Folklife in the Piney Woods

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Folklife in the Piney Woods of Texas

Institute of Texan Cultures, National Endowment of the Arts look into East Texas arts

 
SAN ANTONIO – Surrounded by a world of mass made objects, there are still those who take pride in creating things of beauty or function by hand. Historically, how to make things at home was something passed informally across the generations, and is called a "folklife" tradition. For the past half-century, the Institute of Texan Cultures has sought out and documented those keeping alive the folk traditions that make up a unique part of our diverse Texan heritage.
 
Opening along with the Texas Folklife Festival on June 7, "Folklife in the Piney Woods of Texas" gives a glimpse of some of the many folk artists the Institute of Texan Cultures documented in a 33-county area of East Texas. Photographs and objects in the exhibit include leatherwork, woodcarving, quilting, gourd carving, textiles, pottery, and basket making.

 
"Learning folkarts in the traditional way is becoming increasingly rare" said Bryan Howard, director of research, exhibits, and collections at the Institute of Texan Cultures. "While some still learn these things growing up, many people take up a folkart later in life. This often means learning through modern means -- classes, clubs, television, even YouTube. ‘How-to’ videos are fast becoming the new norm for passing along ‘traditional’ lifeways to the next generation."
 
The artists in this exhibit span both the old and new ways of learning, proving that Folklife continues to evolve.
 
Made possible in part through support from the National Endowment of the Arts, Art Works, and the ITC Texan Fund, "Folklife in the Piney Woods of Texas" continues through Aug. 31.
 
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
 
 
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©2014 Institute of Texan Cultures. University of Texas at San Antonio. All Rights Reserved.
 

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