Monday, August 10, 2015



“I have visions of other worlds . . . I have visions I can’t even tell people. And I try, the best I can, to draw my visions.”  Reverend Howard Finster

By Doc Lawrence

Howard Finster's Art is Omnipresent
NORCROSS, Georgia-It’s one of the proven ways to beat the heat, have fun with friends and family at a budget friendly price and spend three days in air conditioned comfort. Folk Fest, billed as the world’s largest indoor folk art show, for over two decades has become one of the most popular events during the Dog Days of summer.

Based on 22 years of uninterrupted success, visitors to the Atlanta area can expect more joy from the colorful, family friendly art extravaganza. Folk Fest often hooks adults and children on the magic that comes from talking to artists and gallery owners about the paintings, wood carvings, face jugs, painted walking canes and objects that defy description.

Amy and Steve Slotin, two of the most good-hearted people you’ll ever meet, founded this celebration. Folk Fest provided thousands the opportunity to meet Reverend Howard Finster, the sage of Summerville, Georgia who painted according to God’s instructions. The great Myrtice West began painting scenes based on the Book of Revelations after her daughter was murdered. O. L. Samuels, once a prizefighter from rural South Georgia, said he could walk through the woods and certain sticks and fallen limbs would “talk," He took them home, carved images based on these messages with a pocket knife. Each artist has works in the Smithsonian and Atlanta’s High Museum of Art..
A Missionary Mary Proctor Painting

Lorenzo Scott's Paintings are Prized
Many of the artists are from highly inaccessible parts of the rural South. Their art is inspired by spiritual messengers and an environment most would never experience. Homogenization of their culture hasn’t yet happened. Many, however, are on up in the years and their talents will drift away as they leave this planet. America and in particular the Deep South will be the lesser.

Collecting folk art is an adventure that can be a profitable. Those who purchased early works of notables like Ms. West and Reverend Finster own art that has appreciated exponentially in value.

Folk Fest begins Friday and extends through Sunday. Parking is free at the North Atlanta Trade Center. Talented musicians perform crowd-pleasing blues.  Food and beverages are available. The facility is very comfortable and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything other than smiling faces. .

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