by Ann Oppenhimer
Plans are in full swing for the 27th Annual Conference of the Folk Art Society of America  to be held October 9-12, 2014, in the art-filled city of Columbus, Ohio. Duff Lindsay is this year’s chairman, and, with his numerous contacts in the art scene around Columbus, he has been preparing many excellent events.
Lindsay has invited the group to his art gallery, just a few blocks from the conference hotel, for the opening reception on October 9. He is organizing a special exhibition of “Ohio Self-Taught” for our viewing. He has also put together two other exhibitions of folk art at other places in the city – one on the work of Levent Isik and the other, the work of Mark Beyer.
The official conference hotel, the Hilton Downtown Columbus, is conveniently located in the heart of the downtown arts district. It’s architecture and interiors are extremely modern and packed full of original art, mostly from Ohio artists – in the meeting rooms, the lobby, the public areas and even some prints on the bedroom ceilings. German Village is also quite near the hotel, with its restaurants, bars, boutiques and galleries within walking distance.
Our chairman has lined up an interesting group of homes and collections to visit, ranging from a variety of folk art, the art of Ohio artists, and an eccentric collection of one artist’s work to a really far-out, experimental, contemporary art collection. Several artists also will be on hand to meet our group during the weekend.
We will spend most of Saturday, October 11, at the Columbus Museum of Art, where adjunct curator and well-known collector Michael Hall from Hamtramck, Mich., is organizing “Counterpoint: Works by Folk and Self-Taught Artists at the Columbus Museum of Art,” a special show of folk art of the past 200 years from the museum’s famed collection.
Our symposium will also be held at the Columbus Museum of Art. The program, “The Folk and Self-Taught Art of Ohio,” features an array of outstanding speakers: Nannette Maciejunes, Executive Director of the Columbus Museum; John Moe, Ohio State University Professor of English and Folklore Studies; Mark Chepp, Director of the Southern Ohio Museum; and Michael Hall. A book signing after the luncheon will introduce Hall’s newly published book, “Legacy on Wood: Elijah Pierce at the Columbus Museum of Art.” The Columbus Museum has the largest collection of Pierce’s carvings anywhere – an especially fine tribute to the city’s native son.
Randall Lott is again chairman of the society’s annual auction, and he will coordinate the always popular online auction through Bidding-for-Good, which will run for a month preceding the live auction on the evening of October 11, at the Hilton Hotel. Be sure to review the auction details in the enclosed conference brochure. Please send in your donated auction items to Duff Lindsay in August. Remember, the auction is only as good as the pieces that you contribute. This important auction serves to expose artists to a wide range of buyers and collectors through the online bidding and produces valuable income for the Folk Art Society and for the Herbert Hemphill Jr. Art Fund. This is our only fund-raiser. Besides, the auction evening is an exciting, fun event!
On Sunday, October12, the group will travel to Springfield, Ohio, to visit the Springfield Museum of Art (where Lindsay has organized a special exhibition of folk art from the museum’s collection), the Chepps’ home and the Hartman Rock Garden. This environmental site was recently restored by the Kohler Foundation in Wisconsin and returned to the care of several local Springfield nonprofit organizations. (Read about the Hartman Rock Garden in this issue of the Messenger in Mark Chepp’s article.)
To end the day and the weekend, we will stop at the Heart of Ohio Antique Center, billed as “the largest antiques mall in the country, with more than 650 shops and booths.” Knowing the shoppers in the Folk Art Society’s group, this panoply of bargains may not even satisfy them!
In the center of this Messenger is the four-page conference brochure, detailing all the activities, special exhibitions and events. Online you can find it HERE .Make your plans to come, and sign up early as space in the hotel and on the tours is limited. We will discover Columbus together, and we look forward to seeing you there!