Lake Norman & Mooresville

Lake Norman Folk Art Festival is Oct. 4

The Hickory Museum of Art’s sixth annual Lake Norman Folk Art Festival, a celebration of folk and local art and a fundraiser for the nonprofit Hickory Museum of Art, will be held Oct. 4 in Sherrills Ford.

Folk art is “work that is made by an artist with no formal training,” said Kristina Anthony, Hickory Museum of Art exhibitions and communications manager. “These artists feel a compulsion to create, and use whatever materials that are at-hand…Art allows people to see what is around them in a different way.”

The festival is a juried show, which means artists had to apply for one of the 60 openings. More than 100 artists applied, Anthony said.

A third of the featured artists are from the greater-Charlotte area. All but eight of the 60 artists are from North Carolina. The remaining eight are from Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. The artists work in a variety of media, including painting, pottery, jewelry, sculpture and yard art.

The festival offers art to view and buy – “most of it on the very affordable end,” said Anthony.

“We are fortunate to live in an area with an active artist community, producing high-quality, one-of-a-kind artwork…. Why purchase something mass-produced in another country, when you can purchase an original artwork, made locally, at a similar if not less expensive price?”

The event has steadily grown, beginning with about 1,000-1,500 attendants, increasing to 3,500 in 2012, and drawing around 5,000 last year. There was room for the event to grow when the Museum of Art moved it to the Old Drum Campground in Sherrills Ford in 2012, after hosting similar events at the museum and at a private residence.

“The museum was looking for a way to have a presence on the other side of Catawba County,” Anthony said. “This Festival was well received in Sherrills Ford and has grown tremendously over the last few years, due to the vision of several individuals including Robert Eades, Linda Greenwell and Cindy Lundy.”

A few hundred people volunteer to help with the event.

Anthony said the new location proved to offer an “extraordinary” atmosphere for the Lake Norman Folk Art Festival.

“The artists are literally tucked into the woods, along the backdrop of Lake Norman, with beautiful light dappling through the trees. This beautiful setting puts everyone in a good mood.”

Art made by children from Coddle Creek, Balls Creek and Maiden elementary schools will also be displayed. Each year, the Hickory Museum of Art has arranged for festival artists to visit local schools and work with students on creating art to be shown. This year, artists Theresa Gloster and Cher Shaffer made school appearances.

“Creativity cannot be overvalued,” Anthony said.

“Art education promotes innovation, problem-solving and nonverbal communication. It can be used in tandem with other subjects from mathematics to social studies.”

Another novelty for patrons will be a chance to visit the Duck Tape Tour Bus, a 31-foot recreational vehicle that celebrates all that duct tape can be used for. It comes from the main event sponsor, Shurtape. People will be able to make a duct-tape creation there.

“We loved the idea of bringing the Duck Tape Tour Bus to the Festival because, like folk artists who utilize nontraditional art materials, it celebrates creativity and ingenuity using a household product,” said Anthony.