Biography: Doug and Katya Heller

Doug and Katya Heller
Doug and Katya Heller

Douglas Heller has been the co-owner and director of the Heller Gallery since 1973. He has organized hundreds of group and solo exhibitions, including the landmark show Glass America 1978 at Lever House in New York City. In the 1990s, he organized Glass Japan, the first major documented exhibition of Japanese Studio Glass presented in the United States. He also organized The Prague Glass Prize, the first major exhibition of Czech Studio Glass produced after the “Velvet Revolution” in the Czech Republic.

Heller is a %%founding%% board member of the Creative Glass Center of America and is on the Advisory Board of UrbanGlass. He is a former vice president of the Associates of the American Craft Museum and a Fellow of The Corning Museum of Glass.

He has served as a jurist for the New Jersey State Council of the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council's Major Fellowship Program. He also has been a jurist for The Corning Museum of Glass New Glass Review, and has served on the faculty of the American Arts Course of Sotheby's Educational Studies. 

Katya Heller was born and raised in Czechoslovakia by an American mother and Czech father. Her first profession was as an interpreter for personalities as diverse as Czech President Vaclav Havel, Walter Cronkite, Frank Zappa, and the Dali Lama.

Heller moved to the United States in 1987 and by 1990 had begun a career as an arts professional, working with Dale Chihuly as the primary organizer of several of his international projects.

From 1991 to 1994, she worked at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In 1996, she became associate director at the Elliott Brown Gallery in Seattle, and in 1998 moved on to spend a year working in the planning and development of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.

In 1999, she relocated to New York City and began work as associate director of Heller Gallery. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of UrbanGlass, and in 2006 was co-chair of the organization’s major fundraising event, the Glassblowers Ball and Auction. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Czech Center - New York.