Artist CV

Louis Helbig

1-149 Patterson Ave, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1S 1Y4 (613) 263 0264

louis (at) helbig (dot) ca | twitter: @louishelbig | facebook: Louis Helbig | |

as of November 26, 2012


Professional Training

• 2007-2008 The Art of Inkjet Printmaking, School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO)

• 2007-2008 Photojournalism & Documentary Photography, SPAO

• 2006-2007 Photoshop (Introduction & Advanced), Algonquin College, Ottawa

• 1996-1997 Uppsala University, Sweden. Preliminary Ph.D. studies

• 1995-1996 London School of Economics. Master of Science, Economic History

• 1991-1995 McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Bachelor of Arts, Great Distinction: Political Science, Economics, & International Development


Professional Associations

• 2010-Present, Ontario Society of Artists, Elected Member

• 2009-Present, Arts Ottawa East, Member

• 2009-Present, Council for the Arts in Ottawa, Member

• 2008-Present, Working Creatives, Ottawa, Member


Exhibitions in Professional Visual Arts Venues

• Aug 2012, “From the Ground Up.” Orange Gallery, Ottawa, ON (group show)

• Feb-Apr 2012, “Beautiful Destruction – Winter Aerial Photographs of the Alberta Tar/Oil Sands.” Corridor and Chamber Galleries, Almonte, ON (solo show)

• Dec 2011-Jan 2012, “Ontario Society of Artists’ New Members Show.” John B. Aird Gallery, Queens Park, Toronto, ON (group show)

• June 2011, “Aerial Abstractions.” Jordan Art Gallery, Jordan, ON (solo show)

• May 2011, “Sunken Villages.” Canvas Gallery, Toronto, ON. Part of Toronto Contact Photography Festival (solo show)

• Mar-Apr 2011, “Confessions.” Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON (solo show)

• Jan-Mar 2011, “Aerial Abstractions.” Exposure Gallery, Ottawa, ON (solo show)

• July-Sept 2010, “Beautiful Destruction – Alberta Tar Sands Aerial Photographs.” Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON (solo show)

• Mar 2010, “Beautiful Destruction.” galleryDK, Toronto, ON (solo show)

• Dec 2009-Jan 2010, “Selected Aerials.” Snapdragon Gallery, Ottawa, ON (solo show)

• Nov 2009-Jan 2010, “5th Biannual International Juried Art Exhibit.” Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg, New York, USA (group show)

• July 2009, “Beautiful Destruction.” Arts & Architecture Gallery, Ottawa, ON (solo show)

• June-July 2009, “Selected Works.” Viva Vida Gallery, Pointe-Claire, QC (group show)

• Apr 2009, “Beautiful Destruction.” Saint Brigids Centre for the Arts & Humanities, Ottawa, ON. Part of the Ottawa International Writers’ Festival (solo show)

• May 2008, “Over and Under, Aerial & Underwater Photographs.” Red Wall Gallery, School of Photographic Arts Ottawa, ON (group show)




• Nov 2012, Export Development Canada, Ottawa, ON

o 4 images from the Sunken Villages Series, all 24x36in; Fallen Tree, 30x45in

• Feb 2012, Government of Ontario Art Collection, Toronto, ON

o Stelco Steel Mill One, 40x60in


• May 2011, Ronald McDonald House, Toronto, ON

o 42 images from various series of work, all 20x30in


Awards and Grants

• 2011, “Tom Thomson Trailblazer Award.” Ottawa Art Expo, Ontario (first repeat winner)

• 2010, “Honourable Mention Best Visual Arts Exhibit in Ottawa (‘Beautiful Destruction’ at Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery).” Express Ottawa, Ontario

• 2010, “Exhibition Assistance Grant” Ontario Arts Council

• 2009, “Tom Thomson Trailblazer Award.” Ottawa Art Expo, Ontario

• 2009, “Best Work on Paper (Printmaking & Photography).” Ottawa New Art Festival


Select Photo Essays and Written Articles

• Nov 2012, “Industry” photo essay. Boulder Pavement, Arts and Ideas, Issue 8, Banff Centre Press, Banff, AB

• Oct 2012, “Mother Earth’s Canvas as Seen From High Above” photo essay. Preston Catalogue No. 12 – Stripped, Ottawa, ON

• May 2012, “Sunken Villages” portfolio. Prefix Photo, Toronto

• May 2012, “The Lost Village of Aultsville on the Banks of the St Lawrence Seaway” photo essay and written article. OnSite Review 27 - Rural Urbanism, Calgary, AB.

• May 2012, “Oil Sands” photo essay. OnSite Review 27 - Rural Urbanism, Calgary, AB.

• Spring 2012, “Art Versus Mediocrity, Imagination Versus Fear: Can we take our Heads out of the Tar Sands and put them in the Classroom?” photo essay and written article. Journal for Activism in Science and Technology Education, 4(1).

• Apr 2012, “Beautiful Destruction,” photo essay.


