Folk art can be described as a wide range of objects which not only reflect the craft traditions but also reflect the traditional and social values of various social groups. These social groups go back to thousands of years ago and only few displays of their art work is left in the world. Generally Folk art is made or produced by people who have very little and in most cases, no academic artistic training. They do not use any kinds of modern day techniques and styles to their art work. They also do not have the desire to emulate art in its finest form. Folk artists usually use established techniques and styles which go back thousands of years for a particular region or culture. Folk art can be painting, sculpture and decorative style art forms. Today we also regard utilitarian objects like tools, utensils and costume as a part of folk art. Traditional art forms are very different from the folk art style. It is distinguished on the basis of the fact that traditional art is collected today based on its artistic merit; it is never really bought for the sake of it being an art form. Portraits and paintings are all a part of the traditional art forms. Folk art does not show any influence of movements or fine art circles. Folk art excludes works of professional artists which is sold as fine art to the society’s art patrons. Native art, traditional art and popular art however do overlap with folk art and is interchangeably used for the same at times.
One of the most popular folk art designers still crafting these works is Vaillancourt. Ms. Judy Vaillancourt has been hand-crafting unique collectible chalkware figures since 1984 and is one of the last remaining crafters still designing by hand. These days, most of these figurines are created with computer software and machines. The fact that Vaillancourt’s designs are still done by hand make their demand high and prices are not cheap. The few remaining companies which make this folk art allow visitors to tour behind-the-scenes. In these work shops the artists hand paint different versions of Santa Claus and Father Christmas figures. Vaillancourt Folk Art produces many styles of collectible Santa’s, rabbits, and even Antique chocolate and ice cream moulds. Another popular designer is Christopher Radko. His popular designs are collected by the rich and the famous, including: Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Stresiand, Elton John, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Various countries have their own style of folk art. Choosing top folk art designers from any one region is a nearly impossible task with many of the designers being from different regions. Folk art represents objects crafted by the traditional life style, culture and training of different social groups and geographical regions. Without any academic courses to train in their art these people master their folk art in their own way. The folk artists use and implement traditional styles and techniques which are unique to their region and culture. This is one of the most attractive features of genuine folk art.
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