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She received a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from California State University (1972). Helen Bar-Lev moved to Israel in 1973. She studied art at New York University and Cooper Union in New York and with Professor Yosef Hirsch in Jerusalem.
Helen Bar-Lev started to participate in exhibitions in 1976 and since then held over ninety exhibitions of her landscape paintings, thirty-four of which were one-woman shows in Israel, Paris, London, The Hague, the USA, and more. She has also published eight collections of poetry to date, all illustrated by Helen herself.
From 1989-2001 Helen Bar-Lev lived in the Artists’ Colony in Safed where she had a permanent exhibition in her home. She returned to Jerusalem in 2001.
The Israel Museum, former mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, and numerous private collections worldwide have acquired her paintings and prints. Helen Bar-Lev self-published a book of her paintings of animals and poems she wrote about them in 2004 for an exhibition at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.
She conceived and curated the Homage to Yosef Hirsch exhibition in 2002-2003, which was shown in 3 venues in Israel and included 53 artists, all former students of Yosef Hirsch’s.
Helen Bar-Lev is the global correspondent in Israel for the Poetry Bridge and Editor-in-Chief of the Voices Israel annual anthology. Since 2007 she has been painting exclusively using colored pencils and various artist pens.
Helen Bar-Lev is a member of Israel Painters and Sculptors Association and Voices Israel.