Folk Art Market Offers International Experience

The sounds, smells and sights of the International Folk Art Market provided a sensory overload experience this weekend.

Costumes, music, presentation and crowds blended for an amazing afternoon.

All sense of time and locale went away as I examined the woven and embroidered clothing and accessories from Turkmenistan. I talked with the cooperative members, wandered through booths from other countries, nodding here, chatting there.

At one point, sipping lemonade on the upper level, I pinched myself as a reminder of reality.

Although I’d arrived with a group, we quickly went our separate ways. Then, at a prearranged time, we met to compare notes.

  • A bell of steel coated with bronze boasted a deep and wonderful sound Sydney couldn’t resist. I remembered being attracted to those bells myself.
  • Miriam, who flew in from Salt Lake City for the event, purchased a Peruvian retablo honoring Day of the Dead. The piece made each of us smile.
  • Zelda added to her collection of ceramic dog figurines.
  • Me, I showed my recycled glass beads from Ghana.

Yes, beads. Again. The bright colors drew me in. It wasn’t as if I planned to visit that particular booth. Who could resist the call of luminescent red or electric blue glass beads?

I especially loved the yellow and blue bumper beads which I will use as spacers in special necklaces. The repurposing of existing materials appeals to me as does the recycling aspect of Ghana’s bead company.

Ebenezer Djaba Nomoda (Cedi) spoke to me the second or third time I stopped. “The purple ones are special,” Cedi said. Of course, my stash now contains purple glass.

Glass beads are an important Ghanan industry. Cedi has practiced this trade since he was seven and now makes award-winning beads in his workshop.

For the next week, Cedi will tour the states. I wish him luck. I feel privileged to own some of his bead art and look forward to sharing those glass creations with the world.

If you haven’t enjoyed the Folk Art Market, mark your calendar for next year’s event. The $5 online tickets are affordable. Bus transport from the Capitol Building to Museum Hill was free and a true breeze.

Yes, I’m already planning on attending in 2013.

Will I see you there?