The show was held in conjunction with the Second Saturday gallery walk in Northeast LA., and was incredibly well-attended!
I got to meet some of the BIG TIME dollmakers. Their work is truly amazing and I am humbled! Below are Christine Benjamin, Christy Kane, Sheri DeBow, and Keely Benkey Reichman.
This group of dolls belong to Christine Benjamin. The photos don't do justice to how amazing they are. Needle felted and embellished with all manner of things. Their limbs might be a combination of hand-sculpted polymer clay, painted sticks, and fabric, and their clothing is adorned with lots of embroidery and bits and pieces. Really spectacular.
These dolls are by Christy Kane. I love the imagination of this artist. Each of her dolls had a written description and story, giving her dolls a life in an extraordinary world.
The featured artist of the night was Sheri DeBow. Her dolls are so finely executed and rich with detail - not to mention they're wild and fun! Sheri's painting techniques and costuming are exquisite!
Keely Benkey Reichman creates these wonderful and whimsical characters. Their faces are hand-sculpted and their bodies are made of felted wool sweaters. I know my daughter Emily would love to have one of these!
I caught artists Murphy Adams (in blue sweater) and Kurtis Rykovich (far right) together but separate in this candid shot.
Murphy Adams is a painter who created these wonderfully zany characters, bringing her painted characters to life. I love their expression and color!
Here is Kurtis Rykovich next to his work - the two dollie girls below. Remember those big-eyed girl paintings from the sixties? Kurtis has elevated them to a new all-time high in his vividly colored fantasy paintings. He is clearly a happening artist in Southern Cal!
I found these dolls by London, Ontario artist Sarah Legault creepy yet fascinating. I love how she has sculpted their faces.
This living doll is artist Susana Gutierrez. She told me she didn't know about the show but stumbled upon it during the art walk. Isn't she dressed perfectly for this show?! P. S. She made her gorgeous skirt!
Oh, yeah, and I was there, too! (My dolls seem so tiny next to these allstar dolls!)
My wonderful friends who attended the event with me, Paula (middle) and Candi (right). On the left is their new friend Shanté, who also had a friend in the show. Shanté was kind enough to take the next photo of me with Paula and Candi. Thanks, Shanté!
And finally, just taking it all in. Art outside the gallery, too! I love this tree sweater and the gorgeous cacti growing out front. (I'm sorry I don't know the name of the artist who made the tree art. If you do, please let me know and I'll add that here.
There were many, many more dolls artists - please look at the Cactus Gallery pages and particularly the blog to see many more photos!
What I have taken away from this experience: my head is swimming! I am so impressed with the incredible detail and expressiveness of the dolls, and the dedication and incredible imagination and skill of the doll makers! I am inspired to to go wild!