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like the original one and be completed by the artist. Given the enormous size of the state, the large number of artists with which TFR was dealing, the funding limitations on our work, and the variety of complications such an undertaking entails, we readily admit that some mistakes and misjudgements were made. But these mistakes resulted from overzealous appreciation, never . from the abuse of privilege for personal gain. The simple reality exists that some artists make gifts of their works, such as a piece of embroidery, tiny crosses woven from sock thread, and a butterfly cut from a piece of tin. The gifts we received are indicative of the artists’ assessment that TFR’s interactions with them were positive ones. We never encouraged any artist to “part” with work; rather it was in response to repeated urgings from an artist that any member of our staff agreed to accept now in the collection of Texas Folklife Resources, under whose auspices the works and the artists who made them were originally identified. The author rightfully criticizes the removal of Bill Tolbert’s tombstones from his yard in Smithville. However, when Kay Turner met Tolbert several years ago it was clear to her that his work was well within the tradition of Afro-American graveyard art and decoration. It was certainly appropriate to pursue Tolbert for inclusion in the survey and, possibly, the exhibition. Curator Turner’s enthusiasm for Tolbert’s work clearly led her to an inappropriate act. Nonetheless, the author underestimates the length to which Turner went in trying to contact Tolbert: letters were written to him; notes were left, and contacts were made with neighbors in an attempt to secure the artist’s permission. Efforts to contact the artist through his family have continued over a long period of time, including during the run of the exhibition at Laguna Gloria and subsequently. Unfortunately, these efforts have not led to a successful outcome; therefore, the pieces are not touring with the exhibition and have been returned. AMAJOR ISSUE in the discussion of folk art presentation and preservation involves the sale of works. The fact is, folk artists frequently create their work to be sold, thereby using traditional resources to better their economic circumstances. This is because, among its many important uses, folk art can be an economic strategy, either as fulltime 20 FEBRUARY 6, 1987 livelihood or as ongoing supplement to other sources of income. In fact, of the nearly 100 artists in the “Handmade and Heartfelt” exhibition, over two-thirds were involved in selling their works in some manner long before we made contact with them. A reality of contemporary folk art is that many artists themselves are seeking new markets outside their traditional communities. Even though economics plays a central role in the creation of Texas folk art, we have found that there is currently no market to the general public for most contemporary folk art made by Texans. Despite the , comment of a Houston gallery owner that “Folk art seems to be catching the rage in Texas,” we have consistently noted that most of the art identified in the survey did not have a place in the current “rage \(i.e., that they were not paintings, or Mexican folk art the general beneficiaries of the worked toward encouraging museums to make contemporary Texas folk art part of their permanent collections, thereby preserving it; at present, we have met with limited success in this. their sales. At times, we have helped artists assess a reasonable market value for their works. A good example of this is Ed Martin of Smithville.. Because Martin made it clear at the time we interviewed him that he was eager to sell some of his work, Turner suggested that she knew someone who might be interested in the piece. When the curators returned to pick up pieces on August 29, Martin was informed that there was a buyer for his work, “Man’s Head.” He expressed happiness at this turn of events. Martin received the check in mid-September \(a matter of He was paid $100 for a piece that he originally valued at $25: Much of folk art such as Ed Martin’s is made for use or display in home and yard environments. And, indeed, the temporary removal of pieces from a yard such as Martin’s for exhibition purposes does require care. However, none of these particular pieces were attached permanently; therefOre, their removal caused no permanent damage and nothing comparable to the “shattering” and “denuding” for which Julie Ardery holds us responsible. Photographic records of Martin’s yard were made to insure proper placement of pieces upon their return. But she overstates the case for Martin’s purposeful creation of a yard environment. We learned from Martin that he made several of the pieces in his yard for sale and not just for display. They have remained there because the original commissioners of the works did not return to pay and pick them up. Martin expressed dismay that they had never been retreived and that he had worked to make pieces that had never been paid for. While time has made these pieces a part of his yard environment, his decision to sell them does not, as the author claims, constitute a “change of mind after 20 years.” The increased commodification of art is of concern to all sectors of the art world, yet cultural commodification should never be confused with cultural advocacy. In the long haul the arbiters of this dispute over cultural advocacy are the members of traditional communities, the folk artists themselves. Artists have repeatedly indicated to us since the opening of “Handmade and Heartfelt” their interest in continuing to work with TFR. Texas Folklife Resources will persist in its artist-centered advocacy of folk culture in our state. These are our real motives, these are our real practices: the preservation and maintenance of art forms and traditions that express the integrity and vitality of folk artists and craftspeople throughout Texas. In the long run, the arbiters of this dispute are the folk artists themselves. Moreover, certain artists, who we deemed worthy of inclusion in a statewide survey of Texas folk art, could not have been shown had we not purchased or commissioned works outright. This is because their works were part of a limited inventory for sales purposes or were objects in such regular use that they could not be loaned over the entire exhibition period. Unfortunately, public grant moneys were not and seldom are provided for the purchase of works in such circumstances. It was and is our contention that the most effective way within our means to address this difficulty on the part of some artists was to commission their work. In trying to represent the finest and largest selection of artists in the state, it would have been extremely unfair and elitist to include only the works of individuals who could afford to loan them. In our long careers of working with folk artists, both before and after the start-up of TFR, we have had ample opportunity to make a personal profit from the sales of folk art, but we have never done so. On the contrary, our own money has been spent in making arrangements for such sales; this was done to provide opportunities for artists by expanding the economic base for