--2 International Folks
June 29, 2016

International Folks

July 13, 2010, 12:00 am
By Ramon Lovato
The last day of the International Folk Art Market was colorful and, well, overcast. They called it Family Day with good reason, as the young and not-so-young flocked together to Museum Hill to catch the tail end of the party, neither too warm nor too crowded, as the previous day was said to have been. The event represented something more than just another elaborate art show in a city full of artsy people, if one could get past the exhibitionist consumerism that permeated much of the market’s public face.

One booth was occupied by a group of mostly illiterate Pakistani women, who put the proceeds from their handmade quilts toward education funds for their children. Another booth held displaced Samburu women from the village of Umoja, Kenya, whose jewelry-making supports their livelihood. Yet another contained colorful and elaborate beadwork from Morocco.

Indians, Mexicans, South Africans, Afghanis and more—approximately 175 artists from over 50 countries were represented at IFAM, artists whose work had been juried by an international panel of collectors and curators and chosen for inclusion at the market. Haitians—struggling to regain some semblance of normality after the cataclysmic earthquake that rocked their country on January 12, 2010—turned out in force with papier māché, sculptures made of recycled steel drums and mask making, with proceeds going to support their families and the struggling markets in Haiti.


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