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Justin Novak

Biography to Display: 

1962 Born Canada


1983 BFA Communications Design, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York

1996 MFA Ceramics, State University of New York, New Paltz, New York


2001 Artist in Residence, International Ceramic Center, Skaelskor, Denmark

2003 Artist in Residence, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine

2004 Arts/Industry Residency, Kohler Company, Kohler, Wisconsin


1996-1999 Adjunct Professor, Rockland Community College

1997-1999 Instructor, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, New York

1997-2000 Adjunct Professor, State University of New York, New Paltz, New York

1999-2000 Adjunct Professor, City University, Jersey City, New Jersey

2000— Assistant Professor of Ceramics, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

2007— Associate Professor, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Justin Novak is a ceramic sculptor whose work references the historic figurine.

He has produced two series of work that rethinks the traditional form typically associated with the good life. The “disfigurine” series presents subjects inflicting wounds on bodies either as cuts or bruises. The “21c Bunny” project highlights the nature of violent behavior and the response to constantly feeling you are a predator. Novak hand builds porcelain as in the “disfigurine” series and casts it as in the "21c Bunny" project. He uses various firing techniques including raku and electric kilns.


Public Collections to Display: 

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Grimmerhus Danish Museum of International Ceramic Art, Denmark

John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

Taipei County Yingge Museum of Art, Taipei, Taiwan

UMPRUM, Museum of Applied Art, Prague, Czech Republic

Porcelain Museum, Walbrzych, Poland


Bibliography to Display: 

Andrews, Tim. Raku. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2005.

Barnard, Rob, Natasha Daintry and Clare Twomey. Breaking the Mould: New Approaches to Ceramics. London, England: Black Dog Publishing, 2007.

Berelson, Ruth. “Bathing in the Sweat of a Faraway People.” American Ceramics (Spring 2000).

Brown, Glen R. “Justin Novak’s Rhetoric of Beauty.” Ceramics: Art and Perception 62 (2006).

Flynn, Michael. Ceramic Figures. London, England: A & C Black Publishers/Princeton University Press, 2002.

Hubbard, Patricia. “The Function of Beauty.” Ceramics: Art and Perception (2001).

Lark Books. 500 Figures in Clay: Ceramic Artists Celebrate the Human Form. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 2004.

Lark Books. The Penland Book of Ceramics. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 2003.

Lombardi, D. Dominick. “Works Created as Reactions to Injustices.” The New York Times, April 25, 1999.

Novak, Justin and Bryan Hopkins. “Paying Attention.” Ceramics: Art and Perception 61 (2005).

Raynor, Vivian. ”From a Partnership of Elements to a Show of Playfulness.” The New York Times, February 23, 1997.

Schwartz, Judith. “A New Generation of American Ceramic Artists.” Kerameiki Techni 41 (2003).



Typical Marks
The Seamstress
Date: 1996
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Mixed Media
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Collection, April 16, 2016, lot #112
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Collection, April 16, 2016, lot #112
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified April 14, 2023.