Southern Utah University

Sustaining Cultural Viability: When Folk Art becomes Fine Art

Folk Art, through chosen material culture artifacts and objects, creates cultural viability that sustains human communities and leads to the survival of cultural continuity. When “folk art” (as defined through folklore traditions and expectations) moves beyond established definitions of the “folk”, new forms of art emerge that extend into categories of “fine art”. The process is enlightening, but leads to questions of category: is it folk art or fine art? How do these new forms of art contribute to sustaining cultural communities?

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