Folk art involves arts traditionally produced by peasants or indigenous people or other laboring people. They represent community values and decoration, and are not classified as “fine arts”. Each artifact that represents as a folk art may have varied geographical and temporal frequency. Folk art also expresses its cultural identity by showing shared community activities thru drawings of activities or imitations of traditional daily materials. It uses a range of ingredients and materials such as, cloth, wood, paper, clay, metal and more. Folk art also reflects traditional art forms of diverse community groups — ethnic, tribal, religious, occupational, geographical, and age- or gender-based — that identify with each other and society at large. Folk artists originally learn skills and techniques through internship in informal community settings, although they might also be formally educated. Examples of some folk art are African tribal masks, ceremonial and ritual artifacts, baskets, textiles, containers and sometimes works of traveling portrait painters. In China, Chinese kites, knots, paper art, puppetry and shadow play are part of their folk art. In Africa, forging metal means almost magical, transformative process that is likened to the creation of life itself. So, they have ceremonial pieces and currency (money) that are exchange only for some important events, like marriage.
Antique folk arts include those that are collected for its beauty and artistic representation, not just for its cultural value. They are distinguished from traditional folk arts because they are intended to be arts that could last a lifetime Examples of antique folk arts are wind gauge, old store signs and carved figures.
Contemporary expressions of traditional folk involve added new materials if traditional materials are inaccessible. Using the three R’s: reimagine, revitalize, and reinvent are the usual way for contemporary folk art. Contemporary folk artists are frequently self-taught. Their work is also often developed in isolation or in small communities across the country. They use new materials to redo an old folk art into a modern contemporary artifact. Quilting, ornamental picture framing, and decoy carving are some folk arts that still being continued up to this day. The bamboo pipe used before is an example of traditional folk art, but since it was revised into contemporary smoking pipes, it can now be considered as a contemporary folk art.
As African tribal sculpture styles and motifs inspired various artists, like Pablo Picasso, traditional woodcuts called luboks also inspired Natalya Goncharova while in Russia. In music, Igor Stravinsky’s seminal The Rite of Spring was inspired by paganism. There are also those who would collect these items because they would like to have decorations and be able to make sure that they can do the things that they want to. Sometimes, the art that they want to have would complement the home that they are in. They would emphasize on what theme that will be and also see what they would like to be able to make.
A lot of times, what we feel and want to feel is something that we would want to have in our home. There are those who would look at magazines because they would like to be able to see to it that they can pick out the designs that can fit their theme. A lot of people would also like it if they can be able to also know where they may get these. They may get referrals from their friends who are into art because they probably know where the best deals are. It is also important to know how to maintain these so that the items would always look new. Remember, have fun picking these out and be creative.