Of Folk Arts
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Art is skill acquired by experience, study, or observation. It can be a branch of learning, such as one of the humanities, liberal arts, etc. It is an occupation requiring knowledge or skill. It suggests conscious use of skill and creative imagination in the production of aesthetic objects and works. There are fine arts, graphic art.
Craft may imply expertness in workmanship, and also stands for executing well what one has devised, whereas art implies a personal, somewhat creative power.
Tao (it can be used in the plural), suggest ways and means, among other things; they include 'source and guiding principle' to be followed for a life of harmony etc., 'process(es) of change', 'path(s) of virtuous conduct'; and first and foremost 'art or skill of doing something in harmony with the essential nature of the thing'.
Accomplished folk arts reach a Tao (way, means, etc).
The term folk art is used in many ways. One of them used the words "folk art" to refer to objects that reflect craft traditions. Besides, naïve art, Pop art, outsider art, traditional art, "self-taught" art and "working class" art overlap with folk art. The distinction between folk and popular art is not absolute either.
The concept folk art (Volkskunst) has increasingly been adopted in many languages.
The folk artist's items or products are hardly widely used, are not products of commercialism either, nor are they severely mass produced to meet popular taste.
Products of simple tools, utensils, and crafts do have aesthetic aspects. Folk arts may still continue on the periphery if a periphery is found in the "global village of MacDonaldism" in the long run. It is to be hoped.
The built-in tension between localness and obscurity on the one hand and perhaps consumerism-ridden, exploitive, and too shallow large society recognition on the other, is hardly an ideal basis for rooted folk arts in the years to come.
Encyclopedia Britannica, s.v. "Folk art: Visual arts of the folk
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