The Capital District (Albany and Rensselaer Counties) Upstate Regional Initiative is ending with a BANG this Fall. On October 3rd from Noon to 5 pm join us in Albany’s Washington Park at the Lake House Amphitheater for the Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival. The festival will feature the artists, tradition bearers and musicians identified by our Community Fieldworkers Ladan Nikravan, and Edgar Betelu.
Artists will display and demonstrate their work throughout the day for visitors to engage and participate. Demonstrations will include; African Hair Braiding, Iconography, Wood Carving and more! Adults and children will have the chance to try their hand at crafts inspired by these traditions in workshops and activities.
Photo of Carved Birds by Majaliwa D Maulidi. Photo by Ladan Nikravan.
Chinese Papercut by Anping Liu. Photo by Anne Rappaport
Musical performances by the Wa Lika Band and Mundeo Nuevo will bring the day to a close starting at 3pm! See the full performance schedule below.
11:30 am Washington Park Drummers
12 pm – 1pm Karen (Myanmar) Harp by Pinya Aung
1 pm –2pm Mixed Roots
2 pm – 3pm Pakastani Music by Shaman Awan and Aurelius John
3pm – 4pm Wa Lika Band
4 pm – 5pm Mundo Nuevo
The full festival program is available here: Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival Program
Photo of Mbaya Patrick Kasongo of Wa Lika Band. Photo Courtesy of the Artist.
The Upstate Regional Initiative is a program initiated by the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. The project was developed to conduct field documentation and programming in counties underserved by the Folk Arts program of NYSCA, with the goal to serve as a catalyst for community-based projects and to identify artists and cultural traditions within these regions. The initiative continues in 2021 in the Mohawk Valley
Driving through upstate New York you are likely to pass barns, houses, and other buildings with large painted squares. Images range from stars, flowers, bear paws, canoes, houses, and even the occasional pineapple!
What are these works hanging on houses, barns & other structures?? They are quilt barn squares!
Quilt Barn Squares are painted on wood and range from a 2’ x 2’ up to an 8’ x 8’ square. Though they also appear smaller in (indoor!) home décor and pins. Designs reflect traditional quilt patterns and influences. Examples of designs are the Mariner’s Compass, Cross Kayaks, and School House Rocks.
The Mayfield Mural was a community effort including the School District, Fire Department and the Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail
You may spot them all over the state, but the Mohawk Valley has its very own Quilt Barn Trail – The Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail. Founded by Liz Argotsinger in 2014, the Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail has grown to over 150 quilt barns. Many of the images along the way are traditional designs with the potential to be replicated on sewing machines.
Creating a square begins by taking a piece of MDO board (medium density overlay) and attaching a frame to the back. This step ensures no screws need to go through the finished front while hanging it. The piece is then primed, painted and the square is ready to be hung!
Along the trail, you will see squares created by Liz, including a traditional square, The Dresden Plate as well as an original square, Hops and Barley, featured at Stump City Brewing in Gloversville, NY.
Hops and Barley at Stump City Brewing in Gloversville. By Liz Argotsinger.
Driving the Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail is a great way to get out see the beauty of the Mohawk Valley and its artists!
For more information about the Fulton Montgomery Barn Quilt Trail, you can visit their website, Facebook page, or YouTube video.
YouTube: Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail
Header Image is Reflections by Liz Argotsinger.