|Gallery piece by Connie Smith|
From the moment I saw their work I became smitten with the desire to create art dolls, yet had never attended a NIADA conference until this past month.
|Gallery piece by Joe MacPhale|
After attending the conference I have to ask myself, whatever took you so long?
|Gallery piece by Neva Waldt|
I thought I would share some pictures from the trip and give you a few reasons to attend the conference next year so you don’t find yourself asking what took you so long to attend.
|Gallery piece by Theresa May|
One reason to attend is the location of the event always seems to be a great place to visit.
The NIADA Conference was held in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Since my husband has a childhood friend that lives in that area and my close friend Christine has a son that also lives in that area we took the road trip together.
Bob had no idea that the Torpedo Factory was a series of art galleries and studios when Christine and I brought Bob and Russ along to see it. They spent most of their time chatting away while Christine and I explored the studios and chatted away with several of the artists there.
|Russ and Bob at the Torpedo Factory Art Center|
|Christine and I at the Torpedo Factory|
We enjoyed exploring the area and dining by the waterfront.
A major reason to attend is to actually see the art work in person.
|Gallery piece by Cindee Moyer|
The pictures I am sharing don’t compare to the experience of seeing the art in front of you.
|Gallery piece by Marlene Verhelst|
I attended the NIADA gallery exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria with my husband Bob.
|Gallery piece by Nina Tugarina|
The artists were so warm, welcoming, and willing to explain in considerable detail the meaning behind their work, answer technical questions, and describe their techniques, materials used, etc.
|Gallery piece by Karin Otto-Burfict|
I was so inspired by the work exhibited in the gallery.
|Gallery piece by Tatiana Baeva|
|Gallery piece by Sandra Oglesby|
|Gallery piece by Donna May Robinson|
|Gallery piece by Tamara Pivnyuk|
I was not alone in that inspiration either. My husband was fascinated with Eva Hodinkova’s use of wood and motion in her art.
|Gallery piece by Eva ZHellerova Hodinkova|
He is now even more interested in creating jointed wooden dolls.
There were a series of wonderful programs presented at the conference which I enjoyed completely. One of the programs was the Ten by Twelve program coordinated by Shelley Thornton which I was one of the lucky visiting artists to participate in. It gave visiting artists an opportunity to present their work to NIADA members and attendees.
The Keynote speaker was Leslie Molen. She gave such an inspiring presentation!
Another Reason to attend are the demonstrations provided by NIADA Artists. I attended demonstrations on costume design (presented by Theresa May), the use of the color wheel (presented by Leslie Molen), creating shoes (presented by Nina Tugarina), making eyes out of polymer clay (presented by Diane Keeler), and stylized hair (presented by Cindee Moyer). Each demonstration was filled with very useful information and techniques for the creation of art dolls.
One more reason to attend as a visiting artist is to have a critique done by NAIDA Artists of your work. Donna May Robinson and Sandra Oglesby critiqued my work. They gave me invaluable insight and guidance to steer my growth as an artist.
A reason to attend any doll making conference is to have fun, make new friends, and reconnect with old acquaintances. Doll makers just tend to be a group of warm hearted sharing souls. I attended the NIADA banquet and enjoyed visiting with new friends. At the conference I also met some of my Facebook friends for the first time. They are as lovely in person as they are online.
At the conference everyone is presented with a souvenir doll. I was the lucky recipient of one of the 3D printer souvenirs created by Tanya Marriott.
And last but not least is the Exhibition and sale by NIADA artists. It gives attendees an opportunity to see more work by the artists and engage in some wonderful shopping.
Since my husband has been expressing interest in doll making and is a very talented woodworker, I introduced him to Larry Blount.
|Larry Blount, photo by Stephanie Blythe|
Larry Blount is one of the NIADA artists that utilizes wood in his doll making. Bob and Larry seemed to enjoy a nice chat together during the show.
Attending the NIADA Conference was such an enjoyable experience that I can’t wait to return again for more! If you are interested in more information about NIADA and future NIADA events just click on the following link to their website.