For the first time in close to 10 years, the Indianapolis area will host a major gathering of doll creators and collectors.
Greenwood United Methodist Church will host the doll and bear show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Antique, modern, collectible and artist dolls will be featured to buy, and interested crafters can see what it takes to create these works of Americana art.
“We want to generate more interest in dolls, and get more people involved. A lot of these porcelain dolls have been considered art for a long time, but part of our mission is to have people realize that cloth dolls are an art,” said Leslie Wright, a southside Indianapolis doll artist taking part in the show.
The event will serve as a fundraiser for the Greenwood United Methodist Women to help local charities such as St. Thomas Clinic in Whiteland and The Salvation Army, member Jo Ann Gates said.
The group also funds missionary work.
Gates, who belongs to a local doll group, was talking with dealers from throughout the area when the discussion turned to the lack of exhibitions and shows in Indianapolis.
With her role with the Greenwood United Methodist Women, she thought her group could help organize and host the event.
“We thought people would want to shop for dolls, look at dolls, have a nice day,” Gates said.
She immediately approached Wright about displaying her dolls.
Wright started making dolls more than 40 years ago, when her daughter was a young girl. She had been interested in making doll clothes and other crafts for most of her life, but when she spotted a pattern in a magazine, she tried to make it.
The first attempt was less-than-stellar.
“I set it up on Christmas in a rocking chair from Santa Claus. My daughter walked over to it, took one look, tossed it to the ground and never touched it again,” Wright said. “It really was ugly.”
But since then, many of her designs have won awards at multiple doll shows throughout the nation, as well as the Indiana State Fair.