http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/09/05/folk-art-on-display


Danville Express

Living - September 5, 2008

Folk art on display

Danville artists invite everyone to see their 'Tinsel and Treasures'

by Geoff Gillette

Fall brings thoughts of cooler weather, harvest moons and holiday gatherings. For Danville artists Iva Wilcox and Colleen Moody, those thoughts are fuel for inspiration as they create images of that season all year round.

Wilcox and Moody are folk artists, a niche of the art world that is not always clearly defined but one practiced passionately by its devotees.

Folk art reflects craft traditions and is practiced primarily by those who have not undergone formal artistic training, preferring instead to work with methods of their own devising.

Wilcox says folk art is a misunderstood art form.

"Folk art is often perceived as not very sophisticated," she said. "It's always been considered to not be fine art."

"I think we're considered somewhere between fine art and craft store crafts," Moody said.

"There is an element of craft to what we do, but we've honed our skills over the years to an art," Wilcox added.

Both women work in different media, Moody making ornate dolls with clay and cloth, Wilcox using watercolors and a wide variety of materials to create different intricate pieces of art.

"What makes us different is we use vintage finds," Moody said. "We're always looking to 'repurpose' things. And that makes each piece a one of a kind."

The pair goes to vintage stores, flea markets and garage sales looking for items to go into a current or future piece. One doll of Moody's features clothing made from an antique bridal veil. Another uses an old wooden box handed down from her mother that became home to a beautiful doll set against a festive Halloween scene. Beads, buttons, cloth, lace all become a part of something new and amazing.

Both of these artists draw inspiration from the same thematic sources.

"We have a holiday passion," Moody said.

Both women utilize Halloween imagery in their work - witches, pumpkins and fortune tellers. Of the two, Wilcox is drawn more strongly to the Halloween theme.

"Halloween is magical and mysterious, a bit spooky and yet fun," she said. "You get to dress up and be whatever you want, and indulge in all the sights, scents and tastes of fall. Who could ask for a better holiday?"

The pair first met online, selling their pieces in online auctions and stores. At the time Wilcox and her family lived in Memphis, while Moody and her family lived in Danville. But a fortuitous move brought Wilcox to Danville and she looked up her fellow folk artist.

They found they had a great deal in common, having both been career women who stayed home to raise families and found art as a means of expression and later a source of income.

"We get to do what we love, and be home with our kids and have our own business," Moody said.

Both have had their fair share of success as well. Both have made numerous sales both online and at local stores as well as gaining attention in the media. Both have been featured in folk art magazines such as Somerset Studio and Art Doll Quarterly.

Wilcox said it was love of their art and a wish to share it with the community they live in that led them to begin work on an art show.

"I've been in shows where there were 40 people all in a huge room. Everyone was fighting to get the people to their display. I wanted to do something different. More intimate," she said.

Wilcox invited Moody and five other local folk artists to take part in the show, and Tinsel and Treasures was born.

"The Tinsel and Treasures show will give the community a chance to meet our artists and see some of today's folk art that is all the rage in national magazines," she said.

Tinsel and Treasures is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Danville Women's Club, 242 Linda Mesa. Wilcox said many shows of this sort charge an entry fee, but they will not be doing so.

"I want to create an environment for my friends who are artists to share what we do," she said.

"We feel what we do, every piece we create, is one of a kind and we need a setting to show off their uniqueness," Moody added.

Information on the upcoming show can be found at www.tinselandtreasures.com.

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