Folk Fest cancelled for 2016, future uncertain

A portrait of George Washington by Lula artist Larry Ledford. Artists like Ledford were hits at Folk Fest.

A portrait of George Washington by Lula artist Larry Ledford. Artists such as Ledford were popular at Folk Fest.

After 22 years, it may be curtains for Folk Fest, the annual folk art extravaganza held every August in Atlanta.
Founders Steve and Amy Slotin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that they have cancelled the 2016 edition because of changes at North Atlanta Trade Center that made the expansive Norcross exhibition hall unavailable to them this year.

The Slotins could not find a suitable substitute site for the show and sale that has featured appearances by some of the country’s top folk artists, including the late Howard Finster, “Missionary” Mary Proctor and Minnie Adkins.

Future prospects appear hazy for the event that typically features 100 booths run by artists, dealers and galleries. Lately Folk Fest has drawn roughly 10,000 guests, down from a pre-recession average of 12,000.

The Slotins stay busy otherwise, putting on twice-a-year auctions at Historic Buford Hall in Buford that draw bidders from across the country for higher-end folk works..
“I’m leaning toward making this the end for us,” Steve Slotin told the AJC in an exclusive interview. “We are like the politicians ‘suspending our campaign’ for now. “But in reality, we will probably not relocate and open again.”

HOWARD POUSNER


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