Art Dolls: Figurative Sculptures Tell a Story

Handmade Art Doll

On exhibit January 9 – March 1, 2020
Reception: Sunday, January 12, 1 pm – 3 pm

This exhibit featured the work of students enrolled in doll making classes at Montgomery College taught by Wendelin Daniels. Her students explore mixed media art and the human form through the design and creation of original art dolls.

The dolls show a wide range of personae — from portrait dolls of historical figures to fantasy dolls, and everything in between. Adorned with their own distinctive costumes, accessories, and props, each doll conveys a unique individual personality and story. Unlike dolls that are manufactured as children’s toys, art dolls are irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind figurative sculptures.

The exhibit also illustrated some of the procedures used in making art dolls so the audience can see “behind the seams.” Doll making is a painstaking process that requires many skills including sculpting, painting, designing, wig making, costuming, and sewing. But it all begins with an idea — a vision of who the artist wants to create. Students refine their original concepts through brainstorming and research. They develop drawings of the character they have in mind, which includes sketches of the face and proportional drawings of the body and then delve into sculpting, painting, and assembling the doll. Costumes are created after the doll’s body is completed. Careful editing takes place throughout the process to ensure the clear communication of ideas. Students often utilize found objects in implementing their design as they undergo creative problem-solving and repurposing of existing materials.  In the end, students are rewarded and delighted with seeing their vision brought to life