Grassroots Art Center

Betty Milliken

On display
year round

Betty Milliken (deceased) was born in Michigan to Hungarian immigrant parents. She was a petite spit-fire who had a personality that would not stop. She moved throughout the United States and finally at 90 moved to Kansas to be near her daughter, Nancy. Betty enjoyed life, people, plants and loved to laugh.

She had an interest in portraiture and loved to paint but favored rather unconventional materials: chewing gum, caulking compound, dried grapefruit peel and styrofoam meat trays!

Her 'skin head' people are clothed with cutouts from magazines and catalogs. Betty lovingly referred to all of these cameo portraits as her "children." She worked for a span of over 70 years creating hundreds of portraits about the size of a quarter. Later in life she decided to use grapefruit rind as her medium.

"The first step is to eat the grapefruit" she said.

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