Wednesday, March 6, 2019

UCCS Visiting Artists and Critics Series welcomes Lenka Clayton

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge Visiting Artists and Critics Series: Lenka Clayton, 6:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., free, registration highly recommended, 
uccspresents.org. - LENKA CLAYTON
  • Lenka Clayton
  • Visiting Artists and Critics Series: Lenka Clayton, 6:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., free, registration highly recommended, 
uccspresents.org.
Anyone who has exhibited at both The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim already has plenty to put on her résumé, but those two shows, though well-received, don’t even scratch the surface of what multidisciplinary artist Lenka Clayton has accomplished. This Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Renaissance woman has worked in photography, sculpture, drawing, and even used a typewriter to create various images in a stunningly successful show at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. But it is not only the artwork itself, however beautiful, that makes Clayton such an engaging character. The projects she undertakes — and her often extraordinary methods — suggest a valuable kind of original thinking that goes beyond “outside the box.” Maybe outside the dimension.

UCCS, which will host Clayton’s lecture as part of its Visiting Artists and Critics Series, provides the following description of some of Clayton’s more engaging work: “In previous projects, she has searched for and photographed every person mentioned by name in a German newspaper; worked with artists who are blind to re-create Brancusi’s Sculpture for the Blind from a spoken description; and reconstituted a lost museum from a sketch found in an archive.”
Perhaps even more interesting than this is how Clayton has managed to make such strides, even as the primary caregiver for her two children. In 2016, Clayton founded the Artist Residency in Motherhood (ARiM) program, which was originally just her way to manage the challenges of raising children and creating art at the same time. “I worked to reframe challenging circumstances — exhaustion, nap-length studio time, anxiety, invisibility, etc. — as materials with which to work instead of obstacles to be overcome. For three years I was the world’s first artist-in-residence-in-motherhood, and during that time I made 32 new works,” Clayton told nonprofit organization Residency Unlimited in a Q&A last August. At the time of that interview, Clayton counted more than 600 artists-in-residence-in-motherhood in 46 states and 40 countries.

Clayton’s public lecture should spark an interesting conversation about contemporary art in all its myriad forms, and the creation of that art in challenging, everyday situations.

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