Elizabeth Layton: Drawing as Discourse


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Region: Kansas, Overland Park, Johnson County/South

Address: 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66210

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Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton (1909–1993), began a contemplative drawing practice—coming to terms with her body, sense of identity, views, concerns, memories, and experiences—in 1977 at the age of sixty-eight. Elizabeth Layton: Drawing as Discourse celebrates Layton’s art with over 30 of her works on paper, highlighting the way that her drawing desk was an intellectual, reflective, and advocatory space. The exhibition highlights this throughline in her art. She channeled self-portrait drawing into a space for discussion (mulling over her thoughts alone, sharing with friends and family, and eventually museum audiences), working through unresolved ideas, and processing her curiosity about the world. Sexism, racism, ageism, ableism, fatphobia, the oppression of LGBTQIA+ individuals, censorship of artists, and the urgency of caring for mental illness—these are a mere handful of Layton’s numerous social concerns in her art. She rendered these subjects with her signature self-deprecating wit, insisting upon treating anyone who is downtrodden with empathy and educating oneself before casting judgment. Taking cues from the artist’s enduring interest in the power of art to inform, disarm, and engage, the exhibition presents Layton’s art as a space for discourse. This exhibition was organized by Guest Curator Mary Frances Ivey, PhD Candidate, Kress Department of Art History, University of KansasSarachek Curatorial Fellow for Wiggins Studies, Wichita Art Museum. Image credit: Elizabeth Layton, Masks, 1978, colored pencil and graphite, 28 x 22 in., Kansas State University, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, gift of the Lawrence Arts Center, 2014.455 Museum Hours FREE ADMISSION Tue., Fri., Sat.: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed., Thu.: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun.: noon-5 p.m. Mon. and JCCC Holidays: Closed Upcoming JCCC Holidays: Thursday, July 4, 2024

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