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Helmi Dagmar Juvonen

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Helmi Dagmar Juvonen

American, (1903–1985)

Born in Butte, Montana in 1903, Helmi Dagmar Juvonen moved with her family to Seattle, Washington at age 15. After graduating high school, Juvonen became a full-time student at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, where she studied illustration, puppetry, and printmaking. After graduating from Cornish, Juvonen struggled to support herself while doing small commissions and working for the Federal Arts Project. At the same time, she was disowned by her family for her decision to become an artist. Juvonen worked for Boeing during WWII, drafting mechanical drawings for the engineers. In 1934, Juvonen met the chief of the Lummi Native American tribe and was regularly invited to attend events, ceremonies, and rituals on the reservations. This connection with Native American culture inspired much of her artmaking, along with her lifelong interest in the spiritual practices of cultures around the world.

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