Vicky Helms

I Just Remember Feeling Joy in Remembering
7″x5″; paper collage; 2018

Vicky Helms
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA


Life is an artistic adventure! Artists have the gift of seeing ideas and possibilities in even the most mundane things, a blessing and a curse at times. I’ve finally made peace with myself with the realization that I keep doing art because I HAVE to. It’s an obsession, an ongoing therapy, an emotional release–the CALM in my storms.

My latest venture, for the past year, has been collages. I respect digital artists of course, having been a graphic artist most of my working life. But the physical purity of cutting apart (uncopyrighted) images, placing and gluing them into an intriguing composition, thrills me. Like an ongoing, enigmatic puzzle to be solved. It’s not as easy as it looks!

As a mixed media artist I use any object in my pieces–rusty washers, cracked records, blurred photo transfers or pieces I pick up on walks. I like to tell stories, make snarky social comments on issues important to me. The collages, often including metal objects from old clocks, typewriters or radios I take apart, represent an anxious proclivity to bond with technology, to participate in some metaphysical way. Yes, I can draw birds, trees, eagles, etc. But including objects in my art fulfills a craving for texture, touching, indulging my tactile obsessions. I’ve been creating art with metal items for 20+ years BEFORE it was labeled Steampunk!

For 13 years I exhibited at a gallery in Algoma, Wisconsin called The Flying Pig, a shop that billed itself as selling “outsider/edgy art”. Though they closed a couple of years ago, I sold 300+ chairs and tables, and other obsessions I’ve had over the years (hats, Steampunk cuffs, etc.).

Klee, Modigliani, Miro, Picasso: all the abstract/contemporary artists inspired me with their bold lines, color and spontaneous and surrealist expression. It has taken me several years to develop my own style and it’s still constantly changing, though people say they can “tell” my style. I believe it’s important for everyone to realize and exercise his or her own creativity. You’re only limited by your imagination.


Vicky Helms has shown her work extensively throughout Wisconsin since the early 1990s. She was juried into the Wausau Festival of Arts in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Among her awards are Award for Most Unique Art at the 1992 Shawano Art & Craft Fair and First Place Award for Most Unusual Elements in 2006 at the Fairfield Contemporary Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay. She has been showing at the Reaching New Heights Gallery at the Marshfield Clinic in Weston Center since 2016.


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Getting Closer to Bosch
16″x12″; paper collage; 2017
I Just Remember We Were Dancing Under the Crisp Blue Moon
5″x7″; paper collage; 2018
Rockiness Ahead
16″x12″; paper collage, oil pastels, acrylic; 2018
Strange Times
7″x5″; paper collage; 2018