Helen Mirkil works in Lansdale, PA. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (BFA, ’88; MFA ‘94). She had a solo show at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York. A year later she received the six-week Valerie Lamb Smith Painting Residency in Chester County, PA. Mirkil’s large figurative paintings were shown in a solo exhibition at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art. The exhibition traveled from the University of Mary Washington Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA.
A solo exhibition of Mirkil’s narrative paintings, entitled “Hidden Stories,” took place at Montgomery County Community College. Her painting “Dream Dance” was featured in the “Director’s Choice” exhibition at the opening of the Pfeiffer Wing at the Berman Museum of Art. Also, her work was one of a few artist's works in “Ecstatic Landscape,” curated by Miriam Seidel. In both the summers of 2009 and 2013, Mirkil’s work was juried in the National Midyear Exhibition at The Butler Institute of American Art.
Mirkil taught painting and drawing at Ursinus College, the Wayne Art Center, and also in Wales, UK (during a sculpture/teaching fellowship). Helen Mirkil has served as a visiting artist and lecturer at Chatham Hall in VA; at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA; and at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, NC.
For three years Mirkil served as coordinator of Zone One Artists’ Cooperative in the Second St. Arts Building in Philadelphia, PA. As guest curator at the Berman Museum of Art, she conceived two major exhibitions: “The Expressionist Gesture” and “In Her Voice: Self-Portraits by Women.”
Mirkil’s book, “Sower on the Cliffs, poems, and drawings,” was published in 2013 by BookArts Press and generated favorable reviews. She gives poetry readings in the Philadelphia area. Mirkil is a member of the poetry group Montco Poets' Word-shop and also studies with the poet Leonard Gontarek.
Mirkil’s visual work can be seen at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in NYC, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, the Bryn Mawr College Library Collection, the James A. Michener Art Museum, the Villanova University Art Collection, the University of Mary Washington Galleries in Fredericksburg, VA, the Monmouth Comprehensive School in Wales, UK, the Teaching Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Woodmere Art Museum.
My creativity is a gift. In part, it is driven by
a childhood need to be heard.
With art or poetry, I’m able to express things
that inspire and/or weigh on my soul. It doesn’t
matter whether I am sitting inside a grove of trees,
looking into the eyes of a friend, or admiring the
grace of dying tulips. Beauty and depth are there
to be found.
There is an internal music that comes alive in me,
a sort of dance, when I’m painting or writing.
Really, I think, before anything else, I love to dance.
And this dance is a prayer of gratitude to the Lord
of my soul.
Passionate Gesture, Santa Bannon Fine Art, Banana Factory, Bethlehem, PA
Hidden Stories, Fine Arts Center, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA
Landscapes: 1989 – 2004, Stockton Art Gallery [brochure], Stockton College, Pomona, NJ
Conversations, University of Mary Washington Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA; Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art [catalog], Collegeville, PA
Through the Looking Glass, Claude Howell Gallery, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC
Pennlyn Series, Walter Wickiser Gallery [catalog], New York, NY
Landscapes, Hanes Art Center Glass Gallery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Soaring, Santa Bannon Fine Art, Bethlehem, PA
Portraying Kinship, Painted Bride Café, Philadelphia, PA
Curators: Jennifer Schick and Sean Stoops
Assemblage: A Regional Collective of Women Artists, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
FAME 2017 Juried Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Alumni Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Assemblage: A Collective of Women Artists Celebrating 30 Years, Perkins Center for the Arts, Collingswood, NJ
74th National Midyear Show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Ecstatic Landscape, Borofsky Gallery, Gershman Y, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Miriam Seidel
73rd National Midyear Show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Four Pennsylvanians, Blount-Bridgers House/Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery, Tarboro, NC
Veritas to Vanitas, Bristol-Myers Squibb Gallery, Princeton, NJ
Moving into the Millennium: Darkness, Les Yeux du Monde Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
15 Philadelphia Artists, Nexus/Foundation for Today’s Art, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Marcia Tucker, Curator, New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY
Publications and Reviews
"Sower on the Cliffs,” paintings and drawings, BookArts Press
Wasserman, Burt, “Sower on the Cliffs, poems and drawings,” Art From Near and Far
Mangravite, Andrew, “Ecstatic Landscape, at the Gershman Y,” Broad Street Review, May 24, 2011
Donohoe, Victoria, “Personal Vision,” Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA
Biberman, Jane, “Helen Mirkil,” Montgomery County Town; Country Magazine
Catalog, Conversations, University of Mary Washington Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA;
Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Collegeville, PA
Dream Symbols, Running Press, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 66, 110
Quotable Women, Running Press, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 111, 123
Catalog, Pennlyn Series, Walter Wickiser Gallery, NY
Invited Critic, portfolio review, The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA
2005 - 2007
Volunteer Art Teacher, St. Mary’s Villa, Ambler, PA
Self portrait/Oil Pastel Workshops, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
Oil Pastel Workshop, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC
1995 – 1996
Painting & Drawing Instructor/Lecturer, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA
Painting Instructor/Visual Arts Coordinator, New Jersey Summer Arts Institute, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ
Sculpture Instructor/Lecturer, Monmouth Comprehensive School, Monmouth, Wales, UK
Honors and Awards
British/American Arts Association Travel Grant, in conjunction with the Wales/Philadelphia Exchange
Fellowship in Wales, awarded by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Wales/Philadelphia Exchange
Valerie Lamb Smith Painting Residency, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Lectures and Panels
“How’s the Weather? or…Is Landscape Just Landscape?” Richard Stockton College, Pomona, NJ
“Phyllis Ridderhof Martin and Women’s Self-Portraiture,” Ridderhof Martin Gallery, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
“Self-Portraits by Women,” University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC
“Art and the Spirit” & “Residency in Wales,” Chatham Hall, Chatham, VA
“Artistic Expression and the Power of Politics,” panel, Nightingale-Bamford School, New York, NY
“Co-Ops and Zone One Gallery," Comcast cable interview, Aug./Sept.
“A Philadelphia Artist in Wales,” Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
American Academy of Arts & Letters, Hall of Academicians, (reproduction of drawing of George Rochberg), New York, NY
Bryn Mawr College Library Collection, Bryn Mawr, PA
James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA
Monmouth Comprehensive School, Monmouth, Wales, UK
Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Collegeville, PA
University of Mary Washington Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA
Villanova University Art Collection, Villanova, PA
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
ELEMENTAL: Cu-Ag-Au, benefit for St. Mary’s Family Respite Center, bahdeebahdu, Philadelphia, PA
The Expressionist Gesture, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA [catalog]
Seeking the Real, Hicks Art Center, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA
1998 – 1999
In Her Voice: Self-Portraits by Women, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA
1994 – 1995
Barnstone Studios, Coplay, PA
Composition and Theory
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania & Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA