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Artist: Mike Helke


Mike Helke
Mike Helke, WISCONSIN
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Any source or experience could be the precursor to what physically happens in my work:

During a recent kitchen remodel I found myself working with wood for the first time. The directness and predictability of this building process was different from working with clay—my lack of both tools and carpentry skills served as limits to how I could use the wood. I was intrigued by the complexity of this minimalized language. This idea of limits makes me wonder: How might it translate in clay and what would this translation mean for an object?

As a maker, the action of my hand can trace the memory or energy of an experience through illusive rhythms generated by form, positive and negative shapes, and building process marks. This unpredictability prevents a sense of austerity and instead gives the work an unassuming but active sensibility. This can inspire a sensory response, visually and tactilely, offering a sense of pleasure, visually and conceptually, both for me as the maker and for the user. Instead of a lasting feeling of happiness, this state provides a momentary relief and a feeling of delight—a temporary sensation, almost, but not quite tangible or definable; a lively sensation made seductive by its fleetingness. Each piece physically and conceptually records an animate sensibility derived from my experiences. This record is the catalyst for a call and response relationship that exists between maker, object, and user.

BIOGRAPHY
Mike Helke grew up in Minnesota's St. Croix Valley. He received a BFA in Ceramics and minor in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, NY. Helke recently relocated to River Falls, WI where he lives and maintains a studio.

EDUCATION
2009-2011 Master of Fine Arts—Ceramics, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY
2005 Bachelor of Fine Arts—Ceramics, Minor—American Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, NY


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2015-Present Studio Potter, 605 4th St. N Pottery, Stillwater, MN
2011-2015 Studio Potter, 315 North Pearl Pottery, River Falls WI
2005-2009 Northern Clay Center Studio Artist, Minneapolis, MN
2005-2009 Exhibitions and Sales Gallery Assistant, Northern Clay Center,
Minneapolis, MN


LECTURES / WORKSHOPS / DEMONSTRATIONS / CURATORIAL / JUROR
2020 Workshop, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village, CO
2020 Workshop and Lecture, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
2020 Juror, 8 Fluid Oz, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
2019 Juror, Juried National V, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
2019 Workshop and Lecture, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
2019 Curator, Abstracting, Gallery 101, University of Wisconsin River Falls, River Falls, WI
2018 Workshop and Lecture, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
2018 Lecture, Flower City Arts, Rochester, NY
2018 Demonstration, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
2018 Workshop: Abstracting the Archetype, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village, CO
2018 Visiting Artist Demonstration and Lecture, New York State College of
Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY
2018 Visiting Artist Demonstration and Lecture, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
2018 Visiting Artist Demonstration and Lecture, Montgomery County Community
College, Blue Bell, PA
2018 Florida Heat Surface Workshop, Morean Center for Clay, St. Petersburg, FL
2017 Visiting Artist Demonstration and Lecture, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.
2017 Visiting Artist Demonstration and Lecture, Harvard University, Boston, MN.
2017 Panel Discussion in Conjunction with 2017 NCECA Future Flux conference: Change, with Mike Helke, Giselle Hicks, Peter Besecker. Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR
2017 Visiting Artist Demonstration and Lecture, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2017 Visiting Artist, Demonstration and Lecture Utah State University, Logan, UT
2016 Visiting Artist Demonstration, Johnston/McKeachie-Johnston Anagama Woodfiring, River Falls, WI
2016 Flaten Lecture Series Lecturer, St. Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota.
2014 Lecturer, American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2014 Panelist, From Paper to Clay gallery talk, Bloomington Center for the Arts,
Bloomington, MN
2014 Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Rochester Community and Technical
College, Rochester, MN
2013 Juror, Annual Members Show, Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI
2013 Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, MN
2013 Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
2013 Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Anoka Ramsey Community College,
Coon Rapids, MN
2013 Visiting Artist Lecture & Demonstration, College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, MN
2012 Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
2007-2009 Demonstrating Artist, American Crafts Council Retail Show, St. Paul Convention
Center, St. Paul, MN
2009 Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
2008 Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Northwestern College, Roseville, MN
2008 Lecture and Workshop, Minnesota Art Potters Association, Northern Clay
Center, Minneapolis, MN


