Catalogs, Feature Stories, Interviews and Reproductions
Interview with Artist Patter Hellstrom
As a current MFA candidate in the Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts program at CIIS, I strive to use available resources to develop further professionally. I thought bringing the thoughts of an established, successful artist to the table would not only benefit me, but could assist others in a similar position. Patter Hellstrom, internationally exhibited visual artist and recent exhibiting artist at CIIS (her exhibition, "Grief Path," ran through Dec. 31, 2012) happily agreed to participate in an interview. A new influence of mine, Hellstrom utilizes themes including, "Interdependence, Compassion, Impermanence, and Stability within Chaos" in her work.
Hellstrom elaborates on her themes by explaining, "Equilibrium is reached in my work as structural lines hold despite insistent disruptions, speaking to stability within chaos...the work delves into the dark beauty of those disruptions that disorient balance...I seek to understand the forces, which throw us off our balance from moment to moment."
To me, these seem profound and reflective of human experience. In the CIA program, we not only inquire into themes of our work but into our aesthetic values. I asked Hellstrom about hers. She explicated, "I tend to look toward work that I find blends intelligence, creative solutions with a soulful quality... work that is informed by the human experience. My aesthetic values have not always connected with the fashion of the art world. I think this is common because the art world is ever changing in what it values. However, there is a standard of quality that overrides the fashion of the time." It seems meeting a certain "standard of quality," and staying true to one's aesthetic values are the most crucial aspects.
I asked how Hellstrom began her career. She explained, "I was pretty clear from a very early age that I was an artist, dedicated to making work. My art school years were really working out ‘how' I wanted to work not ‘if' I wanted to be an artist. In art school I reached out to embrace every opportunity." She took a business of arts course which, she explained, "...helped me understand the breadth of what it meant to be an artist." She began exhibiting and creating consistent studio habits. Hellstrom also drew from cadavers and traveled to Europe, to "learn from master artists through museums."
I asked Hellstrom about how she became established and financially self-sufficient as well. She stated, "Becoming established as an artist is a process..." which, "... requires ... tenacity, patience, and belief in your artistic vision. It will be very hard and there will be significant setbacks. I have told young artists in the past that one must be as creative in how you make a living as you are in your work. It is fair to say that I began with a patchwork economy, unrelated jobs, an occasional sale...I began teaching and curating, both a good fit with making art. Both of those practices I continue to this day."
Lastly, I asked whether she had advice for developing artists. She explained, "Be true and courageous with yourself about the nature of your vision and how it is realized in your work. Strong work comes from honestly pursuing your point of view. Hear what trusted critics say. Know that professional setback will occur, do not take them personally. Look for people that are in dialogue with the ideas you are working with. Be creative in how you support yourself and be clear in your goals."
Michelle Champlin is an MFA candidate in the Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts program at CIIS.
San Francisco Zen Center / Meditative Flow Hellstrom's january 2013 exhibition was an excellent fit with the aesthetic of her work - flowing with gesture and color.
Review January 4, 2013
In 2013 a NEW museum will open in southern california and include the work of Patter Hellstrom
2012 Grief Path
Film by Cedric Pilard on Grief Path, an installation by Patter Hellstrom
San Francisco, July 20, 2012—The Arts at CIIS presents the work of Bay Area artist, Patter Hellstrom. On September 4, 2012, we’ll unveil a 40-foot long mural entitled Grief Path, on view through the end of 2012 in the 3rd floor gallery of the CIIS Main Building at 1453 Mission Street in San Francisco. Integrating techniques developed over a fifteen-year study of Chinese brush painting with very contemporary materials, Hellstrom often paints on slick polypropylene surfaces. The artist balances structure and chance, and artistic influences that range from the remote villages in the Bihar region of India near Nepal to Agnes Martin’s measured abstraction.
Utilizing the loose, expressive, calligraphic brushstroke that characterizes her bestknown work, Hellstrom will put to use a wide range of tools, working with everything from house brooms and broad old-fashioned wall-paper paste brushes, to Japanese sumi brushes. To achieve the viscosity required to work upright on a wall at this scale, she’ll use low VOC house paints from the hardware store to achieve her lush, translucent, and emotionally evocative washes.
Deirdre Visser, CIIS arts curator, comments on the mural: “Mapping the emotional, psychological and cognitive dimensions of grief, as they’re experienced through time, Hellstrom’s piece will complicate conventional ideas about grief and loss. These conventions include suggestions that it should last only a fixed period of time, or that there is an uni-directional path of healing that will be common from one individual to the next, or even one experience of loss to the next for the same person.” The mural will be on view to the public through the end of 2012.
Public Programming: Friday, September 21, The Arts at CIIS hosts Patter Hellstrom in a public dialogue about her work, and intersecting influences from Buddhism to abstract expressionism
SEPTEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013
Honoring Women's Rights: Visual Voices Together National Steinbeck Center Museum, Salinas CA
(catalog available) Exhibit jurred by Dr. Joyce Aiken, Dr. Ruth Weisberg and Patricia Rodriquez is concurrent with a conference.
GIRL GROUP at ArtHaus San Francisco - See Patter Hellstrom in the context of women artists from New York and California in December 2011. Link to TV coverage of the event.
2011 RUSH Arts Foundation / Bombay Sappire Artisan awards west coast finalist in San Francisco at 5 Claude Lane Gallery curated by Andre Guichard. Tantra seen here was included in that stage of judging.
July 2011 Jason Lahman's extensive essay about Hellstrom's work
"The rich acrylic inks slide, stretch and swim across the polypropylene, the visual equivalents of musical sounds.....The volatility of liquid has been channeled with extreme skill into compositions that are redolent with the rhythms of underlying cosmic processes. One feels that the surface is a laboratory, a theatre to witness the mysterious stages of an alchemical unfolding." Jason Lahman is a Guest Blogger Art21, historian, poet and essayist based in San Francisco
ArtBusiness said of Patter Hellstroms' work: "Bright colors frozen in motion and abstraction. Wonderful and accessible. These artworks meander their way into your consciousness."
