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Columbia College Chicago
Helena Chapellin Wilson

Helena Chapellin Wilson

Helena Chapellin Wilson is a designer and fine art photographer. She received her baccalaureate degree with a major in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 1976, after having completed her architectural studies in Caracas, Venezuela and studies in art history in Italy.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, she came to the United States in 1971. In her native Caracas, she designed many noted corporate headquarters and private residences, and was chief interior architect and designer for the massive renovation of the presidential palace, La Casona, the presidential yacht and summer residence. In Chicago, she is credited with the massive project to rehabilitate and redesign more than 100 public schools during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Her fine art photography is included in important private collections, and in the public collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, International Center of Photography, the Illinois State Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, LaSalle National Bank, the National Gallery of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, among others. One-woman exhibitions of her work were held at the Galeria de Arte Nacional (The National Gallery of Art) in Caracas (1990), The Art Center in Hargate at the St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire (1993), the Rachel Adler Gallery in New York (1994), reviewed in Art in America, (August 1994), and the group shows Illinois Photographers in the 90s: The Midwest Photographers Project (1996), Portraits: An Examination of Identity (1996), both at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and American Photographers - Recent Acquisitions at The Art Institute of Chicago (1993). She is listed in Who's Who in American Art.

Until 1995, she served on the exhibition panel for Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs. Currently she serves on the acquisition committee of The Museum of Contemporary Photography and until 2011 on the Committee on Photography at The Art Institute of Chicago. She has been active in Columbia College Chicago's alumni affairs for over 40 years.

She lives in the South Loop. Her husband, Clarence, was an attorney who concentrated his practice in intellectual property, commercial, and international law, and was a United States diplomat in Caracas when they met in 1969. He is now retired due to a serious brain illness.