you there

by Cactus Salazar

Friday, September 12, 2008


Sheila Elias’ body of work titled “Somewhere-Anywhere,” showcased at the Laredo Center for the Arts through Sept. 26, is a mid career retrospective. Her work, as mentioned in her artist statement, is about the layers of life and art history, seeking in it a connection between art aesthetics and social consciousness. Her recent works are digital photo collages, strong in positive shapes.

In “Fire Dancers,” she uses black marker to outline the shape to move it to the foreground. A gold-tip pen adds dimension to the shape of the figure, re turning it into the background. This dance of shape and space is wonderful to experience in this work of art. Movement appears to be another element of art Elias masters. In “Dream I Had While Awake,” her shapes are influenced by Matisse, but the movement is pure Elias. The artist draws you to the painting and then holds you there before you fall into it. It makes you walk back to view it at a safer distance and begin to see the dance of the positive shapes of people.The negative shapes become bold, making one well aware of the difference between the two. The snakes are there, juxtaposed to the shapes of the ropes. Elias uses these as symbols of life struggle.

I am wary of glitter in artwork that deems it necessary to glow from things other than natural highlights, but Elias manages to make these components work for her. Her butterflies applied with foil paper makes them reflective, yet still appearing elusive. The glitter and iridescent cellophane on “Bee Marilyn” from her American Icon series, is a true art form. One of her paintings from the American Icon series was featured at the Louvre in Paris as part of a group show. This must be a crowning moment of her career.

On the south side wall of the gallery, paintings influenced by Sept. 11 can be viewed. Elias’ former studio was two blocks away from Ground Zero. She left New York two weeks before the tragedy, relocating to Florida to set up her new studio. The work has “angels,” figures of life and death – the danger of life along with death, caution tape. There are ropes that makes us question whether they can save us or if they are the ropes of human sacrifice and endurance. These works demonstrate her criteria of art aesthetics and social consciousness to the viewer.
“Heels” is a very daring in subject matter and very discreetly displayed. You’ll need to play Indiana Jones with this one: Come downtown and find it in the gallery. I promise you, it’s there!

This is a world-class art show and, such, should not be missed by anybody in town who is an art lover. To have her work here in Laredo, the exhibit is a must see. Save your dates this month. Bring your credit card and add to your collection. Sales support the Laredo Center of the Arts.

Artnews 95th Anniversary, November 1997

Sheila Elias Exhibition – Lowe Art Museum
by Elisa Turner, Miami Art Critic

Brash bursts of flowers and busily textured passages of collage crowd the paintings, drawings, and wood sculpture in “Secret Gardens” a survey of 1990s work by Miami-based artist Sheila Elias. Undermined by a repetitive decorative strain, the paintings’ elaborate and overworked odes to the still-life tradition predominate, with an occasional nod given to landscape, as in the large painting Water Garden.

Photocopied bits of fabric and handsomely printed Japanese papers fashioned into bristling bouquets commingle with imagery inspired by ancient Greek kraters and amphorae. the painted vessels often bear photocopied reproductions of running warriors boasting classical musculature. Such a combination does give Elias’s work a hectic energy, which produce es both engaging images, as in the spiraling whirlwind of Flying Blossoms (1996), and stilted quotations, as in gray Flourish (1996).

The strongest work in the show has Elias breaking free from the rectangular canvas, a framework that seems to stifle her longtime fascination with fluid, darting forms that slightly echo Matisse cutouts. Tondos Rondo (1997) is a wall mounted cluster of 24 works, ranging in diameter from 8 to 24 inches. They feature spunky cameos plucked fro Elias’s colorful cast of images. Mounted separately from her larger canvases and reassembled here, the floral forms and ovoid vessels, which together suggest a swift shower of confetti, hover on a white wall in a nearly cinematic stream of gardens.


By Armando Alvarez Bravo
Translation by Elena A. Zayas
February 21, 1999

Sheila Elias arrived in South Florida at the end of the ‘80’s. Born in Chicago, she studied at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago, bringing with her not only an impressive curriculum of personal and collective exhibitions, but also the reputation of being one of the most original creators, both in New York and Los Angeles.

This reputation extended to Miami, backed by the presence of her work in important private and public collections, outstanding honors, and extended bibliography and her public activities, all of which allow us to follow her constant and ascending career.

Persistent in the diffusion of her work, in 1997 she had three exhibitions in Florida, at the Lowe Art Museum at the university of Miami, the Hollywood Art and Culture Center, and the Jeanine Cox Gallery of Miami. In 1998, her traveling exhibition, “Secret Gardens,” became part of the program of the New England Museum of Contemporary Art in Brooklyn, CT, the Public Art Program of Orlando FL, and the Edison College of Fort Myers, FL. SECRET GARDENS can be taken as a point of reference to the new exhibit of her most recent works at the Veneto Gallery in Miami.

This previous exhibit was a visual challenge by the power of its enormous sunflowers, almost at a burning point, the balancing labyrinths of her rose petals, and the green of the climbing vines. An exuberant vegetation world infiltrated then emerged from the surface of her canvas and also from the papers she executed using collages to achieve the most elaborate backgrounds.

The collection, as viewed by critics – in spite of obvious distances, – invites us to a comparison to what many have called the “overdecorativism” of Matisse. Also there are elements from Art History, such as sinuous lines from antique Greek vases. In these vases, the figure of a warrior represents the synthesis of physical harmony and drawing ability. These elements continue to appear in this new collection.

If SECRET GARDENS was a celebration of the joy of creativity and the splendor of nature, in spite of its many possible meanings, this new collection opens up to the subject spectrum to a new repertoire of reflections and emotions intersecting the labyrinth of the human condition and the possibilities dictated by each epoch. In other words, these new works are Elias’ answer to immediate stimuli. Once more, the artist directs her passion to that constantly renewed challenge, constituting the main sign of contemporary man’s identity.

There is no doubt that the complex world which Elias portrays, expresses the profound understanding of the everyday life she knows so well. These paintings and sculptures are just a vision of what is beyond the visible. However, this “beyond” cannot be understood without the configurations of immediate elements.

A clear example of this may be found in the painting titled, “First Garden.” Suddenly, in a canvas profusely populated by figures and shapes, e are able to imagine the reality of a garden or of an interior, or even a synthesis of both spaces. This is suggested by a combination of elements belonging to each “ambience,” and by the floating quality of the human characters, dealt with a shadowy relief. They seem to be either trapped or evaporating in the “first garden,” as real as it is symbolic, where everything acquires and defines its own dimension, imposing its absolute over the whole.

The floating quality of persons and things dominating Elias’ world is even more profound in “Blue Dot”, where the relationships of the figures stemming from their isolation gives a different perspective to her human characters and their symbols, and where she playfully inserts the image of a frog shown in five of her works.

Elias is an artist who, although deeply playful, reveals an impressionistic imprint of her work. One example of expressionism, in its violent shapes and colors, appears in “Dream of Reality”, one of the paintings of the collection.
These works, a constant combination of reality and spontaneity of perception, are both strong and delicate. They can be deeply aggressive and kind at the same time. Exuberance is at both ends of the expression range. But whatever Elias’ approach to her subjects may be, her encounters and execution are a testimony of something that may forget, a tremendous joy of painting. This joy, no matter its character, gives a different meaning to her work.


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