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Remarkable Artifacts: Folk and Popular Art in Western New York

Organized by Mia Boynton with photgraphs by Mari Faller

On View Thursday, January 26–Thursday, March 9, 1989

Rockwell Hall   

According to Mia Boynton, the folklorist and guest curator of Remarkable Artifacts, this was the first folk art exhibition in Erie County. The comprehensive exhbition of more than 80 objects intended "to situate concepts of folk art within the experience of everyday life, espsecially work and vernacular creativity." It was designed with five categories: Miniatures and Models, Pictures, Human and Animal figures, Scrap and COmponent-Built Obejcts, and Photographs by Marion Faller of large and unmoveable fold art sites. Faller, an artist who at the time was teaching at SUNY/Buffalo, had been commissioned to create images of large, exterior environments created by regional folk artists.

The exhibition was designed to express the contribution made to the region by vernacular artists who represent the diverse ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds of a previously industrial city changing now to a white collar economy. As well, the exhibition directly addresses the Burchfield Art Center's commitment to serve as a forum for the complete range of visual thinking in Western New York State--with an emphasis upon those who have not received sufficient attention.

Dr. Boynton, the exhibition curator and catalogue essayist, is a freelance folklorist who received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in folklore and folklife. She was the folklorist and fieldwork director for the exhibition "In the Shadow of the Mills: Steelwork in Erie County," which toured the Buffalo area, occasioning discussion of the city[s industrial history and culture.