TEACHING EXPERIENCE
2019 Summer Faculty, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village, CO
2018 Summer Faculty, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village, CO
2018 Dayton Hudson Distinguished Visiting Teacher/Artist, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Class: Advanced Wheel Throwing.
2017 Adjunct Faculty, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Class: Introduction to Ceramics
2016 Dayton Hudson Distinguished Visiting Teacher/Artist, Carlton College-Northfield, MN
Class: Wheel Throwing
2016-Present Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Classes Include: Introduction to Ceramics, Intermediate Wheel Throwing
2014-Present MN NICE Affiliated Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2015-Present Adult Education and Outreach Teaching Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2012-2015 Adjunct Faculty, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Classes Include: Introduction to Ceramics, Two-Dimensional Design Foundations, Introduction to Visual Arts
2009 – 2011 Teaching Assistant—Linda Sikora, Anne Currier, & Heather Mae Erickson, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
2006-2009 Adult Education Teaching Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
Classes Include: Ceramics 101, Beginning Wheel, Surface Layers,
Anatomy of a Pouring Vessel, Anatomy of the Surface, Anatomy of a Drinking
Vessel, Cut and Paste Ceramics, Function Ornament and Decoration, and,
More is More Vs. Less is More.
2006-2009 ClayToGo Outreach Teaching Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2005 Teaching Assistant—Tom Lane, Introduction to Ceramics, University of
Minnesota-Twin Cities


PUBLICATIONS
2020 “Spotlight Interview,” Ceramics Monthly, January
2019 The Persistence of Mingei: Influence through Four Generations of Ceramic Artists, featuring Essays in conjunction with an exhibition, Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
2019 “Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, September
2019 “Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, March
2018 “2019 Ceramics Art Year Book,” Ceramics Monthly, November
2018 “New York Ceramics and Glass Fair At The Bohemian National Hall,” The New York Times,
New York, NY
2018 Mastering Handbuilding: Techniques, Tips, and Tricks for Slabs, Coils, and More, Sunshine Cobb, Voyageur Press Inc.
2017 “Clay Culture,” Ceramics Monthly, November
2017 A Culture of Pots: The 25th Anniversary of the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, featuring multiple essays in conjunction with an exhibition, Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
2017 Contemporary Clay: A Survey of Contemporary American Ceramics, Garth Johnson, WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Art Center
2017 Lacoste Gallery exhibits work by young emerging artists from the fertile ceramics state of Minnesota, artdaily.org
2016 Influenced and Evolved, Essay by Mark Pharis, Northern Clay Center,
https://issuu.com/northernclaycenter/docs/influenced
2016 Mastering the Potters Wheel, Ben Carter, Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
2016 “Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, September
2015 Tales of a Red Clay Rambler, Podcast by Ben Carter, Season 5, episode 119 (with S.C. Rolf)
2014 “Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, December
2014 “Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, January
2012 “Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, January
2008 “Lillstreet International 2008,” Ceramics Monthly, December,
2007 “Fifteenth Strictly Functional Pottery National,” Ceramics Monthly, May
2006 “Clay Bodies by Student Bodies,” Ceramics Monthly, November


AWARDS & RECOGNITION
2017 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant
2016 Potters to Watch in 2016, CFile.org, https://cfileonline.org/contemporary-pottery-to-watch-in-2016/#
2008 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2007 Purchase award, Jersey Shore Clay National, m.t. burton gallery, Surf City, NJ
2007 Honorable mention, Jersey Shore Clay National, m.t. burton gallery, Surf City, NJ
2006 Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Award, Northern Clay Center,
Minneapolis, MN
2006 Merit Award (functional), Clay Bodies by Student Bodies, Gustavus Adolphus
College, St. Peter, MN
2005 Joel and Aja Ceramics Award Scholarship, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, MN


