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Free Folk Art Projects by Violette
Art Appreciation : Explore Folk, Intuitive, and Outsider Art

Explore Folk, Intuitive, and Outsider Art

Visionary and self-taught artists are not always motivated by the same goals and ideas that formally-trained artists are. As you'll see from the following folk artist profiles, examples, and resources, these artists 'seem motivated by their unique personal visions,' and execute their work as they see fit.

Learn more about the organic world of folk art by taking in the perspectives, experiences, and free projects of Creativity Portal's Canadian artist contributors Deanne Fitzpatrick and Violette and by visiting some popular online folk art museums, galleries, and other learning places of interest detailed below.

Folk Art Features & Resources

Glittery Globe ProjectViolette's Folk Art Fun Projects
Release the creative spirit within while 'letting silly in!' Colorful, whimsical, creative projects you'll love by vivacious folk artist Violette. She turns old soccer balls into globes, paints fun-loving art onto sides of vans, and has the mission in life to "inspire people to embrace their creativity, and to love and honour who they are."

Folk Art Society of America
Founded in 1987, this non-profit organization advocates the "discovery, study, documentation, preservation, and exhibition of folk art, folk artists, and folk art environments."

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive & Outsider Art
"Established as a nonprofit organization to recognize the creative work of individuals who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world — artists who instead seem motivated by their unique personal visions."

Kentucky Folk Art Center
Focuses on the traditional and visionary folk art of eastern Kentucky and Appalachia.

San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum
An active program of changing craft and folk art exhibits.

Smithsonian Institution
A repository for the United States treasures, including antiques and folk art.

Who-Ha Da-Da Contemporary Outsider Artists' Coalition
"Contemporary folk, Outsider, primitive and untrained artists associated with primitive, outsider, and folk art. The who, what, where and when of gen-Next folk art. Witty, spiritual, iconographic, affordable, collectable, self-effacing — and well you just got to see it to appreciate it."
A Web site featuring "what is commonly known as Folk Art, Outsider Art or sometimes Self Taught Art. We try to be more than just an online gallery, we strive to be an educational source as well."

American Folk Art for Kids

American Folk Art for Kids with 21 ActivitiesWith 21 Activities by Richard Panchyk — Foreword by William C. Ketchum, Jr., author, American Folk Art

Book Review by Chris Dunmire

"Drawing on the natural folk art tendencies of children, who love to collect buttons, bottle caps, shells, and Popsicle sticks to create beautiful, imperfect art, this activity guide teaches kids about the history of this organic art and offers inspiration for them to create their own masterpieces." —

Richard Panchyk's American Folk Art for Kids is a wonderful primer into the world of folk art. Don't be mislead by the book's title — creative adults will enjoy this book too.

The book's 118 pages contains a wealth of visual, educational, and interactive fun divided into 7 chapters, 21 activities, a glossary, and museum guide with Web resources. From the simple question, "What is folk art?" to exploring its many styles, the chapters in the book journey into the history and types of folk art, and discuss important folk artists along the way:

Chapter 1: The Origins of Folk Art
Chapter 2: Folk Painting and Drawing
Chapter 3: The Decorative Arts
Chapter 4: Fabric Sewn and Stitched
Chapter 5: Chiseled, Carved, and Hammered
Chapter 6: Found Objects and Scraps
Chapter 7: Public Folk Art

"We are born with the ability to make art."— Mr. Imagination

I found the most exciting part of this book to be the interactive activities that accompany each chapter. This hands-on approach to teaching folk art at home or in the classroom will be remembered by students as they exercise their intuitive creativity in painting, calligraphy, stenciling, cross-stitching, woodworking, and decoupage.

Regarding American Folk Art for Kids, notes:

"The full breadth of American folk art is surveyed, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and textiles from the 17th century through today. Making bubblegum wrapper chains, rag dolls, bottle cap sculptures, decoupage boxes, and folk paintings are just a few of the activities designed to bring out the artist in every child. Along the way kids learn about the lives of Americans throughout history and their casual relationships to everyday art as they cut stencils, sew needlepoint samplers, draw calligraphy birds, and design quilts. Important folk artists such as the last surviving Shakers, the legendary Grandma Moses, and the Reverend Howard Finster are also explored in sidebars throughout the book."

This book is a must-read for anyone new to the world of folk art, and for those who enjoy dabbling in their own artistic and craft-related pursuits. Within the first few pages of the book it is clear that everyone is born with the ability to create art, and that a special title is given to those who prefer to follow their own artistic vision over traditional fine art training. These creative and innovative people are endeared to the world as Folk Artists.


Modern Day Folk Artists and Examples

Hooked Rug Art by Deanne FitzpatrickDeanne Fitzpatrick, Rug Hooking Artist: Fabric Sewn and Stitched
Deanne's beautiful fiber art hooked rugs are in the permanent collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Art Bank, and the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador. Visit her Web site at

Alexandromeda Futuristic Arts: Found Objects
A creative artist named Alexander who makes futuristic artworks from old computer scraps and electronic parts. Read about his work in Creativity Portal's Spotlight.