The print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1977-1989, January 19, 1983, Page 5, Image 5

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    Alumni Art Show
Works of sculp­
graphic and ceramics
are currently on
Clackamas Communi­
ty College Pauling
Center Lobby until
Jan. 21.
Steve Sandstrom,
J.D. Perkins, Sylvia
Dobbes, Jerry Up­
church and Patrick
Helean are among
some of the artists
showing work.
MOON CHILD by Margret Short.
THE GUARDMAN by Gary Berry. Staff photos by Joel Miller
Captain Gizmo amongst displays at Pauling Center
By J. Dana Haynes
Of The Print
The Pauling Science
Center has attracted many in­
teresting visitors in its two year
existence, including Governor
Victor Atiyeh and its
namesake, nobel laureate Dr.
Linus Pauling.
And now, Captain Gizmo.
The Captain is the brain­
child (or rather, brainmouse) of
artist Patrick Helean, and is
one of the exhibits comprising
the Alumni Art Show in the
Pauling Center.
Helean, who attended
Clackamas Community Col­
lege in 1971-72, is the
quintessential starving artist.
He lives in Oregon City and
makes his living sweeping
floors. He hires himself out to
companies in the area as a
janitor. When asked, if he
would like to make his living by
selling his art, Helean shrugs
and says, “It would be nice.”
Captain Gizmo, the
character in Helean’s exhibited
works, is a space suit bedecked
mouse; “A cross between Flash
Gordon and Mighty Mouse,”
the artist said. “Captain Gizmo
is sort of my alter ego.”
Helean’s work is decidedly
surreal, and seems to find its in­
spiration in several sources.
Helean is a fan of the burgeon­
ing underground and “pre-pro”
comic book industry, which has
produced such magazines as
“Heavy Metal,” and presented
such artists as Frank Frazetta
and Richard Corben.
Helean also likes the
“CAPTAIN GIZMO IS sort of my alter ego,” remarked Patrick Helean.
works of surrealist artists such
as Salvador Dali and Robert
Nelson, whose work is on
display in the Community
Center Mall (You may have
noticed his cats in flight jackets
and cosmic frogs).
“BURSHEIM AND JOHN helped me a great deal. I gained
a lot of knowledge from them,” commented alumnus ar­
tist Patrick Helean.
Staff photo by Brett Bigham
Wednesday January 19, 1983
Nelson is a friend of Norm
Bursheim, chairperson of the
College’s art department. Bur­
sheim also had a heavy in­
fluence on Helean’s work, as
did College art instructor
Léland John.
“I feel fortunate that I took
my undergraduate work at the
College,” Helean said. “Bur­
sheim and John helped me a
great deal. I gained a lot of
knowledge from them, and
they’ve been very important to
me.” .
From Clackamas Com­
munity, Helean went on to the
Museum Art School, now
Pacific Northwest College of
Art. He stayed with the school,
which is an extension of the
Portland Art Museum, for four
years, but returned to the Col­
lege regularly to talk to and
study with Bursheim and John.
Helean’s Captain Gizmo
work runs the gamut from crisp
pen-and-ink to vibrant water­
color and acrylic. “Both styles
have their good points,” he ex­
plained. “Pen-and-ink is a
more simple medium. It’s not
as time consuming as the
other. But you can get richer
results with color.”
Helean does not ex­
aggerate when he refers to
“time consuming.” He
estimates that one watercolor
Captain Gizmo piece took 250
hours of work.
The good Captain is not
the only strange character lurk­
ing in Helean’s mind. “I’m go­
ing to wrap up the Captain Giz­
mo stuff,” he said. “I have a
character I’m working on called
the Master Timekeeper. He’s a
robot made of alarm clocks.”
Helean explained that,
shortly after the development
of the atomic bomb, a group of
scientists invented an im­
aginary doomsday clock upon
which midnight represented
the nuclear apocalypse.
“In the piece I’m working
on now, entitled ‘The Dooms­
day Clock,’ the Master
Timekeeper is in charge of the
clock, which reads four
minutes until midnight.”
Although Helean’s work
seems science fiction oriented,
and he is an admitted fan of
that genre of literature, the ar­
tist prefers to think of his pieces
as science fantasy. However,
he does toy with the idea of
replacing pen-and-ink with ink
pen and writing some science
fiction. “It’s something I’ve
always wanted to do,” he said.
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