EXHIBITIONS
2020 Mike Helke, TRAX Gallery, Berkeley, CA
2019 Domestic Dining, Freehand Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2019 Mike Helke, Gallery AKAR, Iowa City, IA
2019 Featured Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2019 Featured Artist, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
2019 MINNESOTA HIP: New Works by Mike Helke, Lacoste Gallery, Concord, MA
2019 Yunomi Invitational, Gallery AKAR, Iowa City, IA
2019 NCECA Artstream Nomadic Gallery, Carbondale, CO
2019 NCECA Backyard Potters, Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN
2019 NCECA Perpetual Clay Invitational 2019, Anoka Ramsey Community College. Anoka, MN
2019 NCECA The Persistence of Craft; Influence through Four Generations of Ceramic Artists,
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
2019 NCECA, Ideal Made Real: MN NICE, Vine Arts Center Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2019 NCECA, POT SPOT: St Croix Valley Pottery Tour, Silverhouse Studio, Minneapolis, MN
2018 Pottery Sale at the Old Church, Demarest, NJ
2018 Sleek, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2018 Flower City Pottery Invitational, Flower City Arts, Rochester, NY
2018 The Almighty Cup, Gandee Gallery, Fabius, NY
2018 Fornell + Helke, Traditional/Modern, Lacoste/Keane Gallery, Concord, MA
2018 Tyler Lotz, Mike Helke, Trey Hill, Harvey Meadows Gallery, Aspen, CO
2018 The Plate Show, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2018 Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN
2018 From Useful to Fanciful, Usdan Gallery, Bennington College, Bennington, VT
2018 Artstream Nomadic Gallery: 17 Year Retrospective, Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV
2017 Pottery Show at the Old Church, Demarest, NJ
2017 Wild Ways: Mike Helke, Mary Alison Lucas, Bean Finneran, Trax Gallery, Berkeley, CA
2017 Mike Helke New Works, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2017 Two Young Minnesotans: Mike Helke and Tom Jaszczak, Lacoste Gallery, Concord, MA
2017 Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2017 Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN
2017 Of Land, Sea, & Sky, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2017 Ashstreet Project, 2017 NCECA Future Flux exhibition, Portland, OR
2017 Flux = Rad, 2017 NCECA Future Flux exhibition, Oregon College of Craft, Portland Oregon
2017 Narrowing The Variables: Five Approaches to the Vessel, College at Simon’s Rock Hillman—Jackson Gallery, Great Barrington, MA
2016 The Feast, Harvey Meadows Gallery, Aspen, CO
2016 Contemporary Clay, Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, Cullowhee, NC
2016 Our Cups Runneth Over, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA
2016 Utilitarian Clay Symposium Invited Artist (Andy Brayman invitee), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN
2016 Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2016 Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN
2016 Dallas Pottery Invitational, Dallas, TX
2016 Edge, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2016 8 Fluid Ounces, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
2016 Painterly, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2016 Under The Influence, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2015 – present ARTSTREAM Nomadic Gallery, exhibiting artist
2015 New Work-Mike Helke and Sarah Jaegar, TRAX Gallery, Berkeley, CA
2015 Featured Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2015 Expressive and Distinct, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2015 Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN
2015 La Mesa, NCECA 2015 via Santa Fe Clay, Providence, RI
2015 NCECA-Artstream Nomadic Galley, NCECA 2015, Providence, RI
2015 Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2014 Craft-Tastic, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY
2014 Paper /Clay, Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence, KS
2014 American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2014 Androit, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2014 From Paper to Clay, Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, MN
2014 Local’s We Love Gallery Expo, NCECA Gallery Expo-Northern Clay Center, NCECA 2014, Milwaukee, WI
2014 Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN
2014 Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2014 Pour, Schein-Joseph Museum, Alfred University, Alfred, NY
2013 Myriad, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2013 30 x 5: Sushi and Me, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2013 Jeannine Kitzhaber and Mike Helke New Work, Raymond Galley, St. Paul, MN
2013 Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN
2013 Object Focus; The Bowl, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR
2013 Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2013 Assemblage, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2012 Shino, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2012 Don’t Box Me In, Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2012 University of Wisconsin-River Falls Art Department Faculty Exhibition, The
Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI
2012 Brighter, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2011 Black and White, Red Star Studios, Kansas City, MO
2011 ‘tis a gift... 2011 Holiday Exhibition, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2011 Eighth Annual Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2011 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, Fosdick Nelson Gallery, Alfred, NY
Gallery Representation
2017 – Present LaCoste Gallery, Concord, MA
2015 – Present TRAX Gallery, Berkeley, CA
2015 – Present ARTSTREAM Nomadic Gallery / Harvey Meadows Gallery, Aspen, CO
2014 – Present Lillstreet Gallery, Chicago, IL
2013 – Present AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2012 – Present The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2012 – Present Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
2011 – Present Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN


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