Preserving the artist's heritage
Helen Mirkil
Sponsored by James A. Michener Art Museum
Zoriana Siokalo, Advisor
Judy Zipkin-Grasso, Docent
Karen Liebman, Docent
Gilbert Winner, Videographer 
Brian Peterson, Video Editor
Artist's Statement

My creativity is a gift. In part, it is driven by

a childhood need to be heard.

With art or poetry, I’m able to express things

that inspire and/or weigh on my soul. It doesn’t 

matter whether I am sitting inside a grove of trees, 

looking into the eyes of a friend, or admiring the 

grace of dying tulips. Beauty and depth are there

to be found.

There is an internal music that comes alive in me,

a sort of dance, when I’m painting or writing. 

Really, I think, before anything else, it’s a dance.

And this dance is a prayer of gratitude for new life

in the name of Jesus.

About the artist...

Helen Mirkil’s studio is in Lansdale, PA. She is an alumna of 

the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (BFA, ’88; MFA ‘94). In 1998 at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York, Mirkil had a solo exhibition of her expressionist landscapes. In 1999 she received the six-week Valerie Lamb Smith Painting Residency in Chester County, PA. In 2002-03, Mirkil’s large figurative paintings were shown at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art. This exhibition traveled to the University of Mary Washington Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA. 

Her painting “Dream Dance” was featured in the “Director’s Choice”

exhibition at the new Pfeiffer Wing at the Berman Museum of Art. In 2011, 

a solo exhibition of Mirkil’s narrative paintings, entitled “Hidden Stories,” 

took place at Montgomery County Community College. Also in 2011,

her work was included in “Ecstatic Landscape,” curated by Miriam Seidel.

In both the summers of 2009 & 2013, Mirkil’s work was juried into the 

National Midyear Exhibition at The Butler Institute of American Art. 

Mirkil has taught at Ursinus College, the Wayne Art Center, and also 

in Wales, U.K. (during a sculpture/teaching fellowship there). Helen Mirkil 

has served as Visiting Artist and lecturer at Chatham Hall, in VA; at the 

University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg, VA; and at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, NC.  

From 1989-93 Mirkil was Coordinator of Zone One Artists’ Cooperative in the Second St. Arts Building, Philadelphia. And as guest curator at the Berman Museum of Art, she conceived two major exhibitions, “The Expressionist Gesture,” and “In Her Voice: Self-Portraits by Women”.

Mirkil’s first book, Sower on the Cliffs, poems and drawings, was published in 2013, by BookArts Press and reviewed online and on the radio. She has given poetry readings in Philadelphia at the Green Line Café, Fergie’s Pub, and at Musehouse. Mirkil also read at the Norristown Arts building as a member of the poetry group Wordshop, as well as at the Alumni Gallery of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Mirkil’s work is in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in NYC, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, the Bryn Mawr College Library Collection, The James A. Michener Art Museum, the Villanova University Art Collection, the University of Mary Washington Galleries in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the Monmouth Comprehensive School in Wales, U.K., the Teaching Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Woodmere Art Museum. Mirkil’s paintings are represented by Santa Bannon Fine Art Gallery in Bethlehem, PA.