Wisconsin Artist Rebekah Helsius Designs and Paints Lake Union Oshkosh Camporee Lighthouse

Wisconsin Artist Rebekah Helsius Designs and Paints Lake Union Oshkosh Camporee Lighthouse

Rebekah Helsius knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue art as a profession. “I didn’t know where that was going to lead. But I did know God would have some sort of plan for me and that, wherever I ended up, He would use my talents for His work.”

After graduating from Andrews University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, she spent four years working various part-time jobs while working in her studio and creating artistic projects for the Wisconsin Conference. During that time, she also participated in art projects in the Middle East. At the end of 2013, Rebekah moved to Lebanon to work full-time as an artist, designing murals and assisting in coordinating community improvement projects. Her designs included murals for walls sometimes up to 600 feet in length, staircases and public spaces in many countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

At the end of 2017, Rebekah returned to the United States and has been doing freelance work. She is currently working on projects for the Wisconsin and the Lake Union conferences to be used at the upcoming Oshkosh Camporee. She is designing and painting a 27-foot-high lighthouse, each side of the structure will represent a different conference within the Lake Union. The sides of the lighthouse will show depictions of Pathfinders in various activities such as camping, various forms of outreach, marching in parades, induction, and Pathfinder Bible Experience. The project is being done in collaboration with her stepfather, Elgin Ziesmer, who is building the structure. They are designing the lighthouse so that it can be disassembled, stored, and reused at future events. “I find it interesting that the Great Lakes have more lighthouses on their shores than anywhere else in the United States, so it seemed a very fitting entrance for the Lake Union. And I love the symbolism of the lighthouse as both a beacon warning of the existence of danger and signaling a safe harbor.”

Rebekah, 32, has been doing artistic projects for the Wisconsin Conference since the Faith on Fire Camporee, at which time she was still attending Wisconsin Academy. She says her passion for working with Pathfinders comes from her childhood experiences. “I was fortunate to have a home church with an active club lead by dedicated and involved adults, including my parents. Because of those positive experiences, and the way in which I’ve benefitted from them, I want to give back to young people currently involved and help promote the ministry as an area coordinator and an artist.”

by Leah Westfall, a native of Wisconsin, Communication professor, and Michigan-based freelance writer