If someone is going to talk about folk art, it might as well be Nellie Ashford. The renowned self-taught artist and Charlotte native makes her living at the craft. Her art - mostly paintings combined with glued pieces of fabric and other materials - is a raw, vibrant reflection of the past, depicting her roots in the South and her African-American heritage. Some works center on the region's history of segregation and racism.
Ashford will discuss her work and the benefits of not having a formal art education during Gaston County Museum's "What Is Folk Art?" lecture. Free (RSVP 704-922-7681, ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Jan. 5, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Gaston County Museum, 131 W. Main St. 704-922-7681. www.gastoncountymuseum.org.