Posts tagged ‘Norcross Georgia Folk Art Fest’

August 27, 2010

Interview with Steve Slotin – Slotin Folk Fest

Steve and Amy Slotin have been procuring the largest Folk Art festival around for 17 years. Their annual Folk Fest in Norcross, Georgia draws exibitors and collectors from all over our nation.  You will not find a better venue for Folk Art, Self-taught Art, Outsider Art and Southern Folk Pottery. Steve took a few moments to tell us what he and Folk Fest are all about.

Steve and Amy Slotin of Slotin Folk Fest

Steve and Amy Slotin, producers of Folk Fest

What do you feel is the role of the American Folk Artist?

 I think the role of the American Folk artist is to give true vision to the American experience from Grandma Moses to Clementine Hunter, rural life is immortalized in their paintings. The academic art world is constantly searching for the next great thing with the European influence and sophisticated art training, but this will always seem foreign to what is genuine and truly American. These self-taught artists draw on their experience of culture, their isolation – both physical and mental, religious zealousness and the sheer need to create and beautify their own environment. American folk artists are uninfluenced artists, the roots of what is truly unique about our way life.

What are some interesting Folk Art style trends you have noticed recently?

This field is not about about trends. The commercial and contemporary art market is really different from self taught art world. These artists never really considered themselves artists, or considered that their art would be a valuable commodity so they didn’t create the work to please others. True self-taught art is uninfluenced by the outside world and trends. Collectors may have trends. Museum shows have trends, galleries have trends, but the artists themselves are driven to created without the art market, we sought them out. If they are copying trends they may not not be a true self-taught artist.

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’s 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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