In 2018 I visited the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. I stumbled upon the “An Imaginative Geography” exhibit showcasing the work of self-taught artist William L. Hawkins. I was immediately mesmerized by his artwork and wanted to know everything about what I learned to be this “outsider artist.” Since then, I have spent daily sharing the artwork and stories of “outsider artists” on my Instagram account @folkartwork.

What started as sharing artwork by folk artists evolved into sharing drawings, paintings, sculptures, and environments by self-taught, mediumistic, visionary, vernacular artists but perhaps best described as non-conformers, artists who were overlooked by society for one reason or another. In the four years of curating these artworks, I have met artists and gallerists from all over the world and begun incorporating these artists and outlook on art into my pedagogy as a high school art history teacher.

From curating, learning, and sharing about outsider artists past and present, this has led me to be fortunate to launch FolkArtwork Collective, an online web store featuring original artwork for sale by emerging self-taught and outsider artists. My goal is to continue to spread as much love and joy about the world of outsider art as possible and hang as much “non-conforming” artwork in as many homes as possible.

adam g. oestreich

“Celebrating the compelling appeal of outsider art, Instagram account FolkArtwork, curated by scholar and designer Adam G. Oestreich, spotlights the brilliant and diverse practices of self-taught artists from across the world.”

Something Curated

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