Helen Opper is a contemporary art curator, consultant, and professor based in Oklahoma City. Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Helen studied art history at Vassar College and the University of California, Berkeley, and earned her M.A. in Museum Studies from New York University. After living and working in the contemporary art world in San Francisco and New York for several years, Helen moved back to OKC in 2015 and now travels often.
She has worked with important museums, galleries, advisors, appraisers, private collections, and more, and is available to consult on an array of services within the modern and contemporary fine art field. She specializes in curatorial work and artist advocacy; market research and art valuation; collections and database management; and art writing and editing. Her areas of art historical interest and scholarship include activist, feminist, and collective art practice; the downtown 1960s-‘90s New York art scene; avant garde exhibition history/theory; the California Finish Fetish movement; pre-modern South and Southeast Asian architecture; land art; street art; contemporary photography; and new media art.
Currently, Helen runs local gallery The Art Hall in OKC; is curating Oklahoma Contemporary’s ArtNow annual exhibition; consults for Shea Art Advisory, an advisory and appraisal firm based in New York and Los Angeles; and teaches Art Appreciation at OKC Community College. For a complete CV, get in touch.
Helen is an avid traveler and adventure seeker, Oklahoma State Fair prize-winning pound cake baker, old piano restorer, jewelry maker, lover of architecture, and animal-obsessor. She takes lots of pictures with her simple iPhone 6+. Visit my photography for unedited images from her own collection.
One of Helen’s goals is to work with artists traditionally underrepresented in the fine art world and to expand equal access to avenues to artistic success. She knows that art should respond to the complexities of contemporary culture, politics, and identity, and she embraces work that questions and defies the status quo and challenges the current world order.
MAKE ART MEAN SOMETHING!
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Inasmuch Foundation Gallery at Oklahoma City Community College
The Art Hall at the Rise, Oklahoma City
Land Run Commercial Real Estate, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, Oklahoma City
Hespe Gallery, San Francisco
Vivian Horan Fine Art, New York
Coleccíon Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York
Collection of Sigmund R. Balka, New York
Shea Art Advisory, Inc., New York/Los Angeles
ArtPlay, New York/Los Angeles
Cromwell Art, New York
Residency Unlimited, New York
The Wassaic Project, New York
To reach Helen:
“Lynda Benglis at the New Museum: Examining Curatorial Strategies of a Living Artist’s Retrospective,” Anamesa: An Interdisciplinary Journal, published by the John W. Draper Program at New York University, Spring 2012. Available for viewing/download here.
This Culture Will Not Be Taken For Granted! Group Material: The Artist Collaborative’s Curatorial and Exhibitionary Strategies, MA Thesis, Program in Museum Studies, New York University, April 2012.
The Times Square Show and the Creation of a New Exhibitionary Model, research paper for Exhibition History course at New York University, May 2011.
Carlos Cruz-Diez in Conversation with Ariel Jimenez, e-book organized by the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, 2010-2011.