Critical Reviews

• May 2012, “Louis Helbig: Aerial Photography, the Tar Sands & Imagined Landscapes.” Aurora Interviews with Leading Thinkers & Writers, Athabasca University, AB, Mike Gismondi

• Jan 27, 2011, “View from Above: Bush-pilot artist transforms landscapes into gorgeous abstractions.” Ottawa Citizen, Peter Simpson.


Select Media

• Sep 2012, “Bright Lights: Trendsetters.” Ottawa Style Magazine, Justyna Baraniecki

• Feb 10, 2012, “Evocative Images Captured from the Air.” Toronto Star, Ellen Moorhouse

• Nov 21, 2011, “Aerial Art: Louis Helbig.” CTV, Regional Contact documentary

• May 27, 2011, “A River runs over it: Photographer takes to the Skies to Uncover St. Lawrence's 'Lost' Villages.” National Post, 2-page spread, Angela Hickman

• May 5, 2011, Live interview about the Sunken Villages series. CBC Radio, Ontario Morning, host Wei Chen

• Feb 2011, "The Aerialist: Louis Helbig." Ottawa Magazine, The Interior Design Issue, Paul Gessell and Tony Fouhse

• Jan 21, 2011, Live interview about "Aerial Abstractions" at Exposure Gallery. CBC Radio One, Ottawa Morning, host Hallie Cotnam

• July 12, 2010, “Big Beautiful Photos Of Canada's Lucrative And Destructive Oil Sands.” Business Insider, New York, Isabelle Schafer

• May 19, 2010, “FREAK Shots: The Oil Sands, Freakonomics, the Hidden Side of Everything.” New York Times blog

• July 1, 2009, “CONTACTing the Public: Louis Helbig’s Beautiful Destruction.” FUTURÉALE Toronto Arts & Culture Magazine

• May 25, 2009, “A Photo a Day: Contact 2009.” Toronto Star, Murray Whyte


Select Publications, Film & Other Contributions

• Jan 2012, Screening of film/slideshow: “Beautiful Destruction – Alberta Tar Sands Aerial Photographs” with music by Johannes Welsch & Bill Chambers. Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Nevada City, CA

• 2011, “Near and Far” (Blurb). Anne Carlyle, Louis Helbig, Louise Tanguay and Guy Lavigueur. Matched pairs of photos for 80 rooms at Ronald McDonald House, Toronto

• 2011, “Pipedreams” (USA). Documentary film by Academy Award nominated director Leslie Iwerks. Still photo contributions.

• Aug/Sep 2011, Opening photo for “El Dorado North” article by Andrew Nikiforuk. Planning, Magazine of the American Planning Association

• Sep-Oct 2011, Opening photo for “Our Wicked Addiction,” by Stephen Bocking. Alternatives Journal, University of Waterloo

• 2010, “Case Study: Environment Canada has insufficient data to monitor oil sands development.” Inside photo. Fall Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Office of the Auditor General of Canada

• 2010, “Les sables bitumineux: la honte du Canada,” translation of “Tar Sands Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent” by Andrew Nikiforuk. Cover photo. Écosociété, Montreal

• 2010, “Powerful: Energy For Everyone,” full-length documentary film directed by David Chernushenko. Still photographs and speaking role on the tar sands and civil society

• July 2010, Opening photos for “Cleaning up the Oil Sands,” by Andrew Nikiforuk. Reader’s Digest

• 2009, “Dirty Oil,” full-length feature film directed by Leslie Iwerks. Narration by Neve Campbell. Still photographs

• Apr 2009, “Oil Sands Development: Health Risk Worth Taking?” by David Tenenbaum. Cover and inside photo. Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, USA.


Select Artist Talks & Presentations

• Nov 2012, “Sunken Villages: Canada’s Atlantis.” Lecture. Making History: Narratives and Collective Memory Lecture Series, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa

• April 2012, “Aerial Art by Louis Helbig,” Mississauga Camera Club, ON

• Mar 2012, “Sunken Villages in the St Lawrence.” Artist talk. Ontario Power Generation Visitors’ Centre, Cornwall, ON

• Jan 2012, “Louis Helbig on Aerial Art,” Latow Photographers’ Guild, Burlington, ON

• Mar 2011, “Confessions.” Lecture. Ottawa Art Gallery

• Mar 2011, “Art & Social Activism in the Classroom.” Joint lecture, University of Ottawa.

• Feb 2010, “Using Art to Engage Students in Contemporary Issues.” Lecture. Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Social Science Teachers Professional Conference

• Oct & Nov 2010, "Beautiful Destruction - Alberta Tar Sands Aerial Photographs." Toronto Camera Club, Ottawa RA Photo Club, Ottawa Mixed Media Artists. Lectures & slideshows.

• Sep 2010, "Beautiful Destruction - Alberta Tar Sands Aerial Photographs." Lecture. National Art Gallery, Ottawa: Art in View Lectures