In the Studio
John Heliker (01/17/1909-02/22/2000) was born in Yonkers, New York. He dropped out of high school after three years in 1923 to pursue art. He worked with soft pencils, charcoal, oil, and watercolor. His drawings ranged from light, flickery images to shadowy images with thick, feverant lines. In the span of his career, Heliker's work shifted between abstract and representational. His paintings often reflected daily life: interiors, domestic objects, recurring figures, and landscapes. As a WPA artist he produced murals. He was a recipient of the Prix de Rome in 1948, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1952 and 1960. He traveled throughout Europe and lived in Italy for two years. Heliker's first solo exhibition was at the Maynard Walker Gallery in New York in 1936. The next year his work was included in the International Watercolor Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. He exhibited at Kraushaar Gallery 18 times between 1945 and 2000. Heliker's art is part of many permanent collections around the country including the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (NY), the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (Michigan), the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (Alabama), and the Sheldon Swope Art Museum (Indiana).