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Meeting ID: 816 6107 0026
Phone: +16465588656 US (New York)
This talk will focus on the ways in which spirituality and art intersect with one another in the work of artist Helena Domenic. She will discuss how study of the Tarot and Qabala have influenced her art and life, and how she uses these modalities in working with her community.
Helena Domenic’s work is about exploring the places between and apart from ordinary reality. She loves mythology, symbolism, and iconography and her art is a means to find her own symbolic language. She is often exploring the realm of dreams and the subconscious, and oftimes her paintings seem to develop their own will as she creates them; she often feels guided by something beyond herself.
Helena was born in Vicenza, Italy and began making art from the time she could hold a pencil in her hands. Her father was with the United States Army Corp of Engineers and was helping to rebuild an Italian town covered by a mudslide at the time of her birth. This fortunate circumstance allowed her to be exposed to many great works of art of the Renaissance from a very young age. Additionally, her brother was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and this multicultural, global perspective would remain with her for the rest of her life. Her mother said she was destined to be an artist.
Helena is interested in ritual and the nexus between ritual and art. Many of her works – from watercolors to acrylics to mixed media works explore acts of transformation, from one state to another. Sacred spaces, too, are important – liminal places where one may experience transformation from one state, or one place, to another. She loves exploring mythology and the stories of beings who transform their lives and the lives of others.
Helena is also an educator. She has been teaching in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education for nearly twenty years now. She sees teaching as a calling, a vocation, a means for helping others go from one place to another. Through education, we transform ourselves; her students teach her as much as she teaches them, she feels that perhaps she has the better end of that deal. Studying and teaching the history of art – both western and African art – reminds her of her own place in the cosmos, and of how context and perception shape our experiences of art.
She enjoys working with a variety of media including acrylics, watercolors, clay, beads, and found objects. She enjoys employing whatever items she may find into an artwork as adornment, enhancement, and a way to further my message. She has long been fascinated with medieval and Renaissance altarpieces and the multiple panels displaying different parts of a story or theme, and she has brought that fascination into her own work.
Helena is currently an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Kutztown, she was an Associate Professor of Art History and Studio Art at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, both institutions are part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. She holds a BFA from Kutztown University, an MA in Art Education from The University of the Arts, and an MFA from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. She was recently accepted into Cherry Hill Seminary, an online seminary centered in South Carolina for a certificate in Spiritual Direction.
Helena is interested in and collects African Art in addition to her other interests. She lectures regularly at conferences about art and the sacred, painting, and installation at both academic and healing arts venues. Her interests include antiquities from all cultures, African and Nubian studies in particular. Her art is influenced by artists such as Leonor Fini, Leonora Carrington, Jimoh Biramoe, El Anatsui, Bettye and Alison Saar, and Agnes Pelton.
Helena’s book, An Illuminated Guide to Wicca was released by Schiffer in April of 2022, and is enjoying great sales. She has also created a Tarot deck and book, The Fellowship of the Fool Tarot, a Lenormand oracle, and a rune oracle deck. She is currently at work on a new book about Qabala and Tarot that will include a new Qabala based Tarot deck. In her spare time, she enjoys studying Tarot and Qabala, and running a local Earth Spirituality meetup. Helena currently lives in Exton, PA with her husband Sean and their two ornery kitties.
She is interested in studying how the current Technological Revolution is much like the Industrial Revolution, and fascinated by the way in which artists respond to these changes. She often feels as though she is rebelling against the Technological Age through her work. She is interested in forms that are more organic, in processes that are done by hand.
Helena feels this way about what we are currently facing in the world:
“We live in perilous times. Each day the news is filled with horrors that should be unspeakable. I am speechless when faced with these terrors being experienced by people all over the world, and by the frightening prospect of what the future may hold. Art is a bridge that allows us to cross gaps we might not have anticipated, helps us to contend with whatever the world may throw our way. Art helps us to speak the unspeakable, to heal the wounds of individuals and cultures. Art is essential.
I believe in art and in the power of art.”