2022 JUROR – Jessica Helfrecht, MINT
Jessica Helfrecht, MINT’s Artistic Executive Director, has over 25 years of experience in the arts and nonprofit sectors. Her experience ranges from opening retail gallery spaces for four organizations, to leading solid growth of audience and increasing art sales for existing organizations. Helfrecht has worked in curatorial and educational positions in national institutions such as the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the Northern Clay Center and Magic City Art Connection. Jessica opened Bare Hands Gallery in 1996 in Birmingham, and focused on exhibitions of local emerging artists. After running the gallery for five years, she sold it to a collector.
During Helfrecht’s tenure at MINT, she has drawn from years of experience in arts organizations to significantly elevate MINT’s exhibitions and programs. Exhibitions highlights since June of 2018 include: solo exhibitions by Kevin A. Williams / WAK, Jamaal Barber, Angela Davis Johnson, Hasani Sahlehe and Amanda Grae Platner’s Intimacy Performances. Highlighted group exhibitions include Dianna Settles, Gerald Lovell, & Jurell Cayetano, The High Rise Exhibition, InstallMINT, and the Leap Year Bash. She facilitated the creation and installation of the Who’s Behind the Bar events with Michi Meko, Jiha Moon and William Downs. Helfrecht created new programs and exhibitions for MINT such as the Curatorial Jury, Open Call for Proposals, Summer Invitational, MerriMINT and the Studio Artist programs.
Helfrecht has developed and elevated MINT’s internship program into a competitive process in which interns finish with a rigorous gallery experience where many move on to work with other prominent arts organizations such as Art Papers, Hambidge and the Atlanta Contemporary. During the pandemic, She pivoted to online programming and created online exhibitions and stores to support MINT’s family of artists. Additionally, Jessica is the Board Chair of Fly On A Wall Dance group and works with The Hambidge Center as a Curator and Auction Manager.