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Lawton artist will present show  on iconography

Lawtonians may peek through "windows into heaven"  the link between the physical and the invisible  during an iconography art show hosted by Beverly Layton, a local artist, from 7-9 p.m. Friday.

The show will be free of charge and open to the public at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1010 Northwest 82nd.

Christian iconography, the ancient art of the church, depicts saints and tells stories by using images and symbols that accurately allude to the bible, Layton said.

The earliest iconographical studies were published in the 16th century and were catalogs of "symbols collected from antique literature and translated into pictorial terms" for artists, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

In the 19th century, iconography became primarily concerned with "the significance of religious symbolism in Christian art," as opposed to archeology, and by the 20th century Christian iconography continued to be investigated, but other forms of iconography, such as European art and Eastern religious art have also been explored, the Encyclopaedia Britannica states.

Layton has been creating iconography for about 17 years, and as an independent artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cameron University, she operates an at-home art studio. 

Over the past 10 years she has hosted art workshops, with some focused on iconography. The upcoming art show will feature about 20 images that Layton and her art students designed with acrylic paint.

Guests will have the opportunity to tour the church and view the icons, both large and small, that adorn the church walls. Father Phil Seeton, who first taught Layton about iconography, also will deliver a presentation about iconography.

Layton said when she initially learned about iconography, she found it to be a very rewarding art form, so she decided to participate in several workshops to learn more.

Layton believes anyone who appreciates art, regardless of his or her personal faith, will appreciate iconography and its layers of symbolism. 

"They (the icons) are very beautiful and powerful," Layton said. "The colors have meaning. They represent certain things, like red usually represents divinity, and gold usually represents the heavenly realm, so those colors are used a lot in iconography."

Although all the icons are based on scripture, some icons may present long, detailed narratives, while others may simply portray a saint, a "person who lived especially a godly life or was martyred for the faith and was recognized and sanctified by the church at some point," Layton said.

The Lawton Constitution

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