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Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture. Definitions vary, but generally the objects have practical utility of some kind, rather than being exclusively decorative. The makers of folk art are normally trained within a popular tradition, rather than in the fine art tradition of the culture. There is often overlap, or contested ground,[1] with naive art, but in traditional societies where ethnographic art is still made, that term is normally used instead of "folk art".

The types of object covered by the term varies considerably and in particular "divergent categories of cultural production are comprehended by its usage in Europe, where the term originated, and in the United States, where it developed for the most part along very different lines."[2]

a folk art wall in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Influence on mainstream art

Folk artworks, styles and motifs have inspired various artists. For example, Pablo Picasso was inspired by African tribal sculptures and masks, while Natalia Goncharova and others were inspired by traditional Russian popular prints called luboks.[16]

In 1951, the artist, writer and curator Barbara Jones organised the exhibition Black Eyes and Lemonade at the Whitechapel Gallery in London as part of the Festival of Britain. This exhibition, along with her publication The Unsophisticated Arts, exhibited folk and mass-produced consumer objects alongside contemporary art in an early instance of the popularisation of pop art in Britain.[17]

Supporting organizations

The United Nations recognizes and supports cultural heritage around the world,[18] in particular UNESCO in partnership with the International Organization of Folk Art (IOV). Their declared mission is to “further folk art, customs and culture around the world through the organization of festivals and other cultural events, … with emphasis on dancing, folk music, folk songs and folk art.”[19] By supporting international exchanges of folk art groups as well as the or

Folk artworks, styles and motifs have inspired various artists. For example, Pablo Picasso was inspired by African tribal sculptures and masks, while Natalia Goncharova and others were inspired by traditional Russian popular prints called luboks.[16]

In 1951, the artist, writer and curator Barbara Jones organised the exhibition Black Eyes and Lemonade at the Whitechapel Gallery in London as part of the Festival of Britain. This exhibition, along with her publication The Unsophisticated Arts, exhibited folk and mass-produced consumer objects alongside contemporary art in an early instance of the popularisation of pop art in Britain.[17]

Supporting organizations

The United Nations recognizes and supports cultural heritage around the world,[18] in particular UNESCO in partnership with the International Organization of Folk Art (IOV). Their declared mission is to “further folk art, customs and culture around the world through the organization of festivals and other cultural events, … with emphasis on dancing, folk music, folk songs and folk art.”[19] By supporting international exchanges of folk art groups as well as the organization of festivals and other cultural events, their goal is promote international understanding and world peace.

In the United States, the National Endowment for the Arts works to promote greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage across the United States and around the world through research, education, and community engagement. As part of this, they identify and support NEA folk art fellows in quilting, ironwork, woodcarving, pottery, embroidery, basketry, weaving, along with other related traditional arts. The NEA guidelines define as criteria for this award a display of “authenticity, excellence, and significance within a particular tradition” for the artists selected. (NEA guidelines) .” In 1966, the NEA’s first year of funding, support for national

In 1951, the artist, writer and curator Barbara Jones organised the exhibition Black Eyes and Lemonade at the Whitechapel Gallery in London as part of the Festival of Britain. This exhibition, along with her publication The Unsophisticated Arts, exhibited folk and mass-produced consumer objects alongside contemporary art in an early instance of the popularisation of pop art in Britain.[17]

The United Nations recognizes and supports cultural heritage around the world,[18] in particular UNESCO in partnership with the International Organization of Folk Art (IOV). Their declared mission is to “further folk art, customs and culture around the world through the organization of festivals and other cultural events, … with emphasis on dancing, folk music, folk songs and folk art.”[19] By supporting international exchanges of folk art groups as well as the organization of festivals and other cultural events, their goal is promote international understanding and world peace.

In the United States, the National Endowment for the Arts works to promote greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage across the United States and around the world through research, education, and community engagement. As part of this

In the United States, the National Endowment for the Arts works to promote greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage across the United States and around the world through research, education, and community engagement. As part of this, they identify and support NEA folk art fellows in quilting, ironwork, woodcarving, pottery, embroidery, basketry, weaving, along with other related traditional arts. The NEA guidelines define as criteria for this award a display of “authenticity, excellence, and significance within a particular tradition” for the artists selected. (NEA guidelines) .” In 1966, the NEA’s first year of funding, support for national and regional folk festivals was identified as a priority with the first grant made in 1967 to the National Folk Festival Association. Folklife festivals are now celebrated around the world to encourage and support the education and community engagement of diverse ethnic communities.