What is Folk Art, Meaning of Folk Art

Have you ever wondered what folk art is?

Well, in simple words it´s an expression of culture in the form of visual art, and every folk art form has a unique way to convey that in terms of their use of colors or patterns. It is a distinctive type of art form made by the people of any indigenous community, and through their art they represent their own community´s value, taste and tradition. So, basically a folk artist shares with the world, what he or she has learned from the community, or their family or maybe even occupation. A folk artist may learn the skills in an informal community setting, or it may be passed on through generations, or sometimes they are formally trained.

Madhubani Painting, a folk art from India

Unlike fine art, folk art has a naïve approach and often misses proportion. It may be expressed through the usage of bold figures, repetitive patterns or vibrant colors. It is often hand crafted, utilitarian and decorative and may not just limit to paintings, but also it has been practiced in the forms of murals, sculptures, wooden carvings, pottery, textiles etc.

So to sum up, folk art expresses and enriches the history of a particular culture through its unique and distinctive style, figures or colors. The survival of tradition and heritage is fundamental in any form of folk art. Yet, folk art is not merely a repository for tradition, new themes or motifs constantly evolve from old ones or out of new circumstances.

Some of the examples of folk art include;

  1. Madhubani Painting from India
  2. Ore Mountain Folk Art from Germany
  3. Rosemaling or Kurbit (decorative Paintings) from Scandinavia

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