SPACES ARCHIVES – A Conversation with Kyle Brooks

April 21, 2021

Seems like a long time ago when I got an email from Spaces Archives. They asked me if I would like to write a blog post for them. I replied “Yes I would.” I did not know at that time it would turn into the longest short film makin’ I had ever undertaken. Many months passed and I thought that the kind folks at SPACES might move on to other options as I had taken too long to gather my thoughts. Luckily they told to take my time and finally I got all my ducks in a row. Maybe I got all my Shoes against the wall. Eggs in a carton? Cups on a shelf? Either way, after many-a-month I finished a short film based on the several questions SPACES sent me.

In the process I would like to say that I learned the difference between FOLK ART and VERNACULAR ART. I always thought that what I painted and made with my hands was similar to folk art Partially due to what people would say about my work and classify me as. Although, I have always said that true folk art was something created by an untrained person — a person from another time and another culture — either in reality or just in their mind. These true folk artists paint from a place of beautiful ignorance. I am only somewhat ignorant and surely not too beautiful. So that counts me out.

I feel like I have enough training and life experiences to disqualify me from making true folk art — but I do believe that there are similarities in the things I make to the world of folk art. As of a few days ago I realized that perhaps my work was more in the Vernacular Art category — perhaps a bit of Outsider Art as well. Honestly I never knew what vernacular meant. Maybe my art should be called Way Over Here On The Side Art. That sounds pretty good to me.

Here are a couple definitions to put in your hat

Vernacular Art – a genre of art and outdoor constructions made by untrained artists who do not recognize themselves as artists. naive art, outsider art, primitive art, self-taught art. genre – a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique.

Folk Art – is rooted in traditions that come from community and culture – expressing cultural identity by conveying shared community values and aesthetics. FOLK ART encompasses a range of utilitarian and decorative media, including cloth, wood, paper, clay, metal and more.

I don’t know where I fit in and I think that is probably a good thing. I think it is important just to make what develops naturally for me and you — to take the signals you are given and share your creative voice and ideas sent to you through the Spirits of Inspiration.

I hope you enjoy my creative take on my answers to the questions SPACES sent me about Vernacular Art and Art Environments. I am thankful for their support and the encouragement they share through all the Art Environments they share and work to document and protect.

Here is my film. I hope you enjoy.

See you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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