Originally from Southern California, Helena Starcevic currently resides in New York City. She initially studied fashion and fabric at FIT, then 18 years ago she began to work in clay. Her "day job" was as an RN until 2008.
Her interest in ceramics includes both functional and sculptural pieces. "I love a beautiful bowl, a large platter, the perfect vase and I am ever in search of a specifically utilitarian object; a salt cellar, a candle stick or condiment tray." Yet it is in sculpture that her ideas enjoy a greater freedom. As a child of the sixties, her influences include architecture and mid-century furniture, Branccusi, Calder, and Noguchi, artists whose simplest forms convey meaning. She is most interested in the shapes of things and how parts exist in space together.
An avid traveller, she has lived in Paris, travelled extensively in Europe and Latin America, and calls Mexico and the Southwest her soul’s home. “It was in campouts in the California desert as a teenager where I first came to appreciate the stark beauty in nature’s deceptively ‘barren’ landscapes. It is where the naked earth, the lone boulder and the long horizon came to comfort me.”
Besides participating in numerous group shows, Starcevic joined Australian photographer Roger Foley for the inaugural exhibit at Photo-Graphic Gallery in Soho. Her first solo exhibition was October 2015 at Five Points Gallery in Torrington, CT, a gallery that is making a huge impact in reviving their downtown and arts scene. Starcevic was featured in the “Emerging Artists” issue of Ceramics Monthly Magazine in May 2003, and again in the "Spotlight Column" in April 2014.
In 2008 she teamed up with Leigh Blake of “Keep A Child Alive” foundation to create their yearly awards. Her work is now in the private collections of President Bill Clinton, Bono, Sir Richard Branson and Queen Latifah and Oprah.
In fall of 2013, Starcevic began a 3-month residency at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City for which she conceived an installation based on and incorporating the interactions she anticipated having with museum visitors from around the world. Visitors were invited to share something deeply important to them and write it on tissue paper. These thoughts, desires, or stories were then enclosed within the clay pieces she was making. "Of course, the tissue burns out in the firing process but the 'thought' remains." In this ongoing project, the collection of pieces will represent the creation of a new, shared community, one full of possibility based on the depth of feelings shared. “When people share from the heart, especially with a stranger, both parties are transformed.” A new bond is formed between people.
This year, Starcevic will relinquish her teaching post at Greenwich House Pottery to pursue more time in her South Bronx studio and travel.