Message from the Executive Director - 2017

Preparations are well underway for the 30th Folk Art Society conference, to be held in Santa Fe, October 19-22, 2017. Spring is always a busy time of the year, especially with planning the details of the FASA conference and creating the Spring-Summer issue of the Messenger.

The full conference brochure is included in the new issue of the Messenger (#92) as well as on this website, and reservations are underway for the highly recommended Hotel Santa Fe – one of the few Native American-owned hotels in the country. This hotel has lots of Native American art and is built in the beautiful New Mexican adobe style. Free breakfasts, free parking and free WiFi are part of the package. Also, the resort fee has been waived in our contract, so if that appears on your confirmation, remind them that you are not supposed to pay it!

Chairwomen Marti Burt and Betty-Carol Sellen have worked diligently to set up some exciting venues for the long weekend – museums, galleries, artists’ studios and eight fabulous homes. One of the most popular artists we’re visiting, Sabinita Lopez Ortiz, promises to save a large selection of her extraordinary pieces for purchase when we visit her home on the High Road to Taos trip on Sunday, October 22. This Santa Fe conference should be one of the most interesting and fun events ever!

On another topic – the FASA headquarters office in Richmond is both looking good and functioning well. Our administrative assistant, Mckenzie Walker, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, majoring in economics and art, is a computer whiz and has made a huge dent in preparing the materials for the ever-growing archives that eventually will go to the Virginia Historical Society (VHS). We welcome additional contributions of your archival materials. The VHS will digitize and make these available to scholars world-wide.

Our webmaster, Katharine Gates, continues to make improvements to the FASA website, She has set up the conference brochure for easy viewing (mobile friendly, even on a phone or I-Pad), and conference reservations can conveniently be made now. Katharine’s newest innovation is a translation link that will change the text of any or all pages of the FASA website to a language of your choosing. A total of 103 languages are available. It’s fascinating to put in Hindi, Traditional Chinese or even Zulu, Xhosa, Punjabi and Thai, and admire the strange and beautiful letters that immediately pop up!

We hope that you enjoy the new issue of the Folk Art Messenger, now in its 30th year of publication. Significant changes have evolved over three decades. We try to keep up with new technologies while holding the interests of our readers. We strive to inform you about little known as well as well-known artists, new exhibitions, new books, new developments and the latest auctions and fairs.

The field of folk, self-taught and outsider art is growing larger and stronger all the time. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome! The new office telephone number is 804-918-1158. We look forward to your call.

Please spread the word about the Folk Art Society. We love to get new members!