Bruce Helander, who has served as exhibitions curator for ArtHouse429 during the last two seasons, was recently inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. The award was presented by Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott during a ceremony in the state capitol of Tallahassee. The other 2014 inductee was celebrated recording artist, Tom Petty, who was a long time resident of Gainesville. Established in 1986, the Florida Artists Hall of Fame is the highest and most prestigious cultural honor bestowed by the State of Florida.
A bronze plaque was installed permanently in the State House, honoring Helander and the national stature and professional achievements that the artist has accomplished during his thirty-year residency in West Palm Beach. Other prominent former inductees are artists Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Duane Hanson; performers Jimmy Buffett, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, and Gloria Estefan; and writers Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, among others. Helander is only the third individual from West Palm Beach to win the award; the others were Ralph Norton and Laura Woodward. Helander is the only former resident of the town of Palm Beach to win this prize.
In conjunction with this honor the Mayor of West Palm Beach will proclaim March 31, 2014 as “Bruce Helander Day,” and will present Helander with the Key to the City in a ceremony at the City Council chambers in City Hall at 5:00 p.m. ArtHouse429 cordially invites the community to attend the event, which is open to the public.
In addition to Helander’s work as a curator, he has maintained an international reputation as a collage and assemblage artist, and whose work is represented in more than fifty museum permanent collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as others. Helander also is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and has written numerous books, including Learning to See, and most recently wrote the essay “Quantum Leapus” for painter Hunt Slonem’s book Bunnies, published by Glitterati.
Photograph (left to right) Chairman of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture Glenn Lochrie, State of Florida First Lady Ann Scott, Florida Artists Hall of Fame 2014 inductee Bruce Helander, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.