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This Year’s Outsider Art Fair Feat. Record Attendance and Groundbreaking Feminism

In a year of record-breaking attendance, The Outsider Art Fair, which celebrates self-taught artists from around the world who create work outside the mainstream, welcomed 2,500 guests on opening night alone. The 26th edition of the fair boasted its largest roster of exhibitors to date – 63 in total. With so many excellent and intriguing programs on view, it was difficult to choose a favorite – here are a few of our top picks.

 

OAF’s Special Program: Onward – an open call booth dedicated to artists’ response to the one year anniversary of the Women’s March – received over 200 submissions from artists who created works envisioning their take on the future of women. Works were rendered in various mediums from photography and collage to illustrated manuscripts and textiles and explored by all types of artists: professional, non-professional, male, female, and everywhere in between.

 

Special Project: Onward: an open call booth dedicated to female and female-identifying artists’ response to the one year anniversary of the Women’s March.

 

Barbara Laube “Pussy Power” 2017 Oil, gold leaf, mixd media on canvas

 

Deborah Kraft “Building Blocks of Wellness #1, #2, #3, #4″ 2018 Collage on paper

 

Special Project: Onward gallery hang

 

Newbie Donald Ellis (New York) presented nineteenth and early twentieth century Plains Indian ledger drawings. Named artists include Oliver Good Shield (Oliver Newton), Carl Matches (Nan-Hi-Yurs), Joseph No Two Horns (He Nupa Wanica) and additional anonymous artists. A touchingly raw insight into the lives of Plains Indian who recorded drawings and experiences in these ledgers.

 

Nineteenth and early twentieth century Plains Indian ledger drawings presented by Donald Ellis.

 

OAF’s Curated Space housed contemporary artist Saya Woolfalk‘s response to Pasaquan, Eddie Owens Martin’s (St. EOM) New Age conceptual utopian social experiment in rural Georgia. Her installation “For People Who See into the Future” included mural and video works as well as featuring readings and consultations by astrologer Alice Kat each day of the fair from 3-6pm.

 

Saya Woolfalk’s installation “For People Who See into the Future” featured readings by Alice Kat each day of the fair from 3-6pm.

 

Fountain House Gallery presented Angela Rogers, whose “poppets” are talismans and good luck charms. Influenced by a lifelong fascination with the occult, Rogers wove and wrapped objects in yarn, felt, plastic wrap and various other materials and adorned them with totemic objects, including antique coins, duck’s bill, and marbles amongst other items. These wrapped poppets present a method of divination for Rogers, harnessing spiritual power and insight.

 

“Poppets,” talismans of divination and spirituality by artist Angela Rogers presented by Fountain House Gallery.

 

Some of our other favorites included:

Esperanza Projects – Richard Kurtz

Marion Harris – Jordan MacLachlan

Humbaba Fine Art – Robert Kippur

Lindsay Gallery – Nancy Josephson

 


images // courtesy of the author