August 15-17, 2003, in the huge
North Atlanta Trade Center, Steve and Amy
Slotin hosted Folk Fest 2003 - The 10th Anniversary of this Folk Art
Extravaganza. Billed as the worlds largest
folk art show and sale, it involved 90 galleries and dealers from around
the nation specializing in Self-taught Art, Outsider Art, Folk Art, Southern
Folk Pottery and Anonymous Antique Folk Art. Doc Lawrence was there .
and Amy Slotin have contributed mightily to the elevation of folk art
and its progeny, visionary and self taught art. In its tenth year, this
event has matured and ranks as one of the best and finest of its kind
in the country. It is, as always, big, colorful and friendly. The Slotins
are deserving of all the praise in the world for sticking with what they
know appeals to the masses and giving so many people a venue for exceptional
exposure. In fact, I was a little sad when it ended at 5 p.m. on Sunday,
wondering if I would be able to see some of my favorites next year.
miss my friend Reverend Howard Finster, and no folk art show anywhere
will ever truly be the same now that he has joined his Maker. But, he
left behind a legacy of genuineness and originality that all artists
will forever be influenced by. Ravened Finster granted me several interviews
and (for those who knew him this will come as no surprise) always invoked
Biblical Scripture as the basis for his art. There is a message and a
story in every Finster artwork on this planet. The overriding theme is
joy, hope, redemption, peace and everlasting love.
For those not as familiar as you might want to be with such emotions,
I regret you didn't have the opportunity to meet this man of God.
did have the opportunity to spend time with an old friend, the spectacularly
great folk artist Lorenzo Scott and his talented sister, Marguerite Durham.
Mr. Scott, a native of West Point, Georgia, now lives and paints his
masterpieces in Atlanta, while Ms. Durham does her work from her Decatur,
Georgia home. Scott and Durham both emphasize Old and New Testament themes
in their paintings and depict Jesus and his Disciples as African. By
the way, if you own an early Lorenzo Scott you have something that is
already commercially quite valuable. But, any purchase of work by Mr.
Scott or his lovely sister is a great way to invest, plus you will feel
the power and the glory of something very spiritual when you behold these
on a wall at home.
Folk Fest is the immediate predecessor to Alabama's renowned outdoor
folk art festival, Kentuck,
which is now past its third decade in a park by the Black Warrior River
near Tuscaloosa. I'll be there and can't wait to reunite again with my
wonderful artist friends and meet some new ones, too.
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