Folk Art Revealed
Whether drawing deeply from the wellsprings of a shared culture or highly personal in expression, folk art resonates with the aspirations of men and women who create outside the precincts of the art academy. Sometimes functional in origin, at other times full of mystery, having a place in everyday life or hidden away, folk art is always compelling in its inventiveness, dazzling in its unexpectedness, powerful in its authenticity.

Folk art plays a vital role both as a carrier of cultural heritage and as a reflection of the synthesis between traditional ideas and new influences. Four principles speak to essential aspects of both traditional and unconventional expressions: utility, community, individuality, and symbolism. Many—if not most—of the works in this canon respond to more than one of the four themes. This becomes a key to an understanding of folk art as an expression that emerges from patterns of living, at times affirming stability, at others resisting convention. Its various forms demonstrate the shared human impulse to find beautiful and soul-satisfying solutions to the needs and challenges of everyday life.