Potter College News
Hopkinsville Woodcarving Folk Artist to Host Artist Demonstrations and Audience Discussions to Kick Off ‘Willie Rascoe Day!’
- Camille Maria Acosta
- Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
The Kentucky Folklife Program in partnership with the WKU Folk Studies & Anthropology Department and the Kentucky Arts Council, will host the folk artist Willie Rascoe, Kentucky Woodcarver crafting artwork that weaves spirt and heart together into one.
On Thursday, October 5th, Willie Rascoe will host a free artist demonstration and audience talks, both open to the public at the WKU Pioneer Log Cabin from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm central time.
Hailing from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Willie Rascoe is a breathtaking folk art and woodworking sculptor specializing in utilizing the earth’s resources and reclaiming them as tools of artistic mysticism. Beginning his carving journey during his studies at Hopkinsville Community College, Rascoe finally displayed his work to the world in the early 1980’s. Collecting driftwood, metal, animal hides, and any other materials he can gather from nearby Kentucky lakes and wooded areas, Rascoe transcends craftsmanship molding experience and story with an artistic masterpiece. Rascoe bases his creations off the stories and styles his materials emit; he listens to the trees.
Rascoe has exhibited at the Kentucky Folklife Festival in Frankfort, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville and the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead where he was featured in the African American Folk Art Exhibit. Roscoe's work is forever imprinted at the permanent collections within the Kentucky Folk Art Center and the Kentucky History Center.
In 2012, Rascoe received the Tanne Award by the Boston-based Tanne Foundation to recognize artists for outstanding achievement and for demonstrating exceptional talent and creativity. In 2020, Rascoe was also the recipient of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts through the Kentucky Arts Council.
“It is such an honor to be celebrating the creative genius of our longtime friend and artist Willie Rascoe next week”, Says Brent Bjorkman, Director of the Kentucky Folklife Program and Kentucky Museum, “For over 20 years, Willie has been sharing his visionary work with both audiences, far and wide, and acting as a mentor to other fledgling artists who draw on his innovative energy and masterful techniques to inspire and explore their own progressing works. Willie Rascoe is a Kentucky treasure and I hope our campus and community will come by the Pioneer Log Cabin to meet Willie and soak in his talent!”
There will be four different segments in which Willie will alternate between discussing his process and demonstrating his woodcarving mastery. The detailed schedule is as follows:
9:30 am to 10:45 am ~ Willie Rascoe Narrative Stage 1 - Kentucky Folklife Program director Brent Björkman and Folklife Specialist Camille Maria Acosta will be asking Willie questions about his background, upbringings, source of
10:45 am to 12:15 pm ~ Willie Rascoe Artist Demonstration – Willie Rascoe will begin his woodcarving and folk-art creation while elaborating on the process of transforming the earth’s resources to stunning works of art.
- 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm ~ Break for the Artist
- 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ~ Willie Rascoe Artist Demonstration – Willie Rascoe will continue his woodcarving and folk-art creation while elaborating on the process of transforming the earth’s resources to stunning works of art.
- 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ~ Willie Rascoe Narrative Stage 2 - Kentucky Folklife Program director Brent Björkman and Folklife Specialist Camille Maria Acosta will conclude the day long events by asking Willie about the piece he created during his time with us, the source of inspiration, and his outlook on the future. Time will be time allotted for audience questions.
The Kentucky Arts Council (KAC) is the state arts agency and is responsible for developing and promoting support for the arts in Kentucky. Strategically placed in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Arts Council is publicly funded by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent agency of the federal government.
Established in 1989, the Kentucky Folklife Program (KFP) is the Commonwealth’s statewide public folklife program, with the mission to document, present, and conserve the diverse traditional cultures and heritage of Kentucky. In 2012, the KFP moved from Frankfort to the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at WKU.
For more information, contact KFP director Brent Bjorkman: (270) 745-6261, firstname.lastname@example.org or KFP Folklife Specialist Camille Maria Acosta: (270) 745-4133, email@example.com.
Western Kentucky University prides itself on positioning its students, faculty and staff for long term success. As a student-centered, applied research university, WKU helps students expand on classroom learning by integrating education with real-world applications in the communities we serve. Our hilltop campus is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which was recently named by Reader’s Digest as one of the nicest towns in America, just an hour’s drive from Nashville, Tennessee.