Archive for August 25th, 2010

August 25, 2010

17th Annual Slotin Folk Fest

Folk Fest is the world’s largest folk art show and sale hosting 100 galleries and dealers from around the nation specializing in Self-taught Art, Outsider Art, Folk Art and Southern Folk Pottery as well as Anonymous Antique Folk Art. The Slotin Folk Festival was held last weekend in the North Atlanta Trade Center in Norcross, Georgia. We had a chance to explore this mammoth of a folk art festival.

Slotin Folk Art Festival

Popular booth display Texas Trash and Treasures (above) by Richard and Linda Hamilton at the Folk Fest is¬†complete with¬†“rust and dust and unnecessary stuff.” Richard is the builder/craftsman; Linda is the designer. “Between the two of us, we make one good person,” says Richard.¬†He makes their wares from rusty pipe, roofing material and crushed Christmas ornaments to boot and¬†boasts his unconventional use of materials and tools, such as a plasma cutter. “Andy Warhol said, ‘Anything you can sell is art’,” he reminds me. I asked Linda who she is designing for when she is working. “For people who buy. Make what sells and let’s make a lot of it.” Richard and Linda have a more conventional¬†persona than many artists,¬†they even dedicate¬†their postcards to “…our customers, without whom we would be broke and have to get a ‘real job.'” But Linda¬†eventually admitted that she really tries to design pieces that make people smile.

Norcross Georgia Folk Art

The unique technique used in these paintings (above) by Sherry¬†Cook¬†is called “encaustic.” Oil paint is mixed with microcrystalline wax for pigmentation and then melted. The molten mixture is applied to wood panels or paper and allowed to cool,¬†then marks and carvings are¬†made in the layers.¬†Multiple layers create rich surface textures.

Folk Art Painting

Former Plaid designer Kathleen Taylor had been designing prints, note cards and wall art for retail production when retail hit a slump. So she started painting again and has “not been this happy in 5 years.” From Kathleen’s website, “Painting is my first love. It‚Äôs a means of expression that is a special gift. I can tell stories and work out issues on flat surfaces. When the work is going well it is truly a Zen kind of experience. When it’s not flowing, it’s best to walk away and work on something else. Or eat cake.”

Bebo Folk Art

Middle Tennessee artist Bebo (a.k.a. John Paul Daniel) signs a piece purchased by Sabra Barnett of Birmingham, Alabama. Sabra’s new decorative sign says “Trust God, Clean House, Help Others.” Bebo refers to his work as “outsider art” because he is an untrained artist. Many types of paint are incorporated into Bebo art. “People give me paint a lot. They¬†send¬†Plaid because it says Folk Art on the label.”¬†Daniel suggests that art collectors “Buy what you like, what moves your spirit.” We agree, and add that you should¬†craft what¬†moves your spirit, too.

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