Mike Helbing is a sculptor living in Berwyn, Illinois. He has been making art since he could crawl. One of the themes underlying his work is a personal understanding of the human place in the natural order of things. That always gives him something to work on. There is no shortage of things to think about. Mike grew up in the Midwest with a short eye opener of a couple of years on the east coast in the New York area. Slated to be an engineer he attended Purdue University for three years. After spending a mind enriching and life changing tour of duty with the US Army in Vietnam with the 1st division and 26th infantry in head quarters company. This proved to be a life changing experience. War is like a crucible where elements of life are placed together and heated to incredible mental temperatures and the very assumptions and basis of existence are challenged, changed, rearranged and reconstructed. Life’s realities are changed forever and have to be rebuilt. When Mike rebuilt his world the artistic realist became a person that realized that for him life is an abstract construct and that the understanding of the forces that hold the conscious world together are a mental construct rather than an immutable fact. This realization has changed the course of Mike’s life from the what it would have been to what it has become; a search for personal truth and insight.Mike returned to the “World” and spent the better part of the next three years studying art at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. After graduation in 1973 the next twelve years he saw work as a waiter, potter, painter, sculptor, factory man, surveyor, sewer inspector, float builder, and government artist. With a partner, Mike ran an art job shop in Indianapolis for six years before moving to Chicago in the mid eighties. Mike got married to fellow artist Wendy Ritchey in 1986. In 1991 Mike graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Master in Fine Arts in sculpture. 1992 saw Helbing receive a Fellowship from the State of Illinois Art Council. He continued participating in shows and exhibitions regionally and in Canada. In 1995 Mike began to work with Richard Hunt and moved into the position of vice president at Sculptural Services. In this capacity he was in charge of production and installation of large sculptures including works for Richard Hunt at Meijer Sculpture Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a fifty-five foot high stainless steel sculpture at St Joseph, Michigan, sculptures in Springfield Village Park, located in Augusta, Georgia, and at Midway airport in Chicago, Illinois. During this time Mike forged ahead with his own work installing public sculptures in Hutchinson, Kansas, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Quebec, Canada. He continues to consult with other artists to help them realize their works. Mike has served on granting boards and on advisory groups. Mike has been very involved with the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum as a member artist, chairman of the board and as curator and is the chair of the committee that is looking to raise the funding to relocate the museum. The National Veterans Art Museum changed its name and has broadened it mission and now includes art of all our nations veterans. He is still married to Wendy Ritchey, the beautiful, fabulous, vivacious, sexy, painter/art therapist with whom he shares a house, two children, Joseph and Florence, and a cat named Ralph.