Mar 7, 2024 - News

Octogenarian prisoner's art placed in Iowa exhibition

A photo of Mary Kathleen Tyler and her painting.

Mary Kathleen Tyler's "Lavien Rose" is an oil on cardboard. Photo: Courtesy of Des Moines Women's Club via Hoyt Sherman Place.

Mary Kathleen Tyler won second place in a division of the Des Moines Women's Club Art Exhibition that's now on display at Hoyt Sherman Place.

Why it matters: Tyler is 88-years-old and incarcerated at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

Catch up fast: She was convicted to life in prison almost five decades ago for the 1977 murder of her ex-husband Alan Tyler, a local doctor who was working in his office when he was shot.

  • A friend entered the winning oil painting in the contest on Tyler's behalf, Hoyt Sherman CEO Robert Warren tells Axios.

The intrigue: Tyler paints and has earned multiple college degrees while in prison, she wrote in an essay published last year by news organization Open Campus.

  • Former Gov. Robert Ray was a friend who visited her in prison until his death, she wrote.

🖼 View the art: The free exhibition is open 10am-4pm Thursday through Saturday and 1pm-3pm Sunday.

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