Category Archives: just folk happenings

Save the Date!

Sunday, June 24, 2pm

945 Chung King Road

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Wed-Sunday 12pm-6pm

Join us for Making Do With What’s On Hand, a talk by well-known art curator and writer Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins, PhD. –

“I blur the lines between academically and self-trained artists. I look at why and how they use materials.”

Dr. LeFalle-Collins will discuss the trajectory of creating objects for display and function within communities of self-taught African Americans, from the slavery era to the present. “Called many things from folk art, self-taught, visionary, to outsider art,” says LeFalle-Collins “whatever the category ascribed to these works, they have in common a shared cultural identity, traditional art practice, and a lineage that undergirds artworks by many contemporary black artists.” The Good Luck Gallery’s exhibition of historical woodcarvings by Elijah Pierce and Leroy Almon (on view June 9 – July 15) will be contextualized in the broader framework of African and African American art. Questions and conversations welcome!

Dr. LeFalle-Collins has taught at Tuskegee University, Mills College, Oakland, and the San Francisco Art Institute. She was the first Visual Arts Curator at the California African American Museum Los Angeles and has created exhibitions for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the American Federation for the Arts, New York, and the Museum of the African Diaspora, among many others.


Just Folk at the Good Luck Gallery in downtown LA


Just Folk with The Good Luck Gallery is proud to present:

Elijah Pierce and Leroy Almon

June 9 – July 15, 2018

A farmer guides a plow behind his stoic mule, three men cheat at cards, a snake with rhinestone eyes slithers through the grass, and enslaved men and women hunch over their labor in the fields under the watchful eye of a blond overseer. The Good Luck Gallery is honored to partner with Just Folk and Cavin-Morris Gallery for an historic exhibition of master African-American woodcarvers Elijah Pierce (1892-1984) and Leroy Almon (1938-1997) opening June 9, 2018.

Two significant twentieth century folk artists, Elijah Pierce and Leroy Almon each grew up in the Southern United States but would make their homes and their marks in Columbus, Ohio.

Each would use his craft to further his religious and social mission, with Pierce serving as mentor to the younger Almon.

Elijah Pierce, the son of a former slave, was born in Baldwyn, Mississippi into a deeply religious family. At the age of sixteen he opened a barbershop, and after many years straining against his religious upbringing, finally embraced his traditionalist Christian vocation. He became a minister while continuing to carve and barber, with each practice serving and supporting the other two.

While animals and domestic scenes remembered from his childhood continued to appear in Pierce’s work, he also expertly conveyed stories, sermons, and his own deeply personal spiritual history in the form of carved wood panels. It was into this tradition that Leroy Almon was indoctrinated. Born in Tallapoosa, Georgia, Almon met Elijah Pierce and began his work as a wood carver in adulthood. At various times a shoe salesman, Coca-Cola employee, and police dispatcher, Almon too, would eventually find his vocation as a minister. Many of his relief wood carved panels reflect his religious proclivity, exploring themes ranging from famous historical subjects, slavery, and racism, to gambling and promiscuity.Both artists gained recognition within their lifetimes, though Pierce was in his seventies by the time museums and collectors began to take note. In 1972 Pierce was shown in the Members’ Penthouse of The Museum of Modern Art and in 1982 he received the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, following his inclusion in Black Folk Art in America, 1930–1980 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Leroy Almon, The Old Gambler, 1993, painted bas-relief wood carving – signed, 36×15”
Serving as an invaluable record of twentieth-century America, Almon and Pierce’s carvings are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the California African American Museum, among others, and were featured in The High Museum’s exhibition A Cut Above: Wood Sculpture from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection 2016. Carvings of tigers, hippos, and snakes unite with bas-relief carved story panels in this timely exhibition that explores identity, community, popular culture, and religion in powerful, personal style.

“God speaks to me. I know his voice. ‘Elijah, your life is a book, and every day you write a page, and when you are done you won’t be able to deny it because you wrote it yourself.’”
-Elijah Pierce, Elijah Pierce Woodcarver, Columbus Museum of Art, 1992

945 Chung King Road

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Wednesday – Sunday   Noon – 6PM and by appointment


OAF soon to come 2018

We just sold two major pieces from our collection!
We still got it!
Summer went by so quickly and we have had so many changes to adapt to! But we have been busy!
We have decided to participate once again in
The Outsider Art Fair 2018 in New York January 18-21 in New York.
Putting together ideas of which artists to bring…. Check out our Outsider Art section on our website, email us your favorites and the first 10 ideas we will bring!
Manhattan in January is always a thrill!

We attended the opening of the Martin Ramirez show
at the new Institute of Contempory Art-Los Angeles (ICA-LA)
and it is fantastic! What a beautiful space and the exhibition is breathtaking.
Longhauser did an amazing job curating the new space. Very excited that the “insider” art world is learning about this amazing artist. Check out our three Ramirez works on our website as well as the Robert Bergman/Ricco Maresca collaboration at Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, another magnificent Ramirez show there in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time LA/LA!

There’s also an amazing movie coming out called,
“Eternity Has No Door of Escape-
Encounters with Outsiders Art”
a film by Arthur Borgnis about the history of art brut, featuring interviews with key figures in the field and rare footage of Hans Prinzhorn, Jean Dubuffet, Aloïse Corbaz and Harald Szeemann. To order email:
[email protected]

Our phone is still up and running so give a
call or email and say hello!
We miss you!
Marcy and Susan

What’s happening at Just Folk

Welcome (or welcome back) to our blog, which we will now update regularly with news of Just Folk and the world of Self-Taught and Iconic American Folk Art.

We have transitioned to an online-only gallery and remain dedicated to buying and selling the best of the best. As you see, our website has a new look and now includes our entire inventory. New technology allows the viewer to pan over each piece in detail and we offer different angles and close-ups along with explanatory text, measurements and prices. As before, our inventory is divided into two parts, Iconic Americana and Self-Taught/Outsider Art. It is easy to navigate and also contains information about us, our past publications, newsletters, videos and articles written by and about Just Folk.
We encourage you to go on our site and contact us at [email protected] for any inquiries you might have.
All of our current inventory now resides at a fabulous art shipping and storage facility in downtown Los Angeles. We have a small office there and access to all of the art and the ability to bring potential buyers to view any pieces they are interested in purchasing. Everything is climate-controlled, insured and secure. We also have the ability to ship directly from the warehouse, a great convenience for both buyer and seller!
All our inventory now resides at a fabulous art shipping and storage facility in downtown Los Angeles.  We have a small office there and access to all of the art and the ability to bring potential buyers to view any pieces they are interested in purchasing.  Everything is climate-controlled, insured and secure.  We  ship directly from the warehouse, a great convenience for both buyer and seller!
We will continue to show selected inventory at art fairs, which we will announce as they happen in future blasts to you.  Our pieces will continue to be featured in museum shows and exhibitions. 
We currently have a piece at the Known/Unknown: Private Obsession and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art exhibit curated by Frank Maresca at the Museum of Sex in New York City. We also lent an extraordinary Noah’s Ark tramp art piece to an exhibit, No Idle Hands: The Myths and Meanings of Tramp Art to Santa Fe’s Museum of International Folk Art. Also, two of our amazing William Hawkins pieces are traveling in an exhibition,
An Imaginative Geography, to the Columbus Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, the Mingei Museum and the Columbus Museum.  Past loans have included Felipe Archuleta carvings to the Kohler Museum, Jim Bloom to the American Visionary Art Museum, Elijah Pierce to Keny Gallery and pieces to the Westmount Ridley-Tree Galley.
We look forward to Leslie Umberger’s upcoming exhibit, Between Worlds: The Art Of Bill Traylor  at the Smithsonian American Institution in Washington in 2018. It promises to be spectacular. 
Don’t forget we have our Bill Traylor Postcard book and “Unfiltered” as well as the wonderful graphic poster we produced.  Check these out on Amazon and our website as well. 
Not to mention our own collection of Bill Traylor masterpieces for sale!
Just Folk has left the building but we are alive and well online,  Facebook, Instagram, and Incollect!