Ralph Helmick obtained a BA in American Studies from the University of Michigan, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and received an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University, Medford, MA. Early in his career Helmick exhibited his work in several solo shows in Boston and New York, as well as in group exhibitions in museums throughout New England.
Among his many awards is a National Endowment for the Arts / New England Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous design honors for his public artwork. He has taught extensively at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and as a visiting artist at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and at colleges and universities in the Northeast.
Helmick and Schechter have been collaborating since 1994. A shared interest in the mechanics of visual perception, especially the consolidating properties of human vision, led the artists to the overarching concept for their first collaboration, Ghostwriter, an interior suspended sculpture for the Evanston, IL, Public Library. Since then the artists have developed a range of experimental approaches linked more by underlying esthetic principals than a signature style.