June 8 - July 28, 2018
Florida Craft Art
591 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg FL 33701
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The new Florida Craft Art exhibit "Dolls And Where They Live" features an eclectic selection of original, artist made dolls in environments suggestive of where they might live, fashioned by makers from all over Florida, America, and as far off as New Zealand.

More than 30 artists, including members of the National Institute of Doll Artists, contributed to what is essentially a wonderland of dolls and their habitats. Doll themes for the exhibit sponsored by Jeanine Hascall of Re/Max Metro, included gothic, surreal, fantasy, whimsical and forest woodland.

Loretta Nardone, President of the United Federation of Doll Clubs, an international organization with more than 8,000 members, judged the exhibition. The awards presentation and opening reception took place on Friday June 8.

The exhibition opened on the eve of World Doll Day, Saturday, June 9, celebrating "dolls and caring, nurturing love and the people offering it." Ms Nardone presented a themed lecture in honor of the holiday titled "Doll Art for the Collector," followed by a tea party reception.

Artists received prizes for both dolls and environments.

Winter Haven artist Trent Manning won First Place in the Doll category for his work "Dragon Slayer." Sandra Oglesby of Deland took Second place for her incredible work "Sprouting" (the TBFP favorite), and internationally known St. Pete artist Chris Chomick took Third place for "Prinz Bobo" a classic automated monkey.

Chomick and her husband Peter Meder have been featured in a nmber of art doll and automata publications, Their work is included in many private collections all over the world.

In 2018, they were presented with the golden Max Oscar Arnold award in "Category 13" the Best Overall Work of an Established Artist" byt the Cultural Council of Neustadt be Coburg, Germany.

Victoria Rose Martin of Lake Worth and Yolanda Chui of Gainesville received Honorable Mentions for their dolls. Chui's works for the show were another TBFP favorite, especially her multi-piece work, "Real vs Artofficial". In it, a collection of variouus metal doll parts sit together in a box divided for each element of the doll's body like a silverware tray. It is perhaps a telling comment on today's standard of feminine beauty.

In Environments, Alicia Prather won for her "Spellbinding Library" and ceramic atist Jan Richardson for her two-story Victorian Mansion "Westwinds."

Now a Kenwood resident with a studio in St. Petersburg's Morean Center, Richardson at one time directed Windy Meadows Pottery in Maryland, a studio where she and a team of artisans created cramic environments very popular with collectors. Environments like the one she created for the Dolls show are a rarity for her today, as her interests have turned toward ancient Asian and Aboriginal art and wood- and soda-firing techniques.

Florida Craft Art had a special showing of the exhibit for June Art Walk, St. Pete's monthly 2nd Saturday Art Walk on Saturday June 8.

Upcoming events associated with this exhibit.

Sunday, July 8 -
LECTURE: "Secrets of Doll Collecting" 2 pm
Presented by Martha Simmons, Doll Collector from Ft. Myers, President of the Southwest Florida Antique Study Guild and Former Regional Director for The United Federation of Doll Collectors.

Sunday, July 15 -
Doll Making Workshop 1 pm
Purchase tickets on the Florida Craft Art website:

Saturday, July 28 -
CLOSING RECEPTION: People's Choice Award 5:30-7 pm
Visitors choice vote for their favorite doll is presented.

©2018 Tampa Bay Free Press / Brennan Ink
Sprouting by Sandra Oglesby,
Winner, 2nd Place, Dolls
"Sprouting" creator Sandra Oglesby with her award.
Winter Haven artists Trent Manning with his first place work
"Dragon Slayer"(far right).