Bring Joy to Your Home Through Folk Art
by Kristie McClanahan
Folk art is the product of untrained eyes and hands freed from convention, revered for celebrating the everyday. It’s an honest art form, born simply of the creator’s love of creating.
But don’t mistake “untrained” for “unskilled.” Folk artists have a deep sense of harmony, balance, sincerity and truth – characteristics classically trained artists also strive for. “Self-Taught Genius: Treasures From the American Folk Art Museum,” currently on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum, roundly rejects the notion of folk art as mere crafts through more than 100 pieces of uncommon – and sometimes anonymous – talent.
And with its charm and personality, folk art functions beautifully when brought into the home.
“It’s refreshing,” says Laurie Ahner, owner and director of Clayton’s Galerie Bonheur, who’s been buying and selling folk art for almost 40 years. “It’s real. It’s from the heart and soul. It’s not contrived. It comes from the artists’ need to express themselves.”
Although she’s studied art history in Rome, in New York and at Washington University in St. Louis, Ahner traces her interest in folk art back to when she first visited Haiti in 1978. She was drawn to the bright colors and inherent joy, calling the pieces she saw “sincere and full of hope…….click here to read the full story