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Welcome Home to the Folk School

by Phil Mattox on August 15, 2017

in Folk School Folks

A student recently suggested we place a sign above the red door to Keith House saying “Welcome Home.” When I asked him what he meant, he explained each time he returns to the Folk School, it feels like coming home. And that is what this place is to many folks— a place where one can come (and return time and again) to thrive and grow.

I was business manager at the Folk School in the early ’90s, and coming home to step into the role as interim director has given me the opportunity to once again be a part of this vibrant place. These past few months have been a humbling experience. The evolution of the school is nothing short of mind-boggling. The physical growth on the campus alone is stunning, with the most recent addition being the new spacious, light-filled Book & Paper Arts Studio.

In my brief time back, I have had the privilege of meeting hundreds of students who travel here from all over, eager to learn, make things with their hands, and have new experiences. Ideas flow freely from teacher to student to teacher—everyone creates something new and is enriched in some way. Our students, instructors, and staff understand the joy of this sort of self-discovery, and the astonishment and self-confidence that accompany the realization that you, too, can make things and be creative. It’s a thing of wonder to witness.

Upon the retirement in March of our long-serving director, Jan Davidson, the Folk School’s board of directors partnered with an executive search firm to conduct a national search for the next director, and reached out to over 200 potential candidates. In June, the board voted unanimously to appoint Jerry Jackson as our new director. As the deputy director of Penland School of Crafts for the past 10 years, Jerry brings extensive experience and knowledge. A community leader who is passionate about the arts, he possesses a great deal of enthusiasm for preserving the traditions of the Folk School and leading us forward to our centennial in 2025.

Please join our Folk School family in welcoming Jerry to his new home this August.

 

 

Phil Mattox
Interim Director

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French Bal Folk Dance Sampler

by Annie Fain Barralon on August 11, 2017

in Music & Dance

Interested in trying a bit of French Dance? A French Bal Folk Weekend Workshop is coming up Sept. 8-10, 2017 at the Folk School. Nadine Marianelli and Polo Bulguière are coming all the way from France to co-teach and play the music along with Geraud and Annie Fain Barralon.

Join us for a lovely weekend of traditional French dance to fantastic live music by international band, French Ida. The dances will be a sampling from various regions of France, ranging from raucous to rhythmic, from circular in form to partner dances. (You do not need a partner.) Dances will be accessible, and all steps will be taught, but some previous dance experience is helpful. Be prepared for a moderate level of exercise. Free admission to that Saturday’s Community Contra Dance included. French Ida with Robbin L. Marcus calling.

Register for the class on our website.

See French Bal dancing in action during a fun flash mob at a Paris train station:

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Picture This

by Cory Marie Podielski on August 10, 2017

in Featured Classes


Drawings and sketches often bring vibrant life to paper and canvas. Here at the Folk School, we also create colorful images and pictures on varied media including glass, clay, jewelry, and even gourds! Branching out, create landscapes and portraits using mosaic pieces, wool, clay, and other materials. View our upcoming classes focused on adding striking pictorial elements to diverse media.

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Each year, we honor the Shakers’ notable contributions to American crafts. Working in varied art forms, the Shakers produced pieces that combined a timeless functionality with a simple elegance. During our special Shaker Week, set for November 5-11, 2017, draw inspiration from Shaker history as you create works that reflect this classic style.

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Into the Woods

by Cory Marie Podielski on July 14, 2017

in Featured Classes


The woods are a special place for many of us. In folklore, the forest is a place of enchantment, magic, and wildness. To hikers and naturalists, it is a place of curiosity, retreat, and adventure. For creative spirits, the woods provide a bounty of materials, and often serve as an artist’s muse. At the Folk School, our abundant trees, woodland paths, and creatures are an integral part of our identity. Enjoy these upcoming classes that honor, and draw inspiration from, our beautiful woodlands.

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