Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Lunenburg Folk Art Festival

On Sunday I ventured on a wee road trip to the historical and charming town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. My main mission was to get to the site of the Folk Art Festival an hour before the doors open - as people start to line up 3 hours prior to opening....just to ensure they have a head start before everyone else. I made it to the line that wrapped around the parking lot an hour later than I had hoped.

This is not an ordinary show by any stretch of the imagination. The work is done by Nova Scotian folk artists who are gaining international recognition for their brightly coloured creations that have been painted(sometimes using high gloss car paints) and have carved from wood either by hand or chain saw. There are a number of pieces that are framed paintings as well as pieces made from iron and old metal car/tool parts. All have a sense of whimsy and certainly put a smile on your face!! Of course, arriving an hour later to be held up in the line was a little hard to deal with - mostly just knowing that others certainly would have more time to view and purchase the work.

Each piece in the show has a row of tickets attached to it. The first person who decides to purchase the piece takes the tickets and leaves the piece with the artist for further viewing. It's a bit of a tease really, especially when you have waited for so0o0o long to get in through the doors only to have your eyes wander over amazing creations that would look so very delightful in your own setting....but the tickets have already been torn off. Genius I say!! Way to encourage people to show up earlier! I have already marked my calendar for next year....and will be one of the first in line!!!

Even after my wee bit of complaining I left with three extraordinary pieces by three very different artists!! How lucky am I???

Cheers to another successful line of incredible artists whom I cherish dearly....and for those of you who have no idea what this folk art stuff is all about....check out the great little documentary produced here in Nova Scotia called "Folk Art Found Me". It can be purchased through the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.

Here are a few words from the website of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on folk art:

"Folk art is usually defined as art made by untrained artists using readily available materials and subjects. Many of the animals folk artists depict are based on those the artist might see everyday. As one folk artist--a former fisherman--has said of his carvings of fish, they are subjects "I know all about." Some pieces depict exotic animals, like a kangaroo or a leopard. Since most folk artists did not travel widely, they found many of the images they used in their art in books, newspapers, magazines, and on television. These they feel free to interpret with care and humour. Using daily life as an example, folk artists create work emphasizing the commonplace--the back-breaking task of doing laundry by hand or the basic and essential skills of carpentry. Objects have often been created for a specific purpose. The world of folk artists reflects an interest in fellow humans and the things they do, and the artists well know that a little humour certainly helps life along. "

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