Heather Becker, Chief Executive Officer

Heather Becker

Heather Becker is an artist, author, and entrepreneur. She studied painting and art history on scholarship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the International School of Art in Italy. She has exhibited her figurative oil paintings nationally and in Europe for over two decades. As an extension of her painting career, she went into the field of art preservation. In 1989 she developed a national business plan for The Conservation Center, Inc.

The company has become the largest private art conservation facilities in the country. Becker purchased The Center from the founder in August 2003. In an effort to bring art back into public education, Becker co-founded the largest mural preservation project in the country’s history, restoring hundreds of early twentieth century murals in Chicago. She is also the co-founder of New Deal Preservation Association-Midwest Chapter, a non-for-profit organization which records and preserves works from the New Deal Era.

After years of research, Becker authored a book on Chicago murals and art preservation entitled, Art for the People (Chronicle Books) in 2004. In addition to her passion for writing, Becker has educated various industries and audiences on the technological advancement of art conservation and the preservation of historical works of art throughout the country.  She has spoken at venues such as The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Art Basel  Miami, and Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS).

In 2004 Becker was awarded “Small Business Person of the Year” for the State of Illinois by the Small Business Association (SBA). In 2006 she was elected to the Board of The Chicago Network. In 2007 The Conservation Center was awarded the “Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence” by the City of Chicago.

Becker exhibits her figurative oil paintings and drawings at Zolla Lieberman Gallery in Chicago. She has studied the ancient practice of Ashtanga yoga for the last seven years. For nearly a decade Becker has volunteered for Operation Sunrise, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping children with cleft lip and palate and other facial birth defects in medically under-served countries around the world.

Ms. Becker currently serves on the following boards and councils:

Voluntary Boards

The Chicago Network
Midwest Chapter of the National New Deal Preservation Association
Operation Sunrise  (or cleftblog.cleftmission.org)
Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois

 Advisory Councils

The Property Loss Research Bureau

For more on Heather Becker, please see:
Today’s Chicago Woman article “The Last Word”, June 2007 issue (PDF file)
For Heather’s full résumé (PDF file).

Her E-mail

Heather Becker’s art web site

 Lectures, Conferences, Interviews and Media Citations

PDFs: Lectures, Tours, and Presentations | Professional Conferences and Shows|
Television and Radio Interviews | Media Citations


Professional Experience | Professional Membership | Education |
Publications | Documentary | Research & Funding | Honors & Awards

 

Professional Experience

2003-Present
Chief Executive Officer , The Conservation Center, Inc. , Chicago, IL.

1998-2003
Vice-president, The Chicago Conservation Center, Chicago, IL.

1994-1998
Assistant Director, The Chicago Conservation Center, Chicago, IL.

1993-1994
Marketing Director, The Chicago Conservation Center, Chicago, IL.

1989-1993
Executive Administrator, The Chicago Conservation Center, Chicago, IL.

1988-1989
Assistant Preparatory, The Art Institute of Chicago. Children’s Museum, Chicago, IL.

1987-1988
Assistant, The Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson Library, Chicago, IL.

 

Professional Memberships

President, Midwest New Deal Preservation Association (NNDPA)
Board Member, Membership Chair, The Chicago Network (TCN)
Member ASCR-NIDR
Member National New Deal Preservation Association (NNDPA)
Member The Arts Club of Chicago
Member Claims Prevention and Procedures Council
Associate Member, PLRB
Board Member, Director of Operations, Operation Sunrise
Member Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW)
Member Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Member Illinois Association of Museums (IAM)
Board Member, Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois (LPCI)

 

Education

1989
The International School of Art in Umbria, Monte Castello di Vibio, Italy. Merit Scholarship.

1985-1989
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA Painting. Merit Scholarship.

 

Publications

2002
Becker, Heather. Art for the People: The Rediscovery and Preservation of Progressive and WPA Era Murals in the Chicago Public Schools. Chronicle Books, September 2002.

2001
“The Definition of a Mural” by Heather Becker, Dictionary of American History, 3rd Edition, Charles Scribners & Sons, New York, NY

 

Documentary

1999
“The Chicago Mural Preservation Project.” Orbis Production, Written by Heather Becker and David Manilow. Chicago, IL.

 

Research & Funding

2004
Chicago Park District, Chicago, Illinois., Chicago Park Fieldhouses: Calumet, Eugene Field, Fuller, Hamilton, Independence, Jefferson, Palmer, Pulaski, Rutherford Sayre, Sherman, and Warren Park Field Houses. Chicago, Illinois.

1999
Public Building Commission – Chicago, Illinois. Mural Restoration Phase III: Albert G. Lane Technical High School. Chicago, Illinois; Henry R. Clissold Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Frank I. Bennett Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Lincoln Park High School. Chicago, Illinois;Daniel Wentworth elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Amelia Hookway Transitional High School. Chicago, Illinois; John Harvard Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Daniel Von Linne Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Newton Batman Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Luther Burbank Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Walter S. Christopher Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Hugh Manley High School. Chicago, Illinois; Donald L. Morrill Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Wendell Phillips High School. Chicago, Illinois; Maria Saucedo Academy. Chicago, Illinois; Harold Washington Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Joseph E. Gary Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Julia Ward Howe Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois, ($918,895.00)

1997 – 1999
Chicago Board of Education – Chicago, Illinois. Mural Restoration Phase II: George B. Armstrong Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Frank I. Bennett Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Frederic Chopin Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Henry R. Clissold Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Joseph E. Gary Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Helen Peirce Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; John M. Smyth Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Edward Tilden Technical High School. Chicago, Illinois;George W. Tilton Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Carl Von Vinne Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Daniel Wentworth Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; William H. Wells High School. Chicago, Illinois. Date Received: November 25, 1997, (300,000.00).

1996
Bay Foundation – New York, New York. Mural Restoration Phase I: “Outstanding American Women.” By Edward Millman. Lucy Flower Vocational High School. Chicago, Illinois. Fresco Murals. Murals located on the four interior walls of the Entrance Hall. Date Received: May 30, 1996, (3,000.00).

1996
Field Foundation – Chicago, Illinois. Mural Restoration Phase I: “Outstanding American Women.” By Edward Millman. Lucy Flower Vocational High School. Chicago, Illinois. Fresco Murals. Murals located on the four interior walls of the Entrance Hall. Date Received: May 22, 1996, (10,000.00).

1996
Chicago Board of Education – Chicago, Illinois. Mural Restoration Phase I: Lucy Flower Vocational High School. Chicago, Illinois; Albert G. Lane Technical High School. Chicago, Illinois; Carl Schurz High School. Chicago, Illinois; Sidney Sawyer Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Louis Nettelhorst Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Martin A. Ryerson Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Wolfgang A. Mozart Elementary School. Chicago, Illinois; Date Received: August 28, 1996, (300,000.00).

 

Honors & Awards

2007
2007 Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence, for  restoration of the mural at Pulaski Park Field House, Chicago, Illinois

2004
Small Business Administration Small Business Week 2004 Illinois Small Business Person of the Year.

2004
Nominated, River North Business of the Year.

2002
Mayor Richard M. Daley, City of Chicago, recognition award for mural preservation project throughout the Chicago Public Schools and as author of Art for the People

2000
CINE Golden Eagle National Award for Arts and Education for “The Mural Preservation Project” documentary.

1998
Richard H. Driehaus Landmark Preservation Council of Illinois President’s Award for Mural Conservation at the Chicago Public School.