An exhibition of unusual, artist-crafted dolls at Florida Craftsmen came to life when executive director, Diane Shelly happened upon a page on Pinterest — the online forum for sharing pictures of artsy objects — devoted to the topic. The virtual encounter led her on a search for artists from across the country and as close by as St. Petersburg, to include in the exhibition "All Doll'd Up: The Magic of Art Dolls," on view at Florida Craftsmen through June.
The showcase of playful figures — from quirky babies to old ladies, personalities dainty and oversized, and some who even stretch the definition of human being — features the handiwork of 15 artists. Between them, they employ ceramic, resin, fiber, feathers and all varieties of found materials to create memorable sculptures that aren't like any dolls most people have ever known.
"The range of what an art doll is," Shelly says,
"is really phenomenal."
Washington, DC, artist Chris Malone uses beads, shells, and miniature African masks, among other materials.
Florida artist, Joan Allen's diva dolls, strive for pure comedy and the heights of femininity.
The exhibition includes a St. Pete couple whose works are rarely exhibited locally. Chomick + Meder, a collaborative duo with backgrounds in animation and TV production design, have been making dolls and automata — dolls that move, powered by hand cranks or computer-driven motors — together for nearly 20 years..
All Doll'd Up: The Magic of Art Dolls
April 19 - June 8 with an opening reception on Friday, April 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m. For more information, call 727-821-7391 or go to www.floridacraftsmen.net.