Helen Evans Phillips, 75
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Helen Evans Phillips died peacefully November 15, 2013 surrounded by loved ones. Her year-long battle with pancreatic cancer was difficult, but it never diminished her sweet and loving nature.
Helen was born April 18, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She leaves behind her daughter, Laura Phillips (Tom Frothingham) of Roland, AR; her beloved partner of many years, Royce Jones and his children Karen (James) Roberson of Mountain Home; Thomas Jones of White Hall; granddaughter Kennedy Satterfield of Mountain Home; nephews David Phillips (Karen) of Brooklyn, NY; Stephen Phillips of Washington, D.C.; Bobby Daniels of Hardy; nieces Susan Mullins (Wayne) of Hardy; Connie Hill (Gary) of Canton, Ohio; her cat, Miskit, and numerous other friends and family members.
Helen was an acclaimed ceramics artist and teacher for over 50 years with her work included in the permanent collections of the Mint Museum, Hendrix College, Arkansas Arts Center, the University of Central Arkansas, and the Gulf Coast Arts Center. Helen felt she was destined to be an artist and teacher from an early age. Her travels and studies in Okinawa, Japan, Germany, and Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa were especially influential on her art, allowing Helen to learn from both master artists and village potters. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Florida at Gainesville in 1976. The next year she joined the art faculty at the University of Central Arkansas and put down roots, retiring from there in 2001, after serving as a mentor and inspiration for generations of artists and students. Helen made both functional and sculptural ceramics, reflecting Asian and African traditions and informed by the natural world around her. Her work combined technical mastery with simplicity of form Symbolic content is found in Helen's forms, the material and her firing processes, in many ways reflecting her inner world in harmony with the natural world. For Helen, spirit was in the fire of the kiln and matter was her clay
Helen had more energy than most people half her age. After retiring from teaching, she and her partner Royce Jones purchased the historic high school complex at Bruno in Marion County, Arkansas. They undertook the ambitious project of renovating a classroom building into a home and pottery studio. The years that Helen spent in Bruno with Royce were the happiest years of her life.
A celebration of Helen's life will be held on December 8 from 1-4 PM at 3401 Foxcroft in Little Rock. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to CARE.
Helen's family would like to give special thanks to the dedicated staff of Hospice of the Ozarks, who took such good care of us all in her final days.
Arrangements are by Roller Funeral Home. Visit www.rollerfuneralhomes.com for an online guestbook.
Roller-Chenal Funeral Home
13801 Chenal Parkway Little Rock, AR 72211
Published in Baxter Bulletin on Nov. 20, 2013