LA Weekly said of her work: "Patter Hellstrom, whose calligraphic brushstrokes and daring use of color will have a natural dialogue with the chance element of the flow painters."
DHARMA TALK : Got Attitude? by Steve Armstrong with paintings by Patter Hellstrom Tricycle FALL issue 2010 ~ byline and reproduced art by Patter Hellstrom Got Attitude?
ARTSLANT images reproduced
SFStation About CHANCE WIND
Having recently returned from an extended voyage to India, Patter Hellstrom shares her visual and spiritual inspiration for a new body of work showcased in this exhibition. The complexity and fluidity of the many peoples, ideas, histories, religions, and personal narratives encountered on her journey find allegorical expression in paintings such as Travel Log (cover image); an impenetrable yet absorptive column of swirling liquid blues and murky black, marked by faint yellow paths and strains of vermillion passages and points.
Tradition and ephemerality scream and fade through works such as Sindoor, with fiery blots of red and orange bleeding vapors of yellow and sky blue streams to the edges of the sheet. The enigmatic steps and arcs that comprise India lures viewers to linger on each pool, spray, speckle, and rivulet of color, encouraging them to construct their own stories and imaginary maps. This exhibition will be on view and open to the public from Oct. 23 - Nov. 13, 2008.
Blue Tangerine Art Newsletter: Advice for the Contemporary Collector
November 2008 / Click to read online interview http://is.gd/iiBw "Blue Tangerine Art interviews: Patter Hellstrom", Blue Tangerine Contemporary Art Connections ~ newsletter, November 2008 - Interview
Feature Story, “Patter Hellstrom, Stuart Hall High School Artist In Residence”, 2007 Convent/Stuart Hall Bulletin pg37
Feature Story, WhoWhatWhere: for People on the Move, Nov - Dec 2003 issue, NJ / CT / NY publication
"Artists ' Slide Night gets inside local art", image reproduced, Waterfront Journal, Nov. 6,2003
“Post 911 Artist dialogues since 9/11/200” images reproduced Fotophile 39, Long Island City, NY
“USA - China 2000: a diverse exhibition of artists from Jersey City, NJ”, Nantong Museum, China – Catalog “10 Artists from Jersey City 2000”, an exhibition traveling to museums in Russia and the USA - Catalog
"GENERATIONS", an exhibition document commemorating women’s shared history created by A.I.R. Gallery, NYC in the collection of the Archives of American Art
"Tombstone Art, Feminism, grave rubbings meld in Monuments," Jersey Journal, Tempo Cover,4/ 12/96
"Prep Magazine," Spring 1995, pp. 1
"35th Arts Festival of Atlanta," 1988 Catalog, pp. 54
"Alphabet Art," Birmingham Post-Herald, Kudzu Cover, August 19,1988,pp 6-7
"WORDS," Art Festival 1988 Program, pp. 9
"Twelve Billboards - Minneapolis Public Schools," April 1987 Project Catalog
"Linearis Opening Patter Hellstrom - Chance Wind" ArtBusiness.com Article, Alan Bamberger 10.23.08
“Navigating Expression: Introducing yupo paper paintings by Patter Hellstrom”, Examiner.com Nov 1 – 30, 2007
“Abundance - Patter Hellstrom”, Internet Review, Art Business.com, 09.07.06, Sandip Ray
“Art in Soul”, Jersey Journal, Cover Story C Section / Showtime!, March 19, 2004
Photo, The Jersey City Reporter, "Victory Hall holds an art auction gala", Nov. 30,2003
"Artists' studios opened to the public", Jersey Journal, October 6, 2003
"One Eleven artists display talents at City Hall exhibition", Waterfront Journal, June 12,2003
"A Warehouse of diverse art", The Record, June 20, 2003
"Message in Rotunda Gallery show is city should back 111 First 's tenants", The Jersey Journal, June 18,2003
Photo backcover, American Assoc. of Museums - Museum News Magazine, July/August 2002
Photo, New Jersey Monthly Magazine, summer edition 2002
“Best Foot: Noho Gallery’s “12 x 12” Invitational,” Gallery & Studio, 2002 June/July/August issue
“Amid the Ashes, Creativity” by Holland Cotter, New York Times, Weekend Section, December Jan. 4, 2002
“Two Women,” Hudson Current, May 2-8,2002
“Review,” Jianghai Evening News (China), August 28, 2000
“USA - China 2000 Exhibition, Nantong Ribao (China), August 28, 2000
“Interview with Patter Hellstrom,” Jianghai Evening News (China), August 30, 2000
“Jersey City artists exhibit in China, The Jersey City Reporter, August 27, 2000
“33 photographers record diverse images of Jersey City,” The Jersey Journal, Jan. 16, 1999, E section
“All types of Women of Action at Rotunda, The Jersey Journal, March 21,1998
“Galleries”, Section Two, Chicago Reader, March 8, 1996,pp.16 - photo
"Summer in the City mural," Photo, St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 21, 1993
"Pursuit of image by its' creator is the real theme of Big Paintings," Birmingham News January 21, 1990, pp. 6f
"Why SIGNificant?," Vinyl, Decenber,1986,pp10-11
"Medium West Group Show," New Art Examiner, November, 1985, pp 59-60
"Bloomington Art Center," FAN, May 1985, Volume 2, Number 5
"A Strange Quirky Show at Verge," The Milwaukee Journal, October 7, 1984
"Talents Collect at UWM," The Milwaukee Journal, Sept 11, 1981