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Topeka, KS – The 13th annual Concealed Revealed Art Auction will be held Friday, April 29TH at The Governor’s Row House at 811 SW Buchanan Street. Tickets are $30 in advance at $40 at the door. Advance tickets are available at www.ywcaneks.org or at the YWCA located at 225 SW 12th Street.

The Concealed Revealed Art Auction received a donation of an original drawing by Grandma Layton last week. Layton, a decorated Kansas artist has been described as the “Van Gogh of contour drawing” by the Washington Times. Layton’s work has received worldwide recognition, including in Paris, at the Smithsonian and in museums all over the country.

 The piece was donated by Barbara Ballentine and is a portrait that Grandma Layton drew of Ballentine’s mother, Carol Ballentine. “My mother had a special relationship with Elizabeth Layton. They both loved roses and would spend their visits admiring them as they encouraged each other in their individual endeavors. When Mom died I inherited the original drawing Grandma Layton did for her. Whenever I looked at the drawing I felt I had it for a larger purpose. So when I started working again at the YWCA it hit me. It would be the perfect donation to a cause so close to my heart and roots. For me it is a symbol of friendship, strength, endurance, and power between women. I know my mother would approve.” says Ballentine, the new development director at the YWCA Northeast Kansas.

Grandma Layton was a social activist and used her skills to spread awareness to issues that affect society as a whole. The Concealed Revealed art action’s goal is to bring awareness to violence that is often “concealed” in our society including sexual assault and rape. Funds raised at the auction support the work of the Center for Safety and Empowerment.


We sat down with our CSE Director Michelle McCormick to talk about the upcoming Concealed Revealed Art Auction. Michelle has been involved with the YWCA for many years and has been an important part of Concealed Revealed since its conception!

When did Concealed Revealed start and why?

"Concealed Revealed was first held in 2004, when a group of Washburn University students that were interns at the Battered Women Task Force (now Center for Safety and Empowerment) wanted to engage the art community in the effort to stop domestic and sexual violence. In particular, this event was specifically held in April to bring awareness to Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They had learned during their service to the agency that this violence is not often addressed openly (concealed), and believed that if the issue were brought to the attention of a concerned community (revealed) then we could empower survivors and prevent new violence from occurring." 

What is the best thing (or your favorite thing) about the art auction?

"Concealed Revealed has an incredible energy during the actual event. There is a real connection to the meaning behind why we are raising these important funds. And even though we are there to raise awareness and raise funds for critical services, it is absolutely a fun event! The patrons seem to really connect with the art pieces specifically created by Survivors, which highlight their experiences as expressed through art. The moment when a Survivor piece is sold is always my favorite because there is something about the magnitude of a survivor giving back in this way to our agency. It gives me goosebumps!" 

What do you believe Concealed Revealed brings to our community that is unique?

"I think Concealed Revealed gives back in a number of ways. The event literally allows our agency to continue to provide critical services to victims and survivors. This also gives our agency a way to connect with community members who may not connect with us in other ways (like through volunteering or receiving services). And certainly, we get to engage the community in being educated about the issues of domestic and sexual violence, the services that the Center provides, and invite [patrons] to be a part of the solution!"

Why should folks get involved with Concealed Revealed?

"Supporting Concealed Revealed is a direct way to support the incredible work that is done at the Center for Safety and Empowerment, plain and simple.The bonus is... you also get the chance to score some incredible art by amazing local artists!"