Folkmade.org, a website created by a small group of Brown students and led by Fiora MacPherson ’16, provides a platform for College Hill artists to share both their work and their stories.
The idea was conceived earlier this year, when MacPherson and some friends decided that it was time to improve connections between Brown/RISD artists and the greater College Hill community. Folkmade’s mission statement illustrates this goal; the website aims to “acknowledge the talent in our community” and “celebrate the homegrown makers of our campus” by giving them a way to share their work and their passion with their neighbors. And the organization has done just that; Folkmade will transform the presence of the local art community in everyday life on College Hill.
At folkmade.org, consumers can purchase authentic artwork created by Brown/RISD students. The single unifying feature of the products is their excellent quality; aside from that, the store features a wide array of incredible artwork that spans many styles and mediums. Currently, pieces range in price from $5 to $100 and the product list ranges from oil paintings all the way to literal benches. And that’s only the beginning.
According to MacPherson, the online store will grow with time; artwork will be added in frequent intervals, so the store functions as an ever-evolving showcase of the wealth of beautiful art being produced on the Hill.
The diversity of the artwork mirrors the diversity of the artists, and Folkmade places a great emphasis on sharing their stories. The website features “MAKERS” pages that contain in-depth interviews with the artists and photo galleries of their work. The people behind the pieces have unique narratives, and getting to know them and their work creates the stronger connection between artisan and consumer that Folkmade hopes to harbor.
This connection doesn’t stop at the website. The Folkmade team plans to amplify the College Hill art community by hosting various events throughout the year where artists and consumers can intermingle. From casual lunches to more formal gatherings, these events will help bolster the prominence of art on campus by providing space for artists to engage and share their passion with the public.
The massive undertaking (which was handled from start to finish almost entirely by the team of eight Brown students) will open to the general public tomorrow.