Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bertha Cooper Harris: Folk Artist

At the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival recently, I purchased this cute wooden "gift tag" from artist Bertha Cooper Harris. She called it a gift tag, but I'm calling it an ornament. I'm going to hang it on my Christmas tree.

I'm not usually a fan of folk art, but I know a lot of people are. I visited Bertha's booth at the festival because for some reason, her display drew me in. Then her exuberant personality charmed me. I visited with her while I looked at her work. She was born in Claiborne parish and now lives in Blanchard, La. She has worked in fabric art (sock dolls!) for the past ten years or so and has recently begun painting. She, of course, evokes the feel of Clementine Hunter works and the comparison has been made often. Mrs. Harris has even displayed her works at Melrose. She will paint on anything; when I saw her she had paintings on canvas, wood (like my gift tag) and cardboard!

Mrs. Harris was the featured artist at the 2008 Claiborne Parish Jubilee Art & Quilt Show. If you get the chance, check out her work. I love the lively aspect of her paintings - all the things going on in them. Even if you aren't a real fan of folk art, she will probably have something that appeals!

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