Documentary Storytelling: New Class by Local Photographer

Eleanor Koch, from Nashville, TN, came to the Folk School as a work study student during her gap year after studying permaculture and sustainable agriculture in Israel. After her time at the Folk School, she began her freshman year at Warren Wilson College. Photo by Darcy Holdorf.
Tammy Elwell from Oak Park, Minnesota has been a work study student and a host at the Folk School. During her recent time as a host she studied glass beads, book arts and broom making. She also participated in our Thursday night woodcarving class. She asked to be photographed with Chester the Squirrel carved by Richard Carter. Tammy’s passion and joy on the dance floor are infectious! Photo by Darcy Holdorf.

These images were made during my time working as a Sales Associate in the Folk School Craft Shop. The series began as a way to recognize the work study students and hosts who come and go from the Folk School so quickly, yet are a vital part of what we do. I was curious about their lives, before and after the Folk School. I invited work study students to visit the Craft Shop and pick out work that spoke to them for a portrait shoot. This allowed me to share a bit of their personal story while also highlighting work by the talented artists we carry in the shop. When I didn’t have work study students to photograph, I started inviting Folk School staff to participate and the scope of the project grew.

An unintended result of the fashion shoots is that they helped build friendships between the Craft Shop team and other members of the Folk School staff. Everyone who works in the Craft Shop joined in to help style the models and, in the process, we all got to know each other better.

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