Skip Navigation

Cultural Center features Morgantown sculptor in new exhibition


(download photos at bottom of release)

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will unveil a new exhibition, Alison Helm: Tangible Forms, on Friday, Oct. 18, in the Art Gallery of the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. An opening reception will be held that evening from 6 to 8 p.m. The free reception and exhibition are open to the public. The show will remain on display through Jan. 5.

Helm, of Morgantown, is a professor of art and coordinator of the sculpture program for the College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University (WVU). She says of her work, “Like other artists, I create images that unfold as I work. The gathering and collection of shapes transforms physical elements into a symbolic language of harmony, space and a personal philosophical vision.” Her abstract sculptures tend to be large and are constructed of stainless steel, wood, glass and found objects.

Helm’s works have appeared frequently in juried shows, group exhibitions and solo exhibits. In addition to local and regional venues, her sculptures have been displayed at Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, N.Y.; Ariel Gallery, New York, N.Y.; Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Federal Reserve Bank Fine Arts Program, Washington, D.C.; and Kyoto Gallery, Kyoto, Japan among others.

In addition, her sculptures are part of several public collections, including the United States Military Academy, West Point, N. Y.; Ball State University Art Museum, Muncie, Ind.; Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.; Westinghouse Collection, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and the Library of Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg, Miss., to name a few.

Helm has won numerous awards and fellowships. She was a fellow at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in 1985. In 2002 WVU awarded Helm an outstanding research award for creative activity. She has won an Award of Excellence in 1985 and a Governor’s Award in 1987 in the West Virginia Juried Exhibition, presented by the Division; a Best of Show Award from Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1989; and a National Small Sculpture Exhibition Purchase Award from the Library of Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg, Miss.

Helm attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, received her bachelor of fine arts from Cleveland Institute of Art and her master of fine arts from Syracuse University.

The Alison Helm: Tangible Forms exhibition will include 15 pieces of her most recent work in sculpture and three pastel works. The Cultural Center is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information about the exhibition, contact Stephanie Lilly, exhibits coordinator for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 128.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

- 30 -

Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779

Sacrificial Ceremony by Alison Helm
"Sacrificial Ceremony" by Alison Helm (2002), stainless steel, glass and wood, 74" x 23" x 17"
photo by Michael Keller
Serving the Cell by Alison Helm
"Serving The Cell" by Alison Helm (2002), stainless steel and glass, 97" x 92" x 56"
photo by Michael Keller