Folk Art | From Newport & Beyond
Folk Art | From Newport & Beyond
This post is from our friend Doug Martin and the Walkers of Newport
Local artistic talent is prevalent throughout the hills and hollows of Newport. The creativity is often mind boggling yet there is that country culture that downplays the genius that is often on display. There is a local modesty or reticence that requires a genuine interest before specialties are shared. A local stroll may range from a friendly chat then an invitation to view and/or discuss a special creation or talent. This creativity may range from homemade furniture, paintings, carvings, music at its best including song writing, quilting, crochets, and/or other needle work, poetry, metal work including black smith work, basket weaving, photography, automobile restoration, writing, flower arranging, to cooking and canning extraordinaire.
In many cases this is/was handed-down talent that may have roots many generations back. In earlier times, cooking, canning, horseshoeing, home-made furniture, woodwork and related activities were part of a daily routine that was a necessity. Similarly, entertainment was also homemade. Barn dances featured local musical talents. Even today it is not uncommon to find the beautiful flowers, ferns, and fruit trees growing around the remains of old home places.
Pull up an old homemade cane bottomed chair, sit a spell and appreciate the local talents:
Along a back road there are yard ornaments made from shovels and other local materials. Homemade Lady bugs adorn porches along with other homemade creatures.
Further along the way the “Tin Can Man” greets local travelers.
Local musician Adam Jones, with superb musical and song-writing talents, presents dancing puppets made by his father-in law. Those puppets offer flat footing at its best.
Superb paintings by highly recognized local artist, Robert Tuckwiller, grace many homes. Acclaimed as a realist, Bob Tuckwiller’s artwork depicts the quiet beauty of the pastoral countryside and the natural environment. Tuckwiller’s award-winning artwork can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the U.S. and abroad giving national and international recognition to local talent.
Quilts and related stitchery are on display along with wood crafts including furniture and miniature stores and homes to scale. Meticulous embroidery left by Donna Martin and a cedar stool by Hassell Miller affirm the skills and patience of local crafters.
Local Newport patriarch, Harry Taylor, used his basket-making skills again reinforcing the attention to detail while recapturing an art that filled a utilitarian need in Newport for many years. Many still recall the adage “Don’t put your eggs in one basket!”
Jewelry is often homemade and the ring below was made from a nut years ago and conjures up fond memories and appreciation for the thought given.
Montgomery County artist Dave Nickerson used his superb talent for making miniature homes and buildings to scale to create replicas of many dwellings in Newport. In doing so, his replications provide a vital historical record of earlier Newport. Dave has willingly shared his genius along with an appreciated enthusiasm.
About the Walkers of Newport:
Under the sponsorship of the NEWPORT RURITAN CLUB an informal group of “Walkers in Newport” met on January 1, 2014 with a goal of recording their individual walking miles and using those miles to simulate walking to other Newports in this country and abroad. Individual miles have been reported weekly and the aggregate miles are totaled. We are a blend of old timers and newcomers who share the healthy common denominator of walking. Our updates also include a “Walk through local history” that includes stories of local lore. To date, we have “visited” or “re-visited” over 100 different Newports in this country and worldwide and have traveled over 160,000 miles.
Any and all individuals are welcomed to participate and can walk anywhere at any time. Ages of participants have ranged from 3 years to 100 plus years. We welcome new members at any time.