Mike Helbing

Stainless Steel

10′ x 2′

I work creating existential objects that initiate thought, some are deep, some are humorous, and some just are. My work follows my interests and most are meant to be permanent. I work in metal, stone, plastic, and whatever it takes to realize the idea.

​I started art at 4 years. It was a clay duck. I always drew and loved finger painting. Still do. Working with my hands and body is important. My art is an extension of this. When I was a child I played with puddles drawing rivers with my fingers to watch them drain. Day dreamed through school because I could read. I drew pictures on my papers and got through school. I was 20 and at Purdue when I decided that a life of art making was what I wanted. This decision led to a tour in Vietnam that affected the rest of my life. The wold became surreal and art explained it. When free of the service I studied clay, painting, jewelry, sculpture, drawing, PE, fiber, printing and art history at Ball State in Indiana. Met people there that became lifelong compatriots. I left there and settled in Indianapolis for 12 years and bounced through jobs while always making art. First clay then floats and on to sculpture and paintings. I met my wife Wendy there and when she moved to Chicago for graduate school I went with. 5 years and 2 children later I was working in wood and living in Marengo, Illinois. We uprooted and moved to Berwyn. I began working with Richard Hunt and helped him for around 10 years. I think that was good for the both of us. We made a lot of good sculpture together and formed a lasting friendship. 2005 moved on and have been studioing it ever since making sculpture and playing with water and fire. I have been a member of the old National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum since 1982 and was the Chairman from 2005 to 2011. Now I’m back to making art, and making art is in my blood.

View Mike Helbing’s website to see his other work: www.helbingstudio.com

Sponsor: Mike & Karen Schneider