Eleanor Balienson Heller 1918-2006
Born on March 28, 1918, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Eleanor Heller was the first Florida artist whose work was included in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Heller's education began at
Bryn Mawr College, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in 1939, and earned her Masters in 1941.
Her art career began in earnest in 1947 as a potter in New York City's Greenwich Village, where she lived with her husband Edward, an accountant and former jazz trumpter.
In 1955, Heller opened a studio near the artist's colony at Woodstock, N.Y., where she began working in ceramic sculpture, painting and drawing. She began exhibiting her work in galleries, and in 1962 she won the Woodstock Craftsman Guild Award.
She and her husband moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1969.
Eleanor Heller was a member of numerous professional art associations, taught at the Manatee Art Center, and lectured at the Ringling Museum.
She exhibited her work at the New Paltz Art Gallery State University of New York; Nonagon Art Gallery, New York City; Woodstock Craftsman's Guild, One Woman Show Bethelem Art Gallery, Vails Gate New York; Longboat Key Art Center, Sarasota, Florida; Sarasota Art Association Hang-Up Gallery, Sarasota, Florida; and a One Woman Show Ringling School of Art and Design, Selby Gallery, Sarasota, Florida.
In 1987 eight of Heller's works were included in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the achievements of women artists of all periods and nationalities.
In 1996, Heller's work of 2 ceramic pieces and 22 drawings were included in the permanent collection of Bryn Mawr College.
A documentary film of her life, "Eleanor Heller, the Artist, the Woman, A Journey of Discovery" was produced by Swain Film and Video of Sarasota, Florida.
Eleanor Heller's ceramics and paintings are in private collections throughout the United States.
Information courtesy of Michael Lacktman