International Folk Art Market Announces the Finalists of the Third Annual Living Traditions and Community Impact Awards

Santa Fe, New Mexico—The International Folk Art Market’s third annual One World Awards Dinner will recognize life-long contributions and commitments to the creation and support of folk art in a special event held at La Fonda on the Plaza, Lumpkins Ballroom on Thursday July 12, during the 2018 International Folk Art Market Santa Fe’s One World Awards Dinner.

The International Folk Art Market (IFAM) will recognize the artists, supporters, organizations, and advocates that embody IFAM’s mission to create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide who celebrate and preserve folk art traditions.

THE LIVING TRADITIONS AWARD

The Living Tradition Award honors artists who exemplify IFAM’s mission by contributing to the preservation of culture through reviving and strengthening traditional techniques, and by ensuring their unique artforms thrive in future generations. After applying for this award, finalists are chosen by a committee of staff and board members. Award recipients are determined by national experts Mary Littrell, Professor and Department Head Emeritus of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University, Brooke Anderson, former Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Folk Art in New York City and current Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Paulette Cole of ABC Carpet & Home. The five finalists are:

Angeline Bonisiwe Masuku of Hlabisa, South Africa learned to weave from her aunt and now supports her family with the art. Angeline’s traditional palm baskets are used for daily life as well as for decoration. She designs her baskets to incorporate imagery of her immediate environment, as well as geometric designs inspired by Zulu beadwork. Passing her weaving skills onto her younger sister and daughter, she has also taught many women in her village, helping them find a path out of poverty.

 

Amalia Gue lives in the community of Samac de Cobán in Alta Verpaz and is inspired by the landscape and beauty of the region. In this area of Guatemala, girls learn to weave using the back strap loom by the time they are eight years old. As the president of Ixbalam’ke, a cooperative of 65 women dedicated to the production of textiles using traditional weaving techniques, Gue provides important artistic and financial opportunities to women and girls in her community.

 

Master textile artisan Mamta Varma was born and raised in Lucknow, India, a traditional epicenter of fine chikan textiles. Varma’s passion for craft and embroidery comes from her mother and aunt, who were both knitters and embroiderers. Varma’s started Bhairvis Chikan, a textile artist cooperative, whose members include other women in her community. Promotion and preservation of hand-woven fabric is an integral part of Varma’s mission, and, together with Bhairvis Chikan’s artisans, she works tirelessly to bring it back into mainstream chikan textile goods.

 

Manisha Mishra learned to paint ritual designs on the floors and walls of her home from her mother and grandmother. Her festive paintings depict traditional motifs of Indian art, personal experiences, and mythological features even as they comment on her daily experiences of the natural world, contemporary urban life, and changing gender roles. Always innovative, Manisha aspires to form a school where the techniques and stories of this distinctive art form can be taught to future generations of female artists.

 

Cedi Beads Ghanaian bead-maker Nomoda Ebenezer Djaba (known as “Cedi” for short), began designing powder glass beads at the tender age of seven. Luckily for his clients, which now span the globe, Cedi persevered with a glass bead-making practice which is colorful, bold, and distinctly his own. Beads are beloved to Ghanaian culture, and the ability to create them is a highly sought-after skill. Today, Cedi runs a workshop that employs regional artisans who learn and practice the craft.

 

THE COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD

The Community Impact Award honors artists who are extraordinary examples of IFAM’s mission by positively impacting social change in their community. After applying for this award, finalists are chosen by a committee of staff and board members. Award recipients are determined by national experts Paola Gianturco, photojournalist and author, and Kim Meredith, Executive Director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. The five finalists are:

Self Help Enterprise (SHE), based in India, has more than 800 artists making kantha embroidery — a centuries-old technique of sewing layers of old fabric together. Kantha is appreciated for its unmatched beauty and is integral to the cultural heritage of Bengal. SHE reinvigorated the art of kantha with contemporary colors and geometric patterns while drawing from classic designs of village vignettes and images of gods and goddesses for inspiration. Through sales of kantha, SHE artists are able to earn year-round incomes which improve the lives of artists and their families

 

The artists of Sulafa Embroidery Centre create textiles filled with traditional Palestinian motifs and patterns. Designs include cypress trees, flowers, tents, and the Hajem, the symbol offering protection from the evil eye. Sulafa’s artists produce traditional embroidery work, which utilizes a variety of specialized techniques. The United Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has operated the Sulafa Embroidery Centre for 60 years to help approximately 350 refugee women earn an income through the production and sale of their embroidered goods.

 

“Empowerment through tradition” is an appropriate slogan for the Janakpur Women’s Development Center (JWDC) in Southern Nepal. For years, the foundation has preserved the tradition of creating ancient Maithil paintings, using methods passed down from woman to woman for generations. Since its inception, the JWDC has grown and flourished and has made Janakpur famous for its colorful paintings on paper. Over the years, the center has provided training in literacy, management, planning, and gender awareness. It has also been successful in preserving their traditional arts, generating steady income, creating strong female leaders, promoting education, and self-confidence. The center started with seven members and currently supports over forty-one female village artists.

 

A difficult childhood forced Somporn Intaraprayong to become self-sufficient, and also instilled in her great empathy — especially towards women who have struggled to provide for themselves and their children. As a textile artist, Somporn is self-taught and she has taken her creativity, passion, and discipline across various regions in Thailand to teach women to sew clothing and accessories by hand using traditional techniques and stitches.

 

El Grupo Bayate is composed of a group of city painters from Cuba who joined together 20 years ago in hopes of preserving their cultural identity through paintings and public murals. El Grupo Bayate teaches art classes to children and organizes community art projects, in order to create a sense of pride and belonging within their community and promote awareness about the roots and history of painting in their town.

All award recipients will be announced and celebrated at the One World Awards Dinner to be held Thursday July 12th, from 7-9:00pm, at La Fonda on the Plaza, Lumpkins Ballroom.  For detailed information, tickets and schedule of events, visit wwwfolkartmarket.org

For more information, interview requests, and photos, please contact Clare Hertel at 505-474-6783 or clare@clarehertelcommunications.com.