Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Art & Soul of a Gypsy

About a year and a half ago my two closest art buddies, Christy Buchanan and Courtney Tomchik, introduced me to one of the coolest artists I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. We were all participants of the Waynesville Church Street Festival in Waynesville, North Carolina which is a hotbed these days for up and coming outsider artists.

For those unfamiliar with the term "outsider art" it essentially categorizes an artist as self-taught. There are several genres within that classification. In fact my friends Christy and Conni Togel technically fall within this category even though they have some design training. Gypsy Hundley however is a true old-school folk artist with no formal college education, no painting classes, and a strong desire to paint on just about any found object that will allow the paint to adhere to its surface.

Despite having a home in Hendersonville, North Carolina she is true to her chosen folk name. For the most part Gypsy travels the east coast from early January into mid-December each year to make ends meet. By doing so she's accumulated a decent following the past couple of years. I last saw her at the Tybee Island Fall Festival back in mid-November where I snapped the above picture. The setting is fairly typical of Lizz. She is always working.

I found out about a month ago that Lizz had a major-sized tumor removed around Christmas. Not only has the road back to becoming healthy been difficult, she has accumulated a great deal of medical expenses. I am thankful to have a spouse that provides medical insurance for my family. Gypsy is a single parent with absolutely no insurance whatsoever. Unfortunately that is not uncommon for many of the folks I work with now.

My friend is bravely facing the challenge before her. She is determined to not only pay off her medical bills but is working hard to return to the career she dearly loves. Next weekend friends of Gypsy are putting together a fund raiser for her. Many of her artist friends have donated work for the cause including Christy, Courtney, and myself.

I would really appreciate it if the readers here could contribute in some way. Whether it's a couple of dollars, a ten, a twenty, or just some encouraging words please let her know where it's coming from. She's a huge fan of Ben! I know that she would like to know that friends of my son are also her friends.

If you are in the Asheville, North Carolina area then this is a great opportunity to meet her and bid on some awesome art work! And just a hint: if you are interested in bidding on art via the internet then e-mail Gypsy via the address below. Let her know what you can afford, what kinds of things you like, or even what kind of colors you prefer. I think you'll be surprised at her ability to match you up with something you'll always treasure!

You're invited to attend the Gypsy Folk Art Fund Raiser

Friday March 28th 6pm-9pm
Live painting with Mike Darras, Kim Clayton and Gypsy Hundley.
Live Music! Wine and munchies!

Sat. March 29th 12-8pm
Wine and Munchies!
(free admission)
There will be folkart from all over the nation, donated by some of the most famous and upcoming folk artists around!

Please join us for this spectacular event located in downtown Hendersonville, NC.

443 N. Main Street
Hendersonville, NC

For more information, please e-mail Gypsy at


Gretchen said...

You should set up a paypal account for her! Or she should! God bless her.

Nurse Betty L. Boop said...

My prayers and thoughts are with Gypsy and her friends and family as she battles! Does she have a website? Or do we just catch her at a show to see her work?

Anonymous said...

Lisa - check out the link over on the left under The Guild. Lizz Hundley.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am pleased to know Gypsy. She is very talented and I wish her all the best. Thanks for the info about the events. I would love to be there at the Wine and Munchies event.