Local Artist featured at MACC Jorgenson Gallery
The Jorgenson Fine Arts Gallery at Moberly Area Community College is currently featuring a local artist in a new show entitled Communication Device: Works by R-Q/Bryan Helton. The community is invited to meet the artist at a free reception on Friday, October 13, from 5 to 7pm.
Helton was born in Adair County in 1961. While he remembers being punished for not coloring the same as other children in grade school, it was an art instructor at MACC in 1979 who challenged him to explore the boundaries of what Helton could produce. That encouragement led to a first place showing in the Little Dixie Art League in 1980. Helton followed the muse of his art, first to Columbia, MO, working with paper and sound collage in advertising and live theater, before ultimately moving to New York City.
Based across the Hudson in New Jersey, Helton worked throughout the city, becoming the first on-staff artist at Kate’s Paperie, one of New York’s fine paper stores. Working with handmade papers from around the world, Helton taught paper and package design, lectured at Parsons school of Design, the Fashion institute of Technology, School of Visual Arts, and the Pratt Institute. His work graced a variety of showcases, including appearances on Martha Stewart’s network show.
While his professional work grew, Helton’s personal work continued as well. In the 90s, he was chosen to represent new art in America in San Jose, Costa Rica for the Ministry of Culture and appeared in a Japanese TV documentary on washi, a specific style of Japanese paper making. His works have sold worldwide under his alter ego R-Q, a pop international artist.
In 2002, Helton moved back home to start a new chapter and opened the Odd Pear, an eclectic store offering collectibles and antiques, in downtown Moberly. His artistic work continues using mixed medium, paper, acrylic, and colored pencil. His exhibit includes some of his latest works along with pieces from his past.
“I’ve moved into a place where I allow the paint to create its work,” said Helton. “This exhibit is a primitive communication device of a now grown child without words to explain. I’ve left my works untitled to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions.”
The Jorgenson Fine Arts Gallery, named in honor of MACC President Emeritus Dr. Evelyn E. Jorgenson, was created as part of the remodel of the historic MACC Coliseum in 2002. The wing provides an updated and expanded space for Graphic Arts & Fine Arts programs, including lab space, classrooms, and studios. The Gallery hosts rotating exhibits throughout the year featuring the work of national and international artists as well as local high school and MACC student work. The Gallery is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 7AM to 8:30PM and on Friday from 7AM to 4PM.