Local author Anna Fariello will discuss her latest book at the next meeting of the Jackson County Genealogical Society, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8.
Titled “Craft & Community: John C. Campbell Folk School 1925-1945,” Fariello’s book offers an early history of the John C. Campbell Folk School.
Olive Dame Campbell founded the Brasstown school in 1925 to honor her late husband, John, who had chronicled life in the region. In the 1930s, the school began teaching woodcarving and formed a community group that became known as the Brasstown Carvers. More than 75 area residents participated in the program, and today’s Brasstown Carvers continue to make detailed carvings of farm animals and nativity figures, Fariello said.
Her talk at the Genealogical Society will highlight the ideas and effort that went into creating a school to serve a rural population as well as its evolution into the nationally recognized craft school it has become. During a talk illustrated with images from the Campbell Folk School archives, Fariello will tell stories of some its earliest teachers and students, as well as of the events that led to changes in the school’s focus.
Fariello became interested in the folk school while doing research for a presentation at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 1993, the Year of American Craft. During the museum’s conference on Women & Craft, Fariello discussed the leadership that fueled the southeastern craft revival. At the time she knew little about the Campbell Folk School and thought it had been founded by John Campbell. She spent the next decade exploring regional archives to better understand the Campbell School as well as the movement that advocated for self-sufficiency and creativity through the making of hand-crafted articles.
Founded in 1991 to assist local families in learning about their roots, the JCGS maintains an office and research facility in the Courthouse Wing of the Jackson County Library. The Society meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month; all JCGS events are free and open to the public.
For more information about the JCGS or the Aug. 8 program, call the office at 631-2646 during operating hours (Monday-Friday,10 a.m.-5 p.m.), visit www.jcgsnc.org or find Jackson County Genealogical Society on Facebook.