“I Never Played With Dolls” 2019 Exhibition at The Bridge Gallery, Colorado Springs

November 1 – 30, 2019, Solo Installation Exhibition: “I NEVER PLAYED WITH DOLLS.”

With this show, I indulged in relentless play. No idea was too wacky or politically incorrect. After a quarter century of making pretty pictures, I wanted to make art with guts, art that disturbs, that brings questions, that gives surprise. I hope you’ll join me! In the meantime, here’s a link to a series of Artist Q&A videos about the making and conceptualizing of this show.
First Friday Art Party and Artist Reception: November 1st, 5 – 8p. There will be a “Living Doll”  (aka Julia Greene) wandering the gallery this evening only! You won’t want to miss this singular event.

Okay…so you missed the opening? Here is your chance to experience the “Living Doll” after the fact!

Artist Q&A: Thursday, November 21, 6p.
The Bridge Gallery, 218 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Closing Party: Saturday, November 30, 2 – 4p.
The Bridge Gallery, 218 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

I NEVER PLAYED WITH DOLLS
Sheary Clough Suiter at The Bridge Gallery
November 1 – 30, 2019
Artist Statement

A writer before I moved my creative efforts into the visual arts, I often wake with sentences in my head that lead me down circuitous paths. One morning over a year ago, I woke with the sentence, “I never played with dolls.”

Putting aside the question of whether I did or didn’t play with dolls as a child, I considered: What would it look like if this 67-year-old artist raised in American culture as a cis-gender female took it upon herself to play with dolls in her encaustic studio?

And so, for the past year, I indulged in relentless play to create this completely new body of work. No filters, no censoring. Nothing too wacky or politically incorrect. After a quarter century of making pretty paintings, I wanted to make art with guts. Art that wasn’t afraid to reveal my personal allegiances through work that raised questions about historical and social biases that shape our thinking and dictate personal identity.

I also wanted to move my art off the flat plane. Up into the air, down onto the floor. In the process of figuring out what that would look like, a big surprise and delight was the realization that I was sourcing crafting techniques that originated in my childhood. Sewing and stitching skills from my mother and grandmother, carving from my Grandpa Art (yup, his name really was Art!), and from my father, an interest in constructing 3-D objects.

From the beginning, I envisioned a “Living Doll” wandering the gallery wearing a waxy costume of my own design. Huge thanks to the brilliance of actor/activist Julia Green (www.juliagreene.me) for collaborating with me to make this dream a reality.

I’m grateful also to the non-profit International Encaustic Artists organization for awarding me a 2018 “Artist Project Grant” which provided not only financial support for this year long art adventure, but also a measure of confidence in pursuing a new artistic direction. In this show, you’ll find wax combined with rusty wire, silk and cotton cloth and threads, tacks, horsehair, print-making, table tops, stones, road-side and thrift store finds, and of course, dolls. Thanks go out as well to our local craft store, Who Gives A Scrap, where I sourced porcelain dolls and many of the linens.

Thank you to The Bridge Gallery for giving me carte blanche to pursue my vision, knowing there was a venue willing and ready to host the results you see here today.

And finally, thank you, the viewer, for reading this long statement and for coming out to see the show. If you still want more, please join me here again later this month, Thursday, Nov 21st at 6p, for an Artist Q&A. 

Please scroll down to click the arrow below the image to view artwork details and concepts.

"BABY STEPS"

Image 2 of 65

Encaustic, Reclaimed porcelain doll torso and legs, Fabric, Thread, Wire, Sheetrock tape, Red dirt, Found netting, on Cradled Panel. 24 x 24 x 5 The history of the oppressed seeking equality, whether it be discrimination based on gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation, is a story of persistence, of taking one step at a time. Available at The Bridge Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO.

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