Helena Vallee Dallaire

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Helena Vallee Dallaire

Aged 23

New York Academy of Art

Instructor(s): Dan Thompson, Michael Grimaldi, Wade Schuman

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  • Artworks

Portrait of C

Graphite on paper

55.88 x 45.72 cms (22 x 18 ins)


Graphite on paper

22.86 x 15.24 cms (9 x 6 ins)

Playing with dolls

Oil on linen

91.44 x 121.92 cms (36 x 48 ins)


Graphite on paper

30.48 x 22.86 cms (12 x 9 ins)

You Always Break the Things You Touch

Oil on canvas

91.44 x 45.72 cms (36 x 18 ins)


Oil on linen

91.44 x 66.04 cms (36 x 26 ins)

Ames soeurs (detail)

Oil on linen

91.44 x 121.92 cms (36 x 48 ins)

It Takes a Woman

Oil on canvas

50.8 x 76.2 cms (20 x 30 ins)

I have studied figurative drawing and painting full-time since 2012, in many different institutions. The more I learned, the more passionate I became. Art is what I want to dedicate my life to. 


My reason for changing schools was partly due to financial limitations ( depending from year to year on the possibility of scholarships and grants) but as I result I have learnt enormously from this constant change. I adopted from each school a different piece of puzzle, naturally through a personal inclination and understanding of what I wished my art to become.I am incredibly grateful to every artist I had the honour of studying with; each new way of working that I was exposed to embraced a distinct philosophy, a distinct process, but all of them were linked by a great passion for the history and beauty of the representational tradition. Each teacher helped me realize just how much I still have to learn. 


And this is why I am writing you today. My young educational journey has led me to the New York Academy of Art, where technique meets concept, and where I could have access to the help, knowledge and human resources to push my art forward, both in quality of rendition and refinement of ideas. This school is exceptional in teaching composition and perspective, two essential subjects I have never fully explored. My second year at this institution would make it possible for me to work in my own studio space, regularly critiqued and taught by master figurative artists such as Dan Thompson, Michael Grimaldi, and Steven Assael. It is an incredible opportunity, and I know I am ready to push my art forward by nourishing it in all the subtle ways that I have yet to learn. 



After this next year of full-time studies, I wish to better my abilities in sculpture, to further inform my drawings and paintings. I then wish to study color theory a little more, and soon start teaching as an assistant in New York. I have already started giving drawing workshops at the Montreal Botanical Gardens, and loved it; teaching is something I truly love doing, and I found myself learning even more about drawing from the experience of trying to explain it.  Furthermore, in my long-term career goals, I wish to involve myself in making traditional art more accessible and present in people’s daily life. I believe in representational art’s potential for increasing our knowledge of not only the world that surrounds us, but our knowledge of ourselves and others as well. It encourages contemplation and links us with the past : it is a way to slow down time and connect with the culture and place we come from.  In the past year, I have participated in New Fundamentals: Leadership for the Creative Ecology, hosted by the Banff Centre.This program united 30 leaders in the art industry from across Canada and the US, in a discussion around what ecology in the arts sectors meant, and how to enrich the industry with new inclusive, community-oriented and multi-disciplinary approaches. Among this group, I was a voice for traditional painting practices. I oriented my efforts and discourse on how to find creative ways for more people to become involved with the  traditional process of painting, (through its creative, social, historical, material or philosophical aspects)  and interact with its legacy in ways that can enrich everyday life. 


  • New York Academy of Art, MFA Candidate 2018
  • Grand Central Atelier, New York City, 2014-2016
  • Angel Academy of Art, Italy, 2012-2013
  • Studio Escalier, France, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • The Art Students League of New York, 2011
  • Modern Languages studies with Honours, Dawson College, Montreal, 2011                                  (intensive studies in First Language French, second language English, third and fourth languages Italian and Spanish) 


Awards and residencies

  • Central School of Fine Arts (CAFA) Residency, Beijing, China, 2017
  • Second Prize, Figureworks, Ottawa 2016 (Canadian contest for figurative art)
  • Academy Scholar Award, New York Academy of Art, 2016
  • Peter Lougheed Leadership Scholarship, New Fundamentals: Leadership for the Creative Ecology, The Banff Centre, 2016
  • The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, 2015
  • Money For Women: Barbra Deming Memorial Fund, 2015 (Grant for Feminist Art, awarded for The Marrying Kind series)
  • Jeunes artistes en art visuel des Laurentides, Musée d'Art Contemporain des Laurentides et Atelier de l'Île de Val-David,  2014 (Grant in Printmaking from the Laurentians Museum of Contemporary Art)
  • Waterway Fellowship for Artistic Merit, Studio Escalier, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, 2013
  • The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, 2012


Exhibitions (selected)

  • Réalisme Contemporain, Galerie René-Blain, Brossard, 2017
  • Passport to Paradise, Cynwyd Club, Philadelphia, 2017                                                                       
  • TriBeCa Ball, New York Academy of Art, New York, 2017                                                                                            
  • Deck the Walls, New York Academy of Art, New York, 2016                                                                               
  • Figureworks 2016, Saint-Brigid's Centre of the Arts, Ottawa, 2016                                                           
  • Wrap Me Up: Winter Small Works Show, Eleventh Street Arts, New York, 2016                                          
  • Why The @#&! Do You Paint? Go Figure, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, 2016                                
  • Possibilités: Art et Économie, SAT, Forum Mondial d'Économie Sociale, et MAI, Forum Social Mondial, Montréal 2016 (as artist and curator)                                                                                                                                                   
  • Réalisme Contemporain, Salle Alphonse-Desjardins, Mont-Tremblant, 2016 (solo)                               
  • Bonnes à Marier, Maison de la Culture Villebon, Beloeil, 2015 (solo)                                                      
  • Revival : End of Year Show, Grand Central Atelier, New York, 2015                                                    
  • Génération d’Idées, SAT (Société des Arts Technologiques), Montréal, 2014                                                           
  • À l’intérieur du cabinet de curiosités, Artothèque, Montréal, 2013                                                         
  • Collison, Artspace, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, 2011 



Teaching experience : Traduire la nature drawing workshop at the Montreal Botanical Garden, summer 2016.  Private drawing classes, 2016. 



Work featured in public and private collections across North America