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Examples of Folk Art In Photos

What Is Folk Art?

I ran across this question recently and set out to answer it. I have to say that the more I looked, the more conflicting information I ran across. In this article,my aim is to set forth several photos* that I believe to be examples of folk art. I will accompany each with a brief notation. Please be advised that this article is likely to change and grow as I learn more!

What I hope to show here are examples of folk art that embody the qualities most associated with it. That is, items made by the people of a specific area and society using techniquesand materials that are typical to that area. The items will not necessarily be art. They may be beautiful every day items. And, most importantly, the artists might not necessarily be artists. They may just be folks who wanted to make something both useful and beautiful.

But this is not always the case. Sometimes, folk art is just art...as you will see!

I hope you will comment, make suggestions, and recommendations! I intend to keep adding to this article as my understanding of the subject grows.

(*PHOTO CREDITS may be found below the COMMENTS section.)

Is Folk Art Always Old?

No! Folk Art is being created every day! It is made by folks in every culture! This is a modern folk art painting on ceramic from the US Southwest.

No! Folk Art is being created every day! It is made by folks in every culture! This is a modern folk art painting on ceramic from the US Southwest.

Is Folk Art Always Art?

Not necessarily.  This palm frond bowl from Hawaii is both practical and useful.  Made by a native Hawaiian, from local materials, using traditional techniques, it is folk art.

Not necessarily. This palm frond bowl from Hawaii is both practical and useful. Made by a native Hawaiian, from local materials, using traditional techniques, it is folk art.

Do Folk Artists Go To Art School?

Probably not!  Folk artists usually learn their craft from a relative or a skilled crafts person within their community.  This Peruvian folk artist creates practical, beautiful, wearable works of art (like the one on his head!)

Probably not! Folk artists usually learn their craft from a relative or a skilled crafts person within their community. This Peruvian folk artist creates practical, beautiful, wearable works of art (like the one on his head!)

So...Is All Folk Art Practical?

No! Sometimes it is just beautiful like this Ecuadorian painting depicting a village. This painting was created by a local, using traditional techniques.  It reflects daily life, and it is folk art.

No! Sometimes it is just beautiful like this Ecuadorian painting depicting a village. This painting was created by a local, using traditional techniques. It reflects daily life, and it is folk art.

Do I Have Folk Art in My House?

Probably!  This quilt is very like some I grew up with.  They were created by local artists, my grandmother and great grandmother, using local materials (scraps) and a technique consistent with that of local artists - quilting.

Probably! This quilt is very like some I grew up with. They were created by local artists, my grandmother and great grandmother, using local materials (scraps) and a technique consistent with that of local artists - quilting.

Is Folk Art Strictly a Visual Art?

No! Music and local musical instruments can be considered folk art.

No! Music and local musical instruments can be considered folk art.

Must Folk Art Follow A Specific Style?

No.  It must just be representative of the culture in which it was created.

No. It must just be representative of the culture in which it was created.

Is There A Limit Of The Types Of Media That Are Acceptable?

No!  Practical, beautiful, crafted by local artisans in a style consistent with and representative of the culture, these hand painted Mexican toilets are folk art!

No! Practical, beautiful, crafted by local artisans in a style consistent with and representative of the culture, these hand painted Mexican toilets are folk art!

Is Folk Art Just Crafts, Painting, and Sewing?

No!  Many practical items like this weather vane and other decorative hardware are considered folk art.

No! Many practical items like this weather vane and other decorative hardware are considered folk art.

Can New And Old Be Combined?

Yes!  This metal craft mobile made of old salvaged bits of iron does just that.

Yes! This metal craft mobile made of old salvaged bits of iron does just that.

Can I Make Folk Art?

Yes!  It is just important to remember that if you want to be authentic, you should choose a medium that is typical to your locale.  Study it carefully.  Then render your work in a way that reflects the traditions and thoughts of your cultural group.

Yes! It is just important to remember that if you want to be authentic, you should choose a medium that is typical to your locale. Study it carefully. Then render your work in a way that reflects the traditions and thoughts of your cultural group.

Folk Art Properly Rendered Can Become History

Mrs. Bill Stagg with state quilt, Pie Town, New Mexico (LOC) Photographer: Library of Congress Licensing Agreement: Public Domain

Mrs. Bill Stagg with state quilt, Pie Town, New Mexico (LOC) Photographer: Library of Congress Licensing Agreement: Public Domain

For More On Folk Art...

Comments

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on May 16, 2013:

I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for viewing and commenting! :)

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on May 15, 2013:

Wow so beautiful.. really loved watching the pictures. Voted up and awesome.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 10, 2013:

You have nicely shown that folk art can be in all mediums. Even some furniture can be considered folk art. Well done! Up and interesting votes.

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on August 12, 2012:

Many thanks! :)

Catherine Dean from Milledgeville, Georgia on August 12, 2012:

My husband and I collect southern folk art. Mostly pottery but some paintings as well. I am also a quilter and collect quilts. I voted up.

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on February 04, 2012:

Thanks, Carl! :)

carlarmes from Bournemouth, England on February 04, 2012:

really enjoyed your hub, lovely pictures and useful content, I like folk art and visiting folk festivals in Dorset.

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on January 24, 2012:

Thanks Claudia! I know! They are really fancy! ;D I like the fact that folk art consists of practical items made beautiful and decorative! Thanks for your comment! :)

Claudia Tello from Mexico on January 24, 2012:

I fell in love with those Mexican toilets!!!!!! As weird as it may sound, I live in Mexico and had never seen them, they are brilliant!

Thanks for the link! :)

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on October 29, 2011:

I'm glad you like it! Thank you! :)

mabmiles on October 29, 2011:

Great hub.Wonderful folk arts!

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on September 14, 2011:

Thanks! :)

lualhati on September 14, 2011:

hi im so imper for the art

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on March 01, 2011:

Thanks! :)

toknowinfo on March 01, 2011:

Great topic! Scintillating to the eyes and stimulating to the brain. Thanks for putting such a great hub together. Rated up and beautiful and awesome.

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on October 09, 2010:

My pleasure! I'm glad you liked the article! :)

Alice combes on October 09, 2010:

Great article! I'm learning folk art but it is so hard to find annoying about it cos it seems people just - do it. Luckily I think it comes naturally to me, at least I hope so, but I'm working my way to developing my work into art!

Thank you so much!

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on September 08, 2009:

Thank you! Yes, folk art does change from generation to generation! :)

Sammin on September 08, 2009:

There are many folk around us. I could even make some of them by myself. I think the folk art could be create generation by generation. There are always some difference between new generation and the old one. Thanks for sharing the pictures. It's very beautiful.

Sammin on August 28, 2009:

That's good.

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on June 24, 2009:

Thanks!

NINI on June 24, 2009:

Dam Beautiful

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on November 27, 2008:

Thanks! :)

worddsplaytoday from NC on November 27, 2008:

loved your photos

justmesuzanne (author) from Texas on November 27, 2008:

Thank you! :)

Debby Bruck on November 27, 2008:

Neat hub. Folk art is all around us. My mom and I were browsing around and had to look closely at your Brightly colored LOGO. We love it. Be well and good luck with your online sales.

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