Helen Juliet Atkins is an interdisciplinary artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received a BA in Studio Arts from the University of New Mexico in 2016. Her studio practice, public works, and community engaged projects often focus on the intersection of art and social justice. Atkins is a 2018 recipient of the inaugural Women in Creativity “Shine” Award, which honors creative women and their community impact. She is a co-founder of Plates Against Patriarchy, a visual arts and storytelling project that challenges patriarchal systems of power. Atkins currently serves on the Albuquerque Museum Board of Trustees. While working on collaborative projects, she is also building a body of work that explores notions of experience and identity; this work has been shown in galleries nationally and internationally.
My creative work is motivated by a desire to explore identity, both introspectively and communally. As an interdisciplinary artist, the common thread running through my paintings, sculptures, and community-based projects is its human focus. My work explores the symbiotic nature between individuals and their communities, especially how one’s sense of self is affected by culture. I am attracted to the presence of contradiction in identity, therefore, my work aims to compose opposing forces harmoniously and in various media. I juxtapose notions of femininity and strength, divinity and normalcy, beauty and the mundane to not only reconcile my own contradictions, but to question societal notions of race, gender, and beauty. Throughout my career, I have been deeply involved in community engaged practices. While much of the art world can be inaccessible and whitewashed, I find that socially engaged art creates communities where I, an artist of color, feel welcomed. I am continually interested in engaging with communities that disrupt white-patriarchal norms and share my work to that end.
2019 Body Memory , Red Door Brewing Downtown, Albuquerque New Mexico, (solo)
2019 Birdge: Arts & Social Justice Exhibition "Plates Against Patriarchy", the Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque New Mexico (solo)
2019 "Lady's Club" A Room For Ones Own, birds + Richard, Berlin, Germany (group)
2018 “Surface" Emerging Artist of New Mexico, the Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM (group)
"Unidos" outdoor steel sculpture made in collaboration with Ryan Henel and the Harwood Art Center Apprenticeship Team, Mesa Verde Park, Albuquerque New Mexico, 2019
"Giver of Water, Essence of Life" ceramic mosaic mural, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Art Institute, Albuquerque Convention Center West Building Exterior, 2015
National Hispanic Cultural Center History Festival in conjunction with the temporary mural “Hidden Histories” 2020