June 25, 2012

I heart art: Folk Art Memory Box


I’ve always been intrigued by folk art. My aunt & uncle (some of the coolest folks I know) collect folk art and their home is carefully curated with face jugs, sculptures and paintings created by many different talented artists. While the southern beau and I were exploring Norris, Tennessee on Memorial Day, I stumbled upon this piece of folk art and had to resist a strong urge to purchase it.

Called a ‘memory box,’ every inch was covered with embellishments such as broken bits of tile, stones, beads and seashells. Part of why I liked it was because the tag listed its origin as Monterey, Tennessee, the small town where my great-grandfather is from. Maybe he (or someone in our family) even knew the artist who created this strangely beautiful object.

I’m sure this piece isn’t everyone’s style, but nobody can deny that a lot of work went into creating it. I wonder why the artist made it, what he or she was thinking about during the process and what he intended the purpose to be. I wonder if the artist would be happy with the asking price of $65 or disappointed it wasn’t more. I have to think the box’s creator must have been somewhat religious because of the prominent placement of the crucifix charm. My favorite part is the small lady figures on either side of crucifix…two southern belles, no doubt. I bet they have stories to tell.

In the south, every person and every thing has a story. I’ve said before that I think one of the greatest ways we can honor people is to let them tell their stories and just listen. You honor me every time you visit Southern Belle Simple, and for that I’m really grateful.

Any other folk art enthusiasts or collectors out there? I’d love to hear what you think about this interesting piece of art!