Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 19, 1999

Exhibits celebrate resiliency

A Celebration of Resiliency, opening March 23 at the Brunnier Art Museum, addresses people's abilities to weather life's challenges and build on their strengths. The exhibit is a companion to three other exhibits that offer insights on how individuals, communities and families cope when the going gets rough.

"Resiliency gets at the heart of what makes people survive and thrive in a society in which the odds are sometimes stacked against them," said Lynette Pohlman, University Museums director. Pohlman organized the series with JaneAnn Stout, associate dean and extension director of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Family Resiliency features the work of 25 Iowa artists from all corners of the state. Through varied media, they portray the qualities that enable families to bounce back from stress and crisis: shared work, play, religious faith and love for each other.

Also on display will be Elizabeth Layton: Face to Face; Looking Back at Gee's Bend: The Photographs of John Reese, 1980; and Faces of Impact, which pursue the resiliency theme from individual and community perspectives. Elizabeth Layton and Looking Back at Gee's Bend will be on display through June 20. Family Resiliency and Faces of Impact continue through Aug. 8.

Layton learned to draw at age 68 to cope with depression. During her 15-year career, she created nearly 1,000 drawings -- including many self-portraits -- and attracted a national following. Layton once was the managing editor of a small town Kansas newspaper and her drawings reflect her interest in controversial social issues, such as women's rights, aging, AIDS and the right to die. The exhibit contains 20 drawings.

Reese's photographs document a vanishing way of life in Gee's Bend, an African American community located on an isolated bend of the Alabama River. The nearest town is 40 miles away. The residents of Gee's Bend, all descendants of slaves, were relatively untouched by the outside world for more than a century.

Fifty of Reese's photographs are included in this exhibit.

The fourth exhibit, Faces of Impact, features the portraits of seven deans of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, including current dean Carol Meeks. Iowa State was the first land-grant institution to offer programming in family and consumer sciences education, and has influenced education and policy issues related to individual, family and community resiliency.

The public is invited to an opening reception from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, in the Brunnier Art Museum.

In addition to the exhibits, there will be a lecture series and temporary public art installation on campus. An 11-foot fiberglass sculpture, Border Crossing, by New Mexico artist Luis Jimenez, will be stationed south of MacKay from April 19 to Aug. 10. Jimenez will give a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, in the Brunnier.

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