There will be 23 decorated dolls at the 5th Annual CTT Friendraiser/Fundraiser. They represent a "collaboration" between the children at the orphanage who made them and the artists who then adorned them. In the days to follow, all dolls will be featured here, along with some information about the artists who worked on them. First up: Suzanne Garr.
Over the years, Suzanne has renewed her passion for photography by attending workshops lead by documentary and portrait photographers Thatcher Cook, Francis Ford and Paul Calhoun. She has had solo and group exhibits in Baltimore, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Her doll was featured in last years "New Letters" magazine, and she was a finalist in the Photographer's Forum Magazine 2011 Annual Photo Competition.
Suzanne has been a devoted friend to Change the Truth. She was a member of Team 4 and Team 5 and will co-lead the Team 6 trip to Uganda this December! (Much more on that to follow.) Suzanne is pictured here with her dear friend Oliva, a child from the orphanage.
This is what Suzanne wrote about her doll:
"Your Very Own Name
What's in a name? Well, to 180 orphans, everything. Just imagine, if you can, being an orphan and living with so many others. How do you stand out? What makes you unique? It's your name. It's yours. It was given to you at birth, and no one can ever take it away from you. When it came time to design my banana doll, an idea came to me based on my trips to St. Mary Kevin Orphanage. I remember the kids coming up to me and asking, 'Do you remember me? Do you know my name?' I wanted to somehow incorporate the names of all the children whose hands I'd held, whose hugs I'd received, whose tears I'd wiped away, whose laughs I'd shared and the space in my heart where they all now reside.
This doll is a reflection of that idea and includes some of the generously donated Christmas gifts that were hand made for the children in 2011. The knitted hats were donated by a group of Wisconsin knitters. Kids made the button bracelets. Julie Armour, a retired school teacher and friend, designed and crafted the felt necklaces. The skirt on the doll is a collection of beaded strands, each containing the name of a child who has touched my life in a very special way. The chalkboard base is what you find in every classroom at SMK, the place in which the children learn their lessons each day. The ledges are lined with photographs that were taken over the past two years while volunteering at SMK as part of Team 4 and 5. They depict the faces and moments shared with these very special children. Like all children, they love having their picture taken.
Although the children at SMK are orphans, they each have a name and a special place in many of the hearts of the volunteers who have traveled to meet them, love them and be their friends. Each time you look at this banana doll, you will see a name, and behind that name is a very special child who is loved world over.
Knitted hat by Mary Sue Protz
Felt necklace by Julie Armour
Mechanical assistance by Steve Engel and John Ehlers"