Helena Baka is best known for her colorful, abstract paintings that often portray the dual themes of recognizable figuration and fantasy, as well as her rudimentary ceramic pieces. A first-generation daughter to Albanian immigrants, Helena’s work is inspired by the distance she’s felt toward her culture in her childhood and the complicated impact it’s had on her identity in adulthood, as well as themes of femininity, girlhood, and the grotesque. Along with ceramics, the mediums she uses range from acrylic and oil paint to chalk and oil pastels to communicate the complexity of the figures and personal symbolism in her work. Helena received her BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2021 and currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is the co-founder of Sponge Magazine, a digital and printed publication for women, non-binary, LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC artists.
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. 2021 B.F.A. , New Studio Practice.
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2021 - Var Gallery, "Harmony / Dissonance," Milwaukee, WI
2021 - Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, "MIAD Senior Thesis Exhibition 2021," Milwaukee, WI
2021 - Yours Truly Studio, "Grilled Cheese Grant 2021," Milwaukee, WI
2021 - Woman Made Gallery, "4th Midwest Open," Chicago, IL
2020 - Between Two Galleries, "meeting in between pillars," Milwaukee, WI
2020 - Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, “Junior Stew,” Milwaukee, WI
2018 - Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, “Singularity & Multiplicity: Ritual,” Milwaukee, WI
2021 - Co-founder of online publication, "Sponge Magazine"
2020 - Part-time teacher’s assistant at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
Publications & Media:
Artdose Magazine, Vol 31. pages
"Take a stroll and enjoy the art of the 2021 Grilled Cheese Grant finalists," 88 Nine Radio Milwaukee. April 2021
"Artist Feature: Helena Baka." Interview with Les Femmes Folles. January 2021.
"issue #9: horror." Grain of Salt Magazine. October 2020.
Plum Blossom Initiative Member. Milwaukee, WI. 2021
2nd Place Finalist for Grilled Cheese Grant. Milwaukee, WI. 2021