Acclaimed Kentucky folk artist LaVon Van Williams Jr. will be the Artist in the Schools for the 2017 Foothills Folk Art Festival, which will take place in downtown Newton on Oct. 7. The festival is a partnership between the Downtown Newton Development Association and the Hickory Museum of Art. The presenting sponsor is Catawba Valley Medical Center.
Williams carves low-relief wooden sculptures of contemporary African-American life. Williams received the Kentucky Governor’s Award in the Arts in 2006. In 2009, the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, Ky., held a retrospective exhibit of his art called “Rhythm and Relief.” He is featured in the book “When the Spirit Speaks: Self-Taught Art of the South,” by Catawba County resident Margaret Day Allen, and is included in several other books about self-taught art.