Artist, teacher, and arts advocate – Helen Griffin currently works in her studio located in Durham, North Carolina. In 1970, at the height of her anti-war teach-in organizing and demonstrating, she managed to be awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts with high distinction in printmaking and painting from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.
Fast forward to June 2011 – she concluded twenty years as a visual arts teacher at Riverside High School and immediately began a quest to mount an exhibit of current and former students’ artwork. Craven Allen House of Frames and Gallery generously extended the invitation for the exhibit, “Under 35”, named one of the year’s top ten exhibits by Blue Greenberg, Durham Herald- Sun arts columnist.
Encouraged by Linwood Hart, exceptional artist and former Craven Allen custom framer, (everyone benefits from a mentor) she also began the daily discipline of working and producing her own artwork, a luxury available after retiring from full time teaching. Further challenged, she applied for and was selected as the 2011-12 Durham Art Guild Golden Belt Artist-in-Residence. The grant provided a studio space where she was surrounded by a diverse, talented community of artists and further inspired to hone her craft and vision.
“Progress, not perfection” and “When your horse dies, get off” – are core beliefs and help Helen keep things in perspective.