Helen R. Klebesadel
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My visual concerns run the gamut from careful study to poetic, symbolic and sometimes political representations of nature and human nature.
My watercolors push the traditional boundaries of the medium in scale, content, and technique. They are created with transparent watercolors on paper. I often start with detailed drawings and develop the images with layer upon layer of color washes and dry brush technique mixed with occasional areas of wet-into-wet spontaneity.
Born and raised in rural Wisconsin, my art is the place where I explore how we learn our deepest values. I am best known for my environmental and women centered watercolors. My particular interested is in how myths and stories help to socialize us to have different expectations for some people than from others. I use the creative process to tell new stories that resist and contest existing power structures by revealing they exist.
Helen Klebesadel earned her BS, a certificate in Women’s Studies, and an MFA in art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has taught courses and workshops on creativity, studio art, and the contemporary women’s art and environmental art movement for two decades. She writes about contemporary art issues, creative learning and career development in her blog: klebesadel.wordpress.com.
Helen taught studio art and periodically chaired the Art Department at Lawrence University for ten years before leaving to become Director of the University of Wisconsin System’s Women’s Studies Consortium in 2000. She continues to periodically teach workshops and classes in watercolor and creative process. Klebesadel’s art and prose have been published in Femspec, Frontiers, Feminist Studies, Interweave, and CALYX. She is a past national president of the national Women’s Caucus for Art and she has been a member of the Wisconsin Arts Board since 2006.