Was held August 20th – August 23rd, 2020
A unique opportunity to experience
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Virtual Conference Registration
How to Join the Virtual Conference
Our NIADA 2020 Virtual Conference is available online in a Private Facebook Group.
Only paid registrants will be invited to Join the NIADA 2020 Virtual Conference group (Facebook membership is required to join).
If you are registered you can view all recorded events under ANNOUNCEMENTS once you have joined the Facebook Group.
If you have any questions please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Receive updates regarding the annual NIADA Conference and Dollmaking School.
Conference Programs + Events
Doll Art in Japan
Stephanie Blythe spent 2 weeks in Japan on a doll tour led by Alan Scott Pate, an expert on antique Japanese dolls. The tour included visits to studios of some of Japan’s Doll masters working in both traditional and contemporary styles as well as museums devoted to dolls. She will discuss these artists as well as the prominent role dolls play in Japanese culture.
Shelley Thornton: Dolls, Animation, Exhibition
Shelley Thornton was honored with a solo show of her work at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery at the University of Nebraska during the summer months of 2019. Her program will give you an overview of her dollmaking career, and take you on a virtual tour of her show, which exhibited a dozen dolls as well as a life-sized textile self-portrait and an animation that she created for a 30-foot-wide wall projection.
6 Key Steps to Beautiful & Balanced Art
What makes your art stand out? How do you express what is in your mind and in your heart? I’m delighted to share my secrets with you that I have discovered over my 30 years of being a full time artist! Bring your pencil and paper for loads of notes! (Pre-recorded Zoom Presentation)
By the Book – NIADA Dolls in Literature
Nancy Walters has attended NIADA Conferences since the late 1980’s and has been an Artist Member since 1991. Aware that a lot of NIADA doll history is getting lost, she took on the task to capture some of that history from current artists and the NIADA archives. All of the dolls in these programs were created by NIADA Artists over a span of 50 years.
Part I: By the Book: Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes
This half hour program features nearly 200 dolls from fairy tales and nursery rhymes created by almost 40 NIADA Artists, past and present.
Part II: By the Book: Classic, Children’s Literature, Myths and Legends
Over 200 NIADA dolls from, or inspired by, literature from children’ books to Shakespeare, featuring 50 NIADA Artists.
Part III: By the Book: A Short Trip Through the Looking Glass
Dolls by NIADA Artists inspired by ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass.’ This short program includes over 100 dolls created by 25 NIADA Artists.
10 x 12 Program
Up to twelve Visiting Artists will have an opportunity to introduce their dolls to all NIADA Conference attendees in a special program in which each participant will show ten projected images of their work.
Each photo will be allotted twenty seconds for artists to add their description or commentary. If you are a Visiting Artist registering for the NIADA Conference, this is your chance to introduce your work to NIADA Artists and Patrons.
This is an annual event and will be available in 2021.
“UnMasking the Future” Silent Auction NIADA Fundraiser
The NIADA “UnMasking the Future” Silent Auction Fundraiser was held throughout the NIADA Virtual Conference, August 20 – 23, ending Sunday, August 23rd at 12:00 PM (Noon EDT). NIADA master artists created their unique and individual interpretations of the theme, “UnMasking the Future” and the silent auction offered collectors the opportunity to own an original mask-themed piece to commemorate these historic times. The Silent Auction Fundraiser raised a total of $7228.00, proceeds from the silent auction will be used to advance NIADA’s mission to promote the art of the original, handmade doll. (You can view the Masks in the gallery below).
NIADA Artists Studio Tours
Whether large or small, tidy or messy, old or new, converted or built to specifications; whether in Canada, the US, The Netherlands or Spain, a doll artist’s studio is where magic happens! NIADA Artists invite you for a virtual glimpse into their inner sanctums via a tour of their private studios.
Though we won’t be able to see you in person in 2020, NIADA has embraced a way to create an intimate, virtual connection with conference participants by transporting you virtually to artist’s private studios for a tour. We are excited for this a rare opportunity to bring you inside artist’s studios across the globe to discover the settings where creativity, artistry and skilled craftsmanship bring art dolls to life.
Enjoy and be inspired!
NIADA Artists Demos
NIADA Artists Ankie Daanen, Kate Church, Catherine Mather, Sandra Oglesby, Tamara Pivnyuk, and Marlaine Verhelst will demonstrate some of their techniques and share invaluable information about their dollmaking process. See details about the DEMOS below.
Sunday, August 23rd
Conference Closing Ceremony
– 2020 Conference team
– NIADA Board members
Appreciation to our dedicated members
Winner of the Silent Auction + Raffle Drawings
The winners of the “UnMasking the Future” Silent Auction and Raffle Drawings are posted on the NIADA 2020 Virtual Conference Facebook Group.
 “Night Sky Decorator” by Ima Naroditskaya
 NIADA book “NIADA Art Dolls: Rich Traditions, New Ideas” ($55.00 value)
 “NIADA 2020 UnMasking the Future” color catalog. ($30.00 value)
 NIADA 2021 Registration: Class taught by a NIADA Artist
-or- Annual Conference, Seattle, WA ($300.00 value)
Raffle Prizes: “Night Sky Decorator” by Ima Naroditskaya
– “The Little Mask Project” Kate Church, video class (14:36 minutes)
– NIADA Deck of Cards – 52 plus 2 Jokers representing dolls by NIADA Artists as well as our four founders
– “NIADA 2020 UnMasking the Future” 6″ x 6″, full color catalog, 57 pages. Soft cover, lay flat, premium matte paper
PDF downloads: Paper Dolls by NIADA Artists Tatiana Baeva, Elisabeth Flueler Tomamichel, Lesley Keeble, Donna May Robinson
– “Cosmo Monkey” Jumping Jack by Chomick+Meder
Demonstrations by NIADA Artists
Polymer Clay Hands
Hands are a beautiful part of expressive figures. The smallest attitude of a finger can say volumes.
Kate will be demonstrating a simple method of making hands using polymer clay. (Recorded)
An Alternate Approach to Hair.
Tamara will demonstrate her technique in making wigs from synthetic ribbon.
(Recorded in Russian with subtitles)
Heat & Transform – Thermos setting fabric that heat, shrink and set in place
Find creative ways to construct costumes that are body hugging or wild and flowing and don’t require support, just cut heat and pull in to shape. Be inspired to create a millinery master piece using Thermos fabric as a base to construct hats of any shape or size. Demonstration includes two techniques used to mold and shape this fabric, a standard domestic iron and heat setting, with hot air gun. (Recorded)
Making Different Hats for your Dolls
Using basic materials and easy techniques Ankie will demonstrate how to make a variety of stylish hats for your dolls. (Recorded)
Playing with Paint on Cradled Wood Panels for Bases or Backdrops
Sandra will be demonstrating a few techniques for painting on cradled wood panels which she uses as backdrops or bases in her work. The painting involves thin washes of acrylic paint, and masking. (Recorded)
Sculpting in Porcelain by Hand
I will show how I sculpt in porcelain by hand without the use of molds. I will make a hollow head out of porcelain and tell about the technique. (Recorded)