Art for the People. Since 2005.
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DOLLMAKERS VI 2017

Featured artist: Lulu Moonwood Murakami

Scheduled to run September 9 - October 5, 2017

Opening reception: Saturday, September 9, 2017 * 6p-9p

For this popular exhibit, expect to find handcrafted art dolls and sculptural figures created in a wide variety of styles and media. Each piece has individual identity of design and a character all its own.

Media includes needle felt, fabric, hand stitched and embroidered felt, paper clay, polymer clay, hand-dyed textiles and vintage veils, lace, and other vintage materials, assemblage using bones and found objects and more.

About our featured artist:

Lulu Moonwood Murakami grew up in the furthest northern region of Los Angeles County, where from the window of her garret (um, storage closet), she looked over the rooftops of the village below and dreamed of being an artist and a toy maker. Today she is living her dream in the Pacific Northwest. She explores her artistic visions through color, whimsy, and personal expression, creating 2 and 3-dimensional mixed media work. She is honored to share her creative journey, and through her teaching, inspires others to join her on the creative path.

Artist’s Statement


How to grow up to be a doll artist:

  • Read fairy tales and write lots of stories about your much cooler alter ego
  • Do lots of people watching and find beauty in imperfection
  • Watch weirdly fantastical movies
  • Doodle, draw, and mess around with clay
  • Dance madly to mix thoroughly

The first doll I ever made was a three-foot giant of a doll with a hand-embroidered face and colors to match my mom’s newly decorated living room in the 1970s. He was, in the parlance of the day, Groovy. I made him from scratch, no pattern, just imagination and my nascent sewing skills. Giacomo, as Mom named him, was proudly displayed in every home my parents lived in from that day forward.

Over the years I have explored myriad artistic media, including textiles, ceramics, and painting, and I continue to love mixed media painting and making art quilts. But I keep circling back to the art dolls, which hold a special place in my heart. Not only do I get to incorporate textiles and painting and sculpting with paper clay, I also get to breathe life into a character from my imagination. I sometimes begin with a notion of whom I’m making, as with my series of Storybook Dolls, but often as not, I don’t know who my doll will be until I have finished the painting of the face. Only then will I know the doll’s history and personality, through the twinkle in her eye or the turn of a lip. There is magic and wonder in that, and this keeps me coming back for more!

Participating artists:

Patricia Anders, Kat Anderson, Ulla Anobile, Julie B, Elisa Belloni, Christine Benjamin, Denise Bledsoe, Stephanie S. Brockway, Brooklyn Dollworks (Valerie A. Gladstone), Lacey Bryant, Ruth DeNicola, Bob Doucette, Jacqui Gallant, Judy Haas, K Howell, Patricia Krebs, Faina Kumpan, Mavis Leahy, Amber Leilani, Ann Lim, Linda Lyons, Jazmin Molina, Lulu Moonwood Murakami, Jen Musatto, Nobu Happy Spooky (Domenico Scalisi), Pantovola, Myriam Powell, Meghan Ritchey, Rosie Rojas, Salvage Art Sweetheart (Marsha Perloff), Corina St. Martin, The Magic Vessel (Amber Glassman), Kelly Vetter, Alex Wells (The Ragged Caravan), and Simone Young. 

The gallery is open to installment plans to help you grow your collection. Contact Sandra at sandra@cactusgalleryla.com for more info.