Folk Fest In
by Linda Knopf - Southern Folk Art Magazine
The North Atlanta Trade Center was bursting at the seams with folk art the
weekend of August 15th. This 15 year tradition brought folk artists and
galleries of all persuasions together to show and sell their work.
A few people came just to look. Some, like one young family, left with a
single piece tucked under the dad's arm. Some left the building with large corrugated metal pieces, wooden carvings,
metal statues, and traditionally framed pictures. Folk Fest was like a county fair, complete with
the smell of
popcorn and barbeque and the sound of children having fun.
A small number of artists was on hand at the Friday night Meet-The-Artists Party and
Chris Clark held court in his jeweled top hat,
cane on his knee. Clark offered a pair of 3-D
glasses with the sale of one of his larger pieces -
the better to appreciate the depth of his
constructions. Many of Clark's pictures
contain round faced figures with Alabama car tags
combined in mixed media.
Mary Proctor greeted visitors in a sparkling
black wrap that reflected her personality. She
talked about the importance of being strong while
also maintaining a positive outlook on life and
selling art. As an artistic missionary,
Proctor's work carries messages about life lessons
learned through her mother and grandmother.
Her paintings include mosaics made with cola cans
and other found objects. Towering above her head, Mary's pieces were some of the largest
in the show.
Steve Shepard's work could be termed "day-glo political." A most
engaging conversationalist, Shepard is as likely to talk about the upcoming
elections as he is to talk about his art. His passion is as hot as his
images. Shepard is a talented folk artist who embraces the tradition of accessible art.
Carol Roll is a relative new-comer, creating folk art for
four years, now. Her paper mache figures reflect significant talent. At
first glance, her angels, people, mermaids, and animals may appear cute and
dear. At closer look, they are sophisticated, with detailed, expressive
unique. Roll's work is
anything but mass produced. It's the real deal.
Antonio Adams reached under the display table to retrieve his regal
adornments before posing for a photo as the Kingdom Master. One of the few artists who worked on
a painting during the show, Adams produces a variety of artwork ranging from
drawings to statues. His androids lined the table, reflecting light
through their plexiglas torsos. Adams' pictures often include his image confronting the challenges in life with a quirky, positive
Anthony Pack produces found object sculptures that reflect a good humored
look at popular culture and carved wooden faces that are
colorful and fun. His original figures combine kitchen tools, bent forks for
arms, and cans like "Spam" in an almost animated manner.
Pack is as personable as his objects are whimsical.
Nearly a hundred booths housed galleries,
dealers, and artists. There were a lot of pieces by Jimmy Lee Sudduth
for sale. Work by Carl McKenzie, James Harold
Jennings, and O. L. Samuels was in abundance.
Quality was evident in many of the exhibitor booths. Five
galleries make up a list of be-sure-to-return-to next year.
Lindsay Gallery with Duff Lindsay had an estate collection that included many
must-collect artists' work. Lindsay is easy to talk to and more than
willing to share his extensive knowledge.
Main Street Gallery (Clayton, Georgia) under Jeanne Kronsnoble
showed self-taught art by many contemporary artists
like Chris Clark, O. L. Samuels, and Bernice Sims.
Mike's Art Truck (Greg and Karen Mack) presented pieces by Myrtice West
and newer regional artists like Johnny Ace and Carol
Gizzard Holler Folk Art from Kentucky displayed carvings and figures by
Ronald Cooper and Minnie Atkins, both Kentuckians. Like Lindsay, the
people with Gizzard Holler were easy to talk with and enthusiastic about the
artists they presented. firstname.lastname@example.org
Visionaries & Voices, from Ohio, represents
outsider artists with disabilities. Their art
display was varied and interesting.
Kudos go to Steve and Amy Slotin and the Slotin Art Auction team for the work going into producing this
event. Their attention to detail and commitment to folk art was apparent
and is appreciated. They generated an atmosphere of excitement and
fun. Look for this highly recommended event next year.