Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Atlanta History Center's "Fall Folklife Festival" 2017

The range of the programming at the Atlanta History Center is astounding! And the quality of their events is awesome! This past weekend, I went to their annual Fall Folklife Festival and enjoyed a step back in time AND some great fun in the present.


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

This festival is packed with activities, entertainment, artistry, tours, stories, performances, and demonstrations, including a live blacksmithing demonstration...and festival-goers get a front row seat!


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

Culinary historian, author, and blogger Michael W. Twitty had just a couple days before given a lecture as part of the Atlanta History Center's Author Programs, and was on hand giving a Cooking Demonstration in the Smith Farm Kitchen and a book signing. 

Imagine how hot it would be in a 1840s kitchen with a blazing fireplace and no air-conditioning. That's exactly what it was in this kitchen, but Twitty and fellow festival-goers were all smiles.


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

There were "Bees!" tours in the Farm Kitchen Garden. Why is the Atlanta History Center giving bee tours? With Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) significantly threatening humankind's food supply, CCD has firmly secured its slot in human history.

But, that's not what these tours were about. They were a wonderful opportunity to "learn how humans work with honeybees to share in their sweet harvest" in a hands-on, meet-the-bees experience!


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

I had the awesome pleasure of meeting Suzy Sue Smith (pictured above) at the festival's Folk Art Marketplace! "Smitty Sue" is a nature-inspired painter, found-object artist and a photographer! I had a lovely conversation with her. She's equally enthusiastic about all of her artistic interests! 

I encourage you to chat with artists at festivals, as long as it doesn't interfere with their making a sale. As friendly as they are, remember that they're at work. Suzy had "Sold" tags on a number of her pieces, which are awesome! I later saw a photograph of the above pictured piece when it was finished...absolutely stunning!


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

The Whiskey Gentry, an Atlanta-based Americana band, performed in the Mable Dorne Amphitheater behind the Center's main building. As promised, they delivered some special-stripped-down, acoustic/ folks sets, and they had a great time doing it! 

The Amphitheater is a popular spot for music and other entertainment at Atlanta History Center events, even in winter! And it's a great spot for lunch or a break when you're visiting.


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

Atlanta's oldest surviving farmhouse at Smith Family Farm was built in the 1840s and was eventually relocated to the Atlanta History Center's 33-acre complex. When it was a working farm, there were quite a few animal residents, including sheep, and there are again today! 

The sheep are wholly entertaining...they love people, and evidently love the camera. Look at that adorable smile!


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Alanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

I didn't catch his name, but the gentleman hosting the woodworking demonstration was awesome. He was building a bench using period woodworking tools...not power tools, just hand tools. That's a lot of hard work—he should have biceps the size of a Giant Oak—and incredible skill! 

Seriously, would YOU sit on a bench YOU made with just hand tools? Okay, some of you would, but not me...I'll stick to my digitally-designed seating, thank you very much. The demonstration was quite remarkable, though. Applause and admiration to anyone keeping the hand-made furniture art alive.


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

There were a number of hands-on activities, including "Sachets and Poultices", "Pinch Pots", and "Corn Husk Dolls". I don't know what all of those things are, but there were a lot of fellow festival-goers who were experiencing the fun they offer.


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

This weaving loom, in the Smith Family Farm farmhouse, wasn't in demonstration mode, but it often is and visitors to the farmhouse can always see this magnificent once a household piece of equipment and some of the gorgeous fabrics created on it.


Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fall Folklife Festival 2017 | Atlanta History Center | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

A permanent exhibition at the Atlanta  History Center, "Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South", is a must-see during any visit. Among the exhibition's more than 500 artifacts on display are quite a few, quite fascinating, Face Jugs

If you didn't make it to this year's Fall Folklife Festival at the Atlanta History Center, come see "Shaping Traditions" now and do plan on attending next year's Festival! 

1 comment:

Teresa Halminton said...

Everything looks so amazing! Friendly people, peaceful life...
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