Helaine Sawilowsky is a visual artist who enjoys capturing the essence of a subject in a fresh and emotive way. Her artwork tells a story. And the story has an impact on the viewer—sparking ideas, thoughts, memories, feelings. She enjoys engaging herself with her favorite medium—acrylic paint, adding layers and making alterations until the final result unfolds.
Helaine was influenced by her Jewish upbringing—by her father, a reform rabbi and her mother, a devoted wife and mother. Her father’s teachings made a major impression on her. She experienced anti-Semitism firsthand as a young child, with the bombing of her father’s congregational temple in Mississippi during the civil rights era. Years later, in college, Helaine studied drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery, ceramics, and metalwork at Memphis Academy of Fine Art. She learned medica illustration at the University of Georgia, as well as, graphic art at Atlanta Institute of Design.
Helaine worked in the non-profit sector as an art instructor in Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC, inspiring students of all ages—many of whom at-risk, to unleash the imagination and express themselves in a unique and visual way. Helaine was recognized for her excellence in visual arts instruction while on the faculty at Community School of the Arts in Charlotte, which won a major grant from Al Roker’s team from NBC’s Today Show for teaching music and visual arts to underserved children.
Helaine has exhibited her work in group shows and festivals in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. She has produced paintings on commission for private buyers, as well, freelance graphic work for various businesses, including Wilson Sporting Goods.
Helaine discovered in 2018 that she is related, through her paternal great, great grandfather, to Anne Frank. This new familial connection engendered a wave of emotions, culminating in Helaine’s producing a series of artwork in honor of Anne. Helaine now lives with her family in Baltimore. She embraces modern orthodox Judaism and draws strength from its tenets. Helaine enjoys connecting to people via social media sites, including Facebook, J-Artist, Holocaust Social Archives (HSA), and Annelies Marie Frank.
Range of Work
Acrylic paintings, drawings, portraits, and landscapes. Favorite subject matter: Judaic art, Anne Frank, Holocaust, Jerusalem, prayer, weddings, and famous people.