A Family History Quilt

I was raised in a small community called West Mountain, in the southern Adirondacks of New York. Family and friends all lived near one another, giving me a great out-of-the-way place to grow up. I am a third-generation quilter and fourth-generation seamstress. My grandmother, Viola White LaPier, taught me at a very early age how to make crazy quilts. I remember at age five or six going to my uncles’ lumber camp. While she cooked meals for the lumbermen, I would sit next to the wood stove stringing quilt triangles that she had cut out of old, worn wool pants. My great grandmother, Fanny Newton White, made the family’s clothing by hand, without the aid of a modern-day pattern. She could cut out and construct a dress just by looking at another one. I’m fortunate to have inherited some of those skills.

New York State Council on the Arts Grants

New York Folklore recently announced $225,000 in grants from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). These funds are the result of 21 successful applications submitted to NYSCA by New York Folklore on behalf of folk and traditional artists in the Capital Region. New York Folklore hosted an awards reception to celebrate this great achievement by folk and traditional artists in the region on February 23 at The Linda, WAMC-Albany’s public radio network’s Performing Arts Studio. The celebration featured food representing the grantees heritages.

Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival, 2022

The 2022 Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival was a spectacular sequel to the first festival hosted in 2021. We were thrilled that Mohawk Valley-based photographer Kevin Hoehn made the trip to Albany to photograph our event. There he found the crafts, arts, music, and dance from the communities who have made a home from New York’s Montgomery to Columbia Counties.

From the Waterfront

Over the years, I have met some amazing photographers and artists who, like myself, are captivated with the South Shore bay houses of Long Island. One of those people was artist Dan Pollera, who passed away in March 2022….Another artist who we admire is Kathy Herzy of West Islip, who has painted numerous scenes of traditional maritime activities, including clamming, birdwatching, waterfowl scenes, and traditional boats and fish houses.

Portrait of an Artist: Ellen Fjermedal

It was in my fingers!” Ellen Fjermedal explained. Ellen, a demure, but determined and spry elder, started drawing when she was a child in Arendal, on the south coast of Norway. Now living in Victor, New York, she has a studio and display area at home where she paints rosemaling (Norwegian) or kurbits (Swedish) decorations.


You need to read this book [Annie Lanzillotto’s L Is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir} because it’s the most powerful depiction I have ever read of how a human being can draw on her folk culture, her humor, and her poetic insight to pull life-affirming meaning out of the gutter like a lost Spaldeen.

Reimagining Irish Lace in Western New York

“(Re-)Making Irish Lace” attempted to understand how a particular art form has been interpreted by different groups of people, locally and abroad, for nearly 200 years, comparing past and recent practice…how the unfurling story of Irish lace is playing out in the daily lives of Buffalonians.

Vejigante Masks of Emil Droz Torres

The papier-mâché vejigante masks of Amil Droz Torres, an artist from Puerto Rico who also worked part-time in Saratoga Springs “were an important component of the Carnaval de Vejigantes, the annual celebration held in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Begun in 1991, but with roots...

Joanie Madden

Irish flute player, Joanie Madden is named a 2021 National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.