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linda

KATHLEEN MENDENHALL, M.A.

Adjunct Professor, Photography & Studio

kmenonoak@yahoo.com

A favorite song from my childhood included the lines "playmate, come out and play with me. And bring your dollies three, climb up my apple tree…" I often find my collection of dolls and doll parts act as symbols of the journey a girl takes to maturity. They also pay tribute to a small town childhood and the hours spent sitting in apple trees. It was at this time that I knew I wanted to be an art teacher who also made art.

Childhood dolls and toys conjure a time of joy while at the same time can represent a sham discovered through the growing process. The use of dolls as imagery can convey a polarity of playfulness along with the dark suggestions that are found in the "not real" reality of these toys. Through art production, these notions can be presented for examination by the artist and the viewer. A sense of time and place and use of symbols are important elements in my photography and mixed media work.

The process an artist uses to create - imagining, sketching, problem solving, reworking and finishing, lends itself to working with students in the classroom setting, as these are all methods that produce results in learning. A doll symbolizes the play of childhood but could also represent a shell that can be filled and in that case, it can be a metaphor for the student who enters the classroom ready to learn. My desire to be an art teacher who also made art has been a reality for over four decades.



 
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