Sunday, April 26, 2020

______Meet the Folk Artists______

A new bi-weekly feature:

This is the first in a series of articles about folk artists
who will be presented by Catskills Folk Connection this year.


Joseph Dibble, Bovina Center, NY

Decoy Carver

Folk Art in Wood

Joe Dibble has always been artistic.  When he saw a collection of antique decoys, he determined to learn how to make them.  He has carved Canada geese, ducks and this swan.  To hear him describe his creative process click this link and then click on the file called "Copy of 2020 Jan Joe Dibble".

Birds are not the only decoys carved by folk artists.  Joe has turned his hand to making fish decoys for ice fishing (see correction note below).  But in this photo he holds not a decoy but a finely sculpted carving of a trout he caught, even replicating the fish's spots as well as its colors.     

Joe is also an avid wild turkey hunter and an equally avid student of their behavior.  He has recorded them a number of times in detailed pen and ink drawings (no photo available at this time).

Joe Dibble's work will be featured in an exhibit of folk art made from wood planned for September at Hanford Mills Museum.  At present "Folk Art In Wood" is still intended to be an in-person exhibit.  It will open in early September and be on view until early October, ending with Hanford Mills' Woodsmen's Festival.  

There will be several folk artists' works for you to examine, each unique in their own way, and each notable for the artist's creative approach.  In addiiton to works of contemporary artists, there will be a few examples of carved wooden works by past folk artists, one of which will be the well-known Lavern Kelley.  As part of the exhibit there will be a lecture by Sydney Waller, a Cooperstown gallery owner who is the curator of the Kelley estate and acknowldged expert on his carvings of farm vehicles and farm equipment.

Dates and times will be announced here on Catskills Folk Connection's blog, and through our usual advertising by post card, e-mail, radio, and newspapers.  If you would like to be on Catskills Folk Connection's mailing list call Ginny Scheer at 607-326-4206 or e-mail at  

If gathering restrictions prevent an in-person exhibit, Catskills Folk Connection will present exhibit materials here on the blog and in other media if possible.  This installment of Meet the Folk Artists is  the beginning of our effort to expand our capacity to use electronic media to communicate with our audience - people like you who care about folklore, folk art, folk music and dance, and folk stories.  Either in person or on line, we'll make sure that you'll encounter many expressions - both old and new - of the everyday experiences of ordinary folks in the Catskills.
(Correction note:  the author is responsible for the incorrect statement that appeared here about decoy fishing for trout.  Decoy fishing and ice fishing for trout are not legal anywhere in New York State.)

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