Art Works Blog

Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte” Llamas and Blanca “Blanquita Rosa” Rodríguez are the surviving members of Las Tesoros de San Antonio, a group of elder women performers who teamed up to preserve Mexican and bicultural musical expressions through their singing and storytelling. Along with Janet “Perla...
An exquisite tooler of leather, James F. Jackson carves in the distinctive Sheridan Style tradition of leatherwork. Fine tooling of delicate flowers and intricate swirls are essential ingredients of Sheridan Style, and Jackson is today one of the finest practitioners of such work. Jackson was born...
Decoy carver Rich Smoker spends as many as 12 hours a day creating wildfowl decoy carvings out of his home workshop on the banks of the Big Annemessex River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. Living as he does on the edge of the Atlantic Flyway, Smoker only has to...
For more than 30 years, Spanish colcha embroiderer Josephine Lobato has created embroidered renditions of cultural memories, enactments, and folk histories. Her tenacity and passion have sustained her as the sole Colorado practitioner of Spanish colonial style needlework known as colcha embroidery...
Proceeding from his post in the Tennessee State Parks, folklorist Bob Fulcher has spent four decades engaged in relentless folklife fieldwork and programming, ardently supporting traditional artists and providing inspirational mentoring to young culture workers. Currently the park manager of the...
From listening to tales at the feet of her Grandaddy Murphy and on the knee of her Uncle Buster in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Alcoa, Tennessee, African-American storyteller Linda Goss has blazed a trail in the Black Storytelling Tradition. She is called “Mama Linda” in honor of...
Basque Musician and Tradition Bearer Dan Ansotegui was raised by the scents and tastes of his mother’s cooking and the sound of his father’s music. The music came from the accordion and the aromas that filled the house were brought to this country by his grandmother Epi. His exposure to the...
Balafon player and djeli Balla Kouyaté’s lineage goes back more than 800 years to Balla Faséké, the first of an unbroken line of djelis in the Kouyaté clan. The word “djeli” derives from the Mandinka language, meaning the oral historians, musicians, and performers who keep alive and celebrate the...
Storyteller Grant Bulltail comes from one of the last of the traditional storytelling families of the Apsáalooke or Crow people. He is a member of the Úuwuutasshe (Greasy Mouth) clan, and a child of his father's clan, the Ashiíooshe (Sore Lip) clan. His Crow name is Bishéessawaache (The One Who...
“I think that the arts matter because they give human beings the outlet to express themselves freely and follow that compulsion or desire or need to express all their vulnerabilities and feelings and frustrations and struggles through whatever medium they choose.” — Marc Maron On his uber-popular...

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