In celebration of Independence Day, July's Dress Up theme is Folk Art! According to Wikipedia : "Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople."
Basically, this means that Folk Art is different than Fine Art because it is (and was) made for utilitarian purposes rather than "just to look at." Wikipedia also says, "Folk art expresses cultural identity by conveying shared community values and aesthetics. It encompasses a range of utilitarian and decorative media, including cloth, wood, paper, clay, metal and more. If traditional materials are inaccessible, new materials are often substituted, resulting in contemporary expressions of traditional folk art forms. Folk art reflects traditional art forms of diverse community groups — ethnic, tribal, religious, occupational, geographical, age- or gender-based — who identify with each other and society at large. Folk artists traditionally learn skills and techniques through apprenticeships in informal community settings, though they may also be formally educated." Folk Art exists in all cultures, but I typically think Americana when I think Folk. I guess that's because I am an American. Here are some examples of Folk Art:
The first example is obviously a portrait painting. The second is a quilt top made during the U.S. Civil War, and the third example is stitch needlework. I chose this theme to celebrate the American holiday, which is Monday, July 4. This doesn't, however, mean you must complete your dress with Americana in mind. You may use whatever Folk Art is indigenous to your neck of the woods...Brazil, South Africa, Canada, etc.! If you want to base your design on American Folk, you can find a lot of examples at the American Folk Art Museum.