Singular Visions Folk Art from Charlottesville Collections
The artists' personal convictions and the singular visions expressed in the works on exhibition here take many forms, ranging from apocryphal exhortations to humorous depictions of daily events. Most of all, they expand our accepted notions of how we define art.
Contemporary self-taught artists, most of whom are still living and many of whom hail from our Southern states, speak directly in their art to their life experiences. Some capture the memories of an idyllic past; others confront the realities of the present. Religion in its many manifestations is a powerful theme. The enjoyment of working with materials and the challenge of creating are basic motivating forces.
"Contemporary American folk art," Richard Wilson observes in his essay for the exhibition catalogue, "contains many of the themes and issues that artists always have found of importance. Some of the themes are evident, others withdrawn and submerged. Profound work exists along with the ephemeral and trivial. The folk artist is seldom totally withdrawn from society, and current events and art world concerns can impact the maker. Making art involves skill and technique, but most importantly a vision and a language with which to communicate. Great visions or insights can come from many quarters. Sometimes it takes strength and courage for the artist to express their visions." It is undeniable that these are powerful statements.
Lenders to the exhibition
We continue to be grateful to the Volunteer Board of the University of Virginia Art Museum for its generous support of the exhibition, its events and programs. The Sunday, October 7th Family Festival was sponsored by the Museum's Young Friends. To the Museum staff and students whose diligence has brought about another amazing exhibition, I am most thankful. Especially, our deepest gratitude and thanks goes out to the lenders to the exhibition for sharing both their treasures and their many stories about these special works of art.
Suzanne Foley, Curator