Monday, May 16, 2016

Why Attend an Art Doll Convention?

               my sales table at the Quinlan Philadelphia Weekend Event
If you are interested in Art Dolls there are so many good reasons to attend an Art Doll Convention.  Viewing pictures of art dolls over the internet or in a magazine cannot compare to the actual experience of seeing the art doll right in front of you.   I recently returned from quite a large Art Doll and Teddy Bear convention in Philadelphia sponsored by the Susan Quinlan Museum.  What an absolutely delightful experience it was! 
                                                    Gypsy Wedding by Natalie Ruiz
If you are a collector, attending an event like this gives you the opportunity to get to know the artists on a close and personal basis while getting to see the latest works of a wide selection of artists.  The Quinlan Philadelphia Conference is a very reasonably priced conference to attend which includes the cost of your meals and beverages.
                                                  Moment of Zen by Lori Platt
If you are a doll or teddy bear artist, attending an event like this gives you the opportunity to network, exhibit your work to a large group of collectors and representatives from various professional organizations.  The price of the Quinlan conference is exceptionally reasonable, includes all of your meals and beverages, and includes a sales table. 
My sales table 

The first day of the event was filled with a variety of workshops that early arrivers could take.  I taught a workshop on how to use watercolors on needle sculpted cloth dolls to develop skin tone and facial coloration.  Here are pictures of the broach doll busts that two of my students painted.
Bernice Gasaway's hand painted broach
Mary DeMattina and her hand painted doll broach

The first evening event was a viewing of the one of a kind artist signature piece gallery.  What wonderful inspiration to find in one room!  The talent within the group of artists attending was simply amazing! Here are a few pictures from the gallery.
                                      Briar Rose by Rafael Nuri
                                            Goddess by Marla Niederer
                                                     Henni by Nina Tugarina
                           Wonder and a Vow by Christine Shively Benjamin
                                                          Periwinkle by Mary Ward
                                  Sleepless in the Sahara by Lillian Alberti
                                       Those Quiet Moments by Diane Keeler
                                                        Aqua by Patricia Rowe
                                                      Charlotte by Coleen Athens
After the exhibit there was a banquet dinner.  What a lovely group of people all in one place!  Whenever I attend a doll maker’s convention or retreat I always find new friends. 
The next morning several other galleries were exhibited. I was able to exhibit one of my wedding cake toppers in the Here Comes the Bride Gallery and one of my Flower Faeries in the Hand painted Gallery.  On top of the morning gallery exhibits there were all kinds of supplies for doll making and teddy bear making for sale. 

Wonder and a Vow by Christine Shively Benjamin
Wedding Topper by Marla Niederer
Flower Faerie by Marla Niederer

After a day of a variety of very interesting programs to attend there was an early bird Art Doll and Teddy Bear sale open only to conference attendants. 
                                     Donna Mae Robinson's sales table
                                                Shelly Thornton's sales table
                            Christine Shively Benjamin's sales table
                                                             Diane Keeler's Sales table
                                              Michelle Pulaski's sales table
                                                      Mary Ward's sales table
The evening ended with another lovely banquet dinner.  It was so nice to be able to chat with old and new friends!
On the final day of the conference the Art Doll and Teddy Bear sale was open to the public.  It was so much fun to chat with all the collectors that came to stop in and say hello.  The whirlwind event ended with another banquet dinner where attendants could visit and revisit highlights of the event.

                                        Lillian Alberti's sales table
                                          Sandra Wright Justiss at her sales table

A doll on Sandra Wright Justiss' sales table
Now that you are inspired by all of these beautiful dolls, I hope you save the date on your calender to attend the Quinlan Art Doll and Teddy Bear Convention next year on May 4 - May 6, 2017
If you can't wait that long and are interested in taking an art doll making workshop I will be teaching an online class on AforArtistic starting on May 25, 2016
You can click on the following link to find out more about the class and to sign up.  Hope to see you there :-)


  1. Great pictures thanks for sharing your experiences :)

  2. Great fun, great artist dolls, and great group of artist and collectors. Need I say more? Oh, yeah, and thank you, Marla, for a spot on your wonderful blog! It was so nice to meet you in person at the Quinlan show. I hope to see you again in the future with your fantastic dolls!

    Big Hugs!
    Lori Platt

    1. It was a lot of fun Lori! It was so nice meeting you at the show and look forward to seeing more of your wonderful dolls also!

  3. Your dolls are beautiful and the photos share the talent of these wonderful doll artists. I'm particularly drawn to cloth dolls and take classes periodically.

    Wishing you and the other doll artist much success.

  4. Thank you so much for the recap. I plan to attend this conference next year...scary but I figure the worst I can do is lose a bunch of money on air, hotel, and convention fare. :~P Guess I need to make some smaller dolls to fit in suitcases!

    1. You will not regret going to the conference next year. I have attended the past two years and it has been a wonderful experience both times. I look forward to meeting you in person and seeing your lovely dolls at the 2017 conference!

  5. It is really an interesting post on art doll convention. Thanks for sharing details here. I heard that an art doll convention is going to be organized quite soon at local event venue NYC. I would love to take my daughter to this doll convention. I am sure she would enjoy it a lot.