Haslett educator and GLFF presenter Ben Pineda interviewed a number of the artists for these "Street Stories," to show how they learned their craft and are passing on a tradition.
This summer will be the 26th year MSU Museum producing a summer folk festival, now called the Great Lakes Folk Festival. The GLFF is a unique fusion of arts fair, music festival, county fair, multi-ethnic festival, hands-on activity workshops and celebration of cultural heritage, held every August in downtown East Lansing. The GLFF Marketplace is a centerpiece of the festival. It features traditional and folk artists, as well as “green” artists, who make fantastic art and/or functional objects from recycled materials, or who have started a small business selling sustainable products.
The GLFF Marketplace is a rare venue in the art festival world for folk, traditional and “green” artists to market and demonstrate their traditional work to an audience. We’re not just another art fair – the Great Lakes Folk Festival is about the Folk, as much as it is about the art. Our audience has been cultivated to really take an interest in the product as well as the process.
Folk or traditional art, as practiced by ethnic, regional, occupational, familial, and religious groups, refers to the traditional expressions through which these communities maintain and pass on their shared sense of beauty, identity, and values. Generally, folk or traditional art is learned by example from a family or community member, through imitation and repetition, rather than through formal instruction such as classes or workshops. Ordinarily, valued and authentic folk practitioners are brought up within a traditional community, learning a repertoire and style from their seniors.
Green artists take used or recycled materials and upcycle them to make art or functional objects. The products convey the artists' wisdom, skill and creativity for conserving the planet -- using materials in sometimes recognizable, and sometimes surprising ways.
-->For prospective vendors, apply at zapplication.org and search "MSU Museum's Great Lakes Folk Festival.]
GLFF Marketplace Vendors 2012 (click on vendor name for bio)