Message from the President (2005)

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by Ann Oppenhimer

Folk Art Messenger and Website Win State and National Awards

Congratulations to the Folk Art Society of America’s Website designer, Katharine Gates in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.! The FASA Website took first prize in the 2005 National Federation of Press Women competition in the category of not-for-profit or educational site. Gates has been the Folk Art Society’s Webmaster since the site’s inception in 1996, and she continually updates and revises the material.

The FASA site averages 20,000 hits per week, and the majority of new memberships are derived from the Internet. From the start, the Website quickly became an essential tool -- not only to attract new members, but to publicize the annual conference, facilitate conference registration and serve as a permanent archive of past articles, news and other information about the Folk Art Messenger and folk art in general. Links connect the site to other publications, museums, organizations and artists.

The Folk Art Messenger won another national first prize: “Photography in a printed publication other than a newspaper” for the 2004 conference photo-spread, “Snapped in St. Louis.” Although I had taken the photographs, I’m sure it was the design by John Hoar of Market Design that won the NFPW competition.

Entries receiving first prizes in each category of the Virginia Press Women awards are forwarded to the national competition. The Messenger’s other first prize, “Four-color public relations brochure” for the Oakland conference brochure, was also designed by Market Design. The judge commented on the “lovely and lively design, excellent use of color and choice of font -- in keeping with the subject matter.” In addition, the Messenger article, “California Symposium,” Vol. 17, No. 2, won third place for “News reporting, general publication,” and the Messenger (as a whole) won honorable mention in Virginia. The judge wrote of the Messenger: “An arresting, intriguing publication for a worthwhile cultural and artistic cause.” The Folk Art Messenger competes against other non-profits, including museums, universities and educational entities. Newspapers and commercial magazines are in separate categories.

I enjoy working with the Website for its immediacy, rapidity and vibrancy. Plus, the photographs look just like color transparencies, with much more three-dimensionality than a printed photograph. What did we ever do without the Internet?


ANN OPPENHIMER is the President of the Folk Art Society of America