What is Folk Art?

What is Folk Art?

It is difficult to pinpoint a definitive meaning for the term Folk Art, likely because this type of art is based heavily upon the idea of cultural identity. It is because of these direct ties to community, tradition, and place that the forms of Folk Art are as varied as the artists who create them. Folk Art is commonly thought of as the work of skilled crafts and tradespeople, not 'academically trained' fine artists. It evades the limits of contemporary art movements and instead directly connects to the rich histories of the world's many peoples. Often utilitarian or overtly decorative in nature, Folk Art seeks to inject beauty into the everyday. The most common materials are fiber, clay, wood, and metal but as the landscape of our world evolves with technology so do materials. Glass, paint, plastic, and recyclables are now common staples of creation. Though Folk Art is often segregated from the world of fine art, galleries, museums, and collectors all around the globe are dedicated to preserving and sharing this type of art and willing to pay steep prices for the most cherished examples. 

What is Neo-Folk Art?

Neo-Folk Art is a contemporary movement that bridges Folk Art traditions and the fine art community. It embraces the traditions of Folk Art as translated through the social landscape of the present. The resurgence of Craft, folk music, slow food, local design, art-brut and pop-surrealism, fair-trade, and handmade goods over the last decade or two can all be seen as part of the gestation of this movement. Through technology and the internet our communities have gained a greater scope and so, our cultural identities become more and more complex and globalized. As Neo-Folk Artists we are both self-taught and academically trained, we are influenced both locally and globally, we continue from the past just as we project into the future. Neo-Folk Art expresses old ideas through new materials and new ideas through old materials. Neo-Folk Art doesn't fear utilitarianism or decoration, nor does it abandon concept or dialogue. The issue of price finds itself all over the spectrum, from providing a living wage to free to conceptually insubstantial or astronomical and everywhere in between. 

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