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Artist: Mike Helke


Artist: 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

2005                       
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ceramics, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, MN


RELEVANT WORK 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


TEACHING EXPERIENCE
2017                          
Adjunct Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Classes Include: Introduction to Ceramics

Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Classes Include:  Intermediate Wheel Throwing

2016                           
Dayton Hudson Distinguished Visiting Teacher/Artist, Carlton College-Northfield, MN.  Classes Include: Wheel Throwing

Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Classes Include:  Introduction to Ceramics, Intermediate Wheel Throwing

2012-2015                  
Adjunct Faculty, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Classes Include: Introduction to Ceramics, Two Dimensional Design Foundations, Introduction to Visual Arts

2014-Present          
MN NICE Mentor, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

2015-Present          
Teaching Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

2011                       
Teaching Assistant—Linda Sikora, Pots II Junior Wheel, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

2010                       
Teaching Assistant—Anne Currier, Pots I Sophomore Wheel, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

Teaching Assistant—Heather Mae Erickson, Pots I Sophomore Wheel, New York

State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

2009                       
Teaching Assistant—Linda Sikora, Pots II Junior Wheel, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

2006-2009                                
Ceramics Instructor/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


LECTURES/WORKSHOPS/DEMONSTRATIONS
2017                          
Panel Discussion: Change.  Mike Helke, Giselle Hicks, Peter BeaSecker.  Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR.

Visiting Artist, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA 

Visiting Artist, Utah State University, Logan, UT

2016                          
Visting Artist, Johnston/McKeachie-Johnston Anagama Woodfiring 2016, River Falls, WI

Flaten Lecture Series Lecturer, St. Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota.

2014                      
Lecturer, American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

Panelist, From Paper to Clay gallery talk, Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington, MN

Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester, MN

2013                      
Juror, Annual Members Show, Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI

Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, MN

Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN

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

Lecture and Workshop, Minnesota Art Potters Association, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN


PUBLICATIONS
2017                      
Contemporary Clay: A Survey of Contemporary American Ceramics, Garth Johnson

Influenced and Evolved,  Essay by Mark Pharis.

2016                      
Mastering the Potters Wheel, Ben Carter

“Exposure” Ceramics Monthly, September

2014                      
“Exposure” Ceramics Monthly, December

“Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, January

2012                      
“Exposure,” Ceramics Monthly, January, p.20

2008                      
“Lillstreet International 2008,” Ceramics Monthly, December, p. 16

2007                      
“Fifteenth Strictly Functional Pottery National,” Ceramics Monthly, May, p. 20

2006                      
“Clay Bodies by Student Bodies,” Ceramics Monthly, November, pp. 5, 36


AWARDS
2017                      
Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant

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

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
2017               
Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN

Ashstreet Project, Portland, OR

Flux = Rad, Oregon College of Craft, Portland Oregon.

“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

Contemporary Clay, Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, Cullowhee NC

Our Cups Runneth Over, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston MA

Utilitarian Clay Symposium Invited Artist, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN

Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN

Dallas Pottery Invitational, Dallas, TX

Edge, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

Under The Influence, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

8 Fluid Ounces, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Painterly, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

2015                  
New Work-Mike Helke and Sarah Jaegar, TRAX Gallery, Berkley, CA

Featured Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

Expressive and Distinct, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN

La Mesa, NCECA 2015 via Santa Fe Clay, Providence, RI

NCECA-Artstream Nomadic Galley, NCECA 2015, Providence, RI

Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

2014                  
Craft-Tastic, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY

Paper / Clay, Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence, KS

American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

Androit, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

From Paper to Clay, Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, MN

Local’s We Love Gallery Expo, NCECA-Northern Clay Center, NCECA 2014, Milwaukee, WI

Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN

Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Pour, Schein-Joseph Museum, Alfred University, Alfred, NY

2013                   
Myriad, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

30 x 5: Sushi and Me, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Jeannine Kitzhaber and Mike Helke New Work, Raymond Galley, St. Paul, MN

Upper St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix Valley, MN

Object Focus; The Bowl, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR

Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Assemblage, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

2012                  
Shino, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

Don’t Box Me In, Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA

University of Wisconsin-River Falls Art Department Faculty Exhibition, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI

Brighter, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

2011                  
Black and White, Red Star Studios, Kansas City, MO

‘tis a gift… 2011 Holiday Exhibition, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

Eighth Annual Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, Fosdick Nelson Gallery, Alfred, NY


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