Message from the Executive Director 2022

Message from the Executive Director 2022

Article by  Ann Oppenhimer 

At last, after four long years, the Folk Art Society of America completed a full-fledged conference – the 33rd one, in Charleston, S. C., on October 20-23, 2022. It was such a pleasure to get a large group of the faithful as well as new members together. We enjoyed the fellowship, fun and folk art, finalizing a year of the hard work and planning by co-chairs Alex Patrick and Terri Johnson. We thank the two of them for everything they did to make this conference a wonderful success.

The conference committee is also to be commended for helping to execute and assist with the arrangements. We couldn’t have done it without all of you – Randall Lott, Tina Cox, David Jones, Allen Johnson, Cindy Solesbee, Vali Braselton, Amy Fordham, Emelia and Jim Stephenson, Scott Blackwell, Ann Marshall, Margaret Day Allen, and Dan Boone.

Since there was so much to talk about this year, I decided to make the report in this Folk Art Messenger a photographic journey – a new format featuring the daily adventures of each main event, with minimal text but with many images. I hope you will enjoy it.

The conference began on Thursday, October 20, with the annual meeting at the Francis Marion Hotel of the FASA Board of Directors and the National Advisory Board, followed by the conference registrations supervised by Allen Johnson, Sandy Toomey and Clair Hamner. On Thursday night, the Welcome Party at High Wire Distilling featured the tasting of Scott Blackwell’s gin, vodka, bourbon and whiskeys, as well as the exhibition of more than 300 works of folk art from his and his wife Ann Marshall’s collection. Friday, October 21, was spent at Penn Center on St. Helena Island, followed by tours of the renowned art collections of Dan and Marty Boone, and Marty and Julie Klaper on Spring Island, Okatie.

Saturday, October 22, introduced the symposium, “Folk Art Traditions of the Lowcountry,” the Awards of Distinction, and the presentation of the Folk Art Society’s annual gift to a museum. Saturday night featured the long-awaited auction of folk art donated by FASA members and artists, which was organized and overseen by Randall Lott, auction chairman, and ably assisted by auctioneer Tina Cox. Sunday, October 23, saw the culmination of the long weekend with brunch at Water’s Edge, a visit to the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion and the Gibbes Museum. All in all, the journey was a highly important one and the fulfillment of the dream of another Folk Art Society conference at last.

But, on to 2023! The 34th annual conference of the Folk Art Society of America is planned for October 26-29, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia – the headquarters and the founding site of the society in 1987. Details are still a work in progress, with more information on page 33 of this issue. So, SAVE THE DATE and make your plans to be there!

ANN OPPENHIMER is the Executive Director of the Folk Art Society of America

As seen in the Folk Art Messenger:

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