Lloyd Foltz (1897-1990)
Lloyd Foltz was a charter member of the Prairie Printmakers Society. Life, incidents and experiences motivated Lloyd Foltz to become an artist when he had a lack of success in high school math classes. His life as a printmaker spanned more than sixty years.
His production of prints began about 1925. His work immediately received awards, prizes and medals. Several awards were given at the annual Midwestern Artists' Exhibitions at the Kansas City Art Institute.
He was born on September 24, 1897, in the Flint Hills of Kansas, near Fostoria in Pottawatomie County. As a youngster his family lived in several rural northeast Kansas communities. During his first year in high school he failed an algebra class. His problems in class were due in large part to his devoting more time to 'drawin picher' than to learning his multiplication tables. The following year his family moved to Topeka, and when they arrived Foltz decided that his career as a student was finished.
He became a draftsman for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. After four years he was promoted to head draftsman, but more importantly he had developed a strong interest in art. This growing interest prompted him to abandon a bright future with Southwestern Bell to enroll in a summer course at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1922.
Following his studies in Chicago he returned to Topeka where he worked for a year as a freelance artist. In 1923 he joined the staff of the Capper Engraving Company, and the following year he developed the firm's branch in Wichita. He transferred to the Wichita branch on his birthday in 1924.
In April of 1925, when business had declined considerably, he was advised to take a job with C.A. Seward of Western Lithograph in Wichita. He reported for work the following Monday and began a career with Western that would span thirty-four years.
Foltz personally printed his etchings and most of his block prints. He summarized his approach to printmaking in these words, "My themes have been born in the studio and created out of memories stored up during long association with, and close observation of, familiar terrain. I do not enjoy the copying of natural form, although I willingly accept the influences of all of nature. What I see must somehow be filtered through whatever it is that I call Me before it comes out as a picture. Then it seldom represents a specific place, but people say, 'I know that very spot.'
That's the way I like it."
Lloyd Foltz and his wife Elsie lived for many years on Woodrow Avenue in Wichita in a home they purchased when they were married in 1926. He officially retired in 1969. His work displays a remarkable vitality and enthusiasm. He has been noted as one of Wichita's leading artists in the area of architectural renderings.