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Heather Layton is an interdisciplinary artist and Senior Lecturer of Art in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Rochester, where she teaches courses in painting, interdisciplinary media, performance art and social intervention. She received an MFA in Painting from the State University of New York, New Paltz, in 2002 and a BFA in Art Education from Syracuse University in 1997. Her work has been exhibited in over 25 exhibitions in the past five years and she given artist talks in countries including Oman, India, Turkey, Slovakia, Hungary, South Korea, Austria, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Layton’s work has been featured in the New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Huffington Post, Pakistan Today, and in Popular Science magazine. In 2015, she started the Common Sense Collective with her husband and collaborator, Brian Bailey, as an all-encompassing initiative to find common ground between people from seemingly different backgrounds through artistic exchange. In 2015, she and Bailey spoke at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs National Meeting in Washington D.C to provide a case for supporting “Art as a Pathway to Positive and Sustainable International Diplomacy”. She and Bailey have been artists-in-residence for two years at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California, with a project supported by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation. While Layton may be highly critical of local and national government policies regarding domestic education, foreign affairs, and the institutionalized, unequal distribution of power in the country, she is one of the biggest supporters of the United States Postal System and goes to the post office as often as possible.