Folk Art Assignment
Note: There is only one assignment to complete. You may choose assignment one or only one topic from assignment two to complete.
Consideration: Junk carries with it the suggestion of other lives and memories associated with its prior use, whether real or imagined.
Students will learn how people in the United States have created memory vessels in honor of a person to create a decoration for their home (historical and cultural understanding).
Assignment: Build a Memory Vessel and then write a short story or poem or musical lyrics narrating one important moment/incident associated with the person you have chosen to honor. Build your story/poem/lyrics around one of the items included in your vessel.
Note: Memory vessels are also called what-not jars, ugly jugs, mourning jugs, forget-me-not jugs, spirit jars and whimsy jugs. Exact details of the origin of the vessels are unknown, but as their aliases contest, they are part of a tradition of commemoration. Placed on graves, or created as a memorial in honor of a specific person, these jugs use recycled materials to tell family histories.
The process of creating a memory vessel is simple. A container is covered with an adhesive such as putty, cement or plaster. While the adhesive is wet, objects are applied to the form. Seashells, buttons, jewelry, tools, beads, coins, and toys encrust the surface, often making the original vessel non-functional. Also, you may simply find a jar of some sort and fill it with the items.
1. Think about a person (dead or alive) to commemorate. It could be a family member, an imaginary character, or a person in the community. What qualities does this person exemplify?
2. Assemble a collection of small objects that embody or symbolize important aspects of the person.
3. Find a vessel or a box and cover it with a thick layer of putty.
4. Let it dry and paint it.
5. Push the collected objects into the putty so that they cover the object or box.
Place your story/poem/lyrics in the drop box Sunday night no later than 11:30 p.m. If you have the capacity to take a pictures and load it into the drop box do so, and if not write a list of what you placed in the vessel.
Assignment: Select one of the topics below to research. Once your research has been completed, write a two page discussion which addresses the nature of your research and the related findings. Include any visual representations you consider necessary.
1. What is important and meaningful in folk art? **Consider personal and cultural meaning. Consider the values and traditions of other people represented by the art object. Address one’s ability to make critical judgments about folk art, free from negative stereotyping.
2. Art categories are not clear and distinct, but are open to interpretation and can change according to one’s perspective. Identify and explain several folk art categories. Include examples and be sure to attach any historical aspects to it emergence and evolution as an art form.
3. Present a comprehension of relationships between folk art and other aspects of daily life.
Submission: Place the assignment in the drop box Sunday night no later than 11:30 p.m.
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