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Fairmont State’s Folklife Center to present new exhibition and performances on April 13 Impact
Fairmont State News

Fairmont State’s Folklife Center to present new exhibition and performances on April 13

Apr 09, 2024Events, Folk Life

Folklife Center

Fairmont State University’s Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host two back-to-back events on Saturday, April 13. A new exhibition will be presented at noon and following that will be a set of literary and musical performances.

“It is exciting to have the Folklife Center filled with a new exhibition and performances all on the same day,” says Folklife Center Director Lydia Warren, Ph.D. “We hope visitors eat, drink, view the beautiful feedsack garments, and stay for the music and readings. It is our honor to connect the community and students to local history, local art, and local artists.”

At noon, the Folklife Center will welcome visitors to view the new exhibition curated by textile expert Dr. Beth Newcome, titled “The Farmer’s Wife.” The exhibition features items from the Folklife Center’s Nesselroad Feedsack Collection, showing the talent and resourcefulness displayed by local women in the mid-20th century. 

During the Great Depression and WWII, many women repurposed cotton feed bags into dresses, quilts, and pajamas, among other items, and mended everything they could. The garments on display show the material culture and creativity of women from West Virginia. The exhibition includes an antique handmade quilting frame donated by Eric and Elizabeth Starn. Guest curator Dr. Newcome has extensive experience researching and working with feedsack items, and she facilitated the donation of the Nesselroad Feedsack Collection to Fairmont State University. Light refreshments will be served during the showing.

 After the Farmer’s Wife exhibition premiere, from 1-3 p.m., the Folklife Center will host “Women Speak: The Women of Appalachia Project 15th Anniversary Celebration.” The Women of Appalachia Project is a performance and literary organization featuring women artists. This event will showcase performances of stories, poetry, and songs. The Women of Appalachia Project was founded by Kari Gunter-Seymour to uplift and showcase artists through performances and a literary magazine called Women Speak, which will be available for purchase at the event. Both of the April 13 events are free and open to the public.

 The Folklife Center is located on the Fairmont State University campus on Squibb Wilson Blvd. For more information, please call 304-367-4286 or email