‘Faces First’

‘Belisarious’ has wire and tacks to help hold his fragile emotions together.

Sruoginis’ art dolls have lives of their own

Taking the title of artist

Robin Sruoginis’ show literally is one way

to understand how, when and why she creates

her fabulously detailed personalities,

garments, hairstyles and accessories that she

calls “art dolls.”

Three words came up when Sruoginis

talked about her art dolls – alchemy,

‘Faces First’ Sruoginis’ art dolls

have lives of their own

By Joy Ufford,

[email protected]

serendipity and more recently, “pareidolia.”

The word “alchemy” appears in her artist’s

statement, posted on the Pinedale Library

Gallery Wall, as “a seemingly magical

power and process of transforming elements

into something new,”

Sruoginis is often spotted shopping for

bits and pieces, small and large, at the Pinedale

Food Basket, for example. Nothing escapes

her imagination, not even a California

pinecone that might be transformed into a

small fairytale bird perched on a sad ogre’s.

The faces are what come first, though,

and some took shape years ago as Sruoginis

waited for inspiration as to who or what

they might become. Each art doll has his

or her own name, character and personality

described by Sruoginis’ biographies posted

beside them.

“Serendipity” is 99 percent of how each

of her dolls turns out the way it does, she explained.

Having a well-fed imagination and

making up outrageous stories as the family

sits around the campfire help her shape each

doll.

The faces are fabric sculptures with

“skins” of paper and clay; the bodies are

fabric and clay often shaped over wire – or

perhaps a lampshade? Bits and pieces such as

“carved” birds, imaginary clay faces shaped

over driftwood or a “tiny soul” tucked in a

torso might be repurposed chair legs, toys,

clocks, rusty hardware or an old leather belt.

As for “pareidolia” – if you see animals in

clouds and face in driftwood, you’ve caught

it.

“Faces First” is on display on the Pinedale.

Library Gallery Wall through Friday,

Aug. 30. Robin Sruoginis invites anyone interested

in her artwork and techniques to contact

her at 307-231-6956 or [email protected]

gmail.com.

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