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Hi, I'm Robert Furginson, creator of The Cultural Folk Art Company. We are a small company with a strong goal that has been Inspired by the work and accomplishments of a number of cultural artists.   With the creation of this site, we have embarked on a journey to help a specific group of cultural artists share their extraordinary talents on the internet.

 
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Starting with my favorite artist, Olga Ponce Furginson, who is known to five of us as Mom, we hope to share with you the art and joy of paper cutting.  Her work has had a major influence on each of us, as we grew up with her. Most fortunate were the thousands of students who have learned something about the arts from her. Most of whom, have learned the art of Mexican paper cutting, known as Papel Picado. She has been accredited for the revival of this art by a number of influential people as well as being recognized for her involvement in the field of education. To find out more about her, check out her biography and a few of the awards she has received.

Her father, Ramon Ponce, was an artist of many talents. His artistic ventures ranged from the cultural arts to fine art and photography. Most of us in the family have been fortunate enough to have inherited a painting by our grandfather. He was an amazing grandfather to us all, so I can only imagine the kind of father he was to our mom and aunts, who have all shown their inherent talents in the arts. Four of them chose the path to teaching as their career.

Another source of inspiration that had an influence on my decision to post this site, has been a friend and former employer, Kelly Gonda. She and her husband, Lou, produced a movie called "A Time for Dancing". I was fortunate enough to land a job as the art director with the show. I worked in the show's art department, headed by a very talented artist and production designer, Carol Winstead Wood. Carol gave me the opportunity to be a part of this show and I deeply thank her for that. It was a great experience.

I had never worked for producers like the Gondas. They cared so much about every last person in their employ, to say the least about how they extended that care to each and every one of our family members. Kelly and Lou, as producers, did things for the crew that shocked most of us in a good way. One of the many things they did for us was to insist on celebrating the birthdays of everybody who had one during the production of the show. This was done without regard to the individual's job description.

The one thing that surprised me more than anything was the crafts table Kelly would have set up somewhere on the set. Anyone could go there and create something cool during their down time. It was a chance to relax from the hectic schedule and be creative as an individual.  Most of the creative work was given to some wonderful kids who were in hospitals, diagnosed with cancer or going through chemotherapy. One of the crew's favorite items to create were the hats these kids loved to wear. That table of art and craft supplies always had someone there working on something throughout the filming of the show.

The most important women in my life, for whom my love has no limit, would be my wife and daughters. If it weren't for my wife Joycelyn, I would not have been able to put the time I needed into the creation of this site. She has been here for me through the thick and thin of it all. As for our kids, Tricia and Kasey, they seem to have been infected with that little thing called talent and only time will tell where they will take it.

Between my mother's dedication to teaching the cultural arts, Kelly's inspiration for others to be creative through her kindness and the support of my wife and kids, it has been possible to develop this site.  It's all in hopes that there are others who may be inspired to learn or teach something about the cultural arts.  This site is dedicated to the "hands on" proposition to art.

Robert B. Furginson
bob@culturalfolkart.com

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