|Doll artist, Wyatt E. Hicks|
Toledo, Ohio native, Wyatt E. Hicks contacted me recently with a request to share images of his doll art. I am in turn sharing those images here because I think his work is astounding. If I can help him gain the exposure he deserves, I am all for it!
|The Essence of an Ebony Man|
Personal likeness of a loved one passed: Miss. Lillie.
|Up Where We Belong|
|Up Where We Belong (close-up)|
|Likenesses: Bob Marley, Kweisi Mfume, Sammy Davis, Jr., George Washington Carver, Toni Morrison|
Closeups of Marley, Mfume, Davis, Carver, and Morrison likenesses follow:
About himself Wyatt writes:
For three years or so I was able to express my creativity at Hall's Holiday Festival of Dolls. I couldn't pursue many shows following due to my father's prolonged illness. Many of the dolls [shared here] are at least ten years old as a result.
I attempted to share the images with the Doll Reader magazine but they weren't interested. The other day I was researching online when I happened across your words about your love of black dolls and felt that it was time for me to resurface...
I've lived in Toledo most of my life, but I love to travel.
Email address is OK to pass on: email@example.com
Thanks for all you do!
I am happy that my words inspired you to contact me, Wyatt. Thank you again for sharing the photos of your art dolls.
*About LaVerne's Original Holiday Festival of Black Dolls taken from a 1998 National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center flyer:
LaVerne Hall began her own company manufacturing paper dolls in response to a need she saw for Black paper dolls. She named her first line of dolls after her daughter, Mahji... [which grew into a thriving business. Her line included] custom paper dolls of other children and historic Black figures. Stemming from early frustrations convincing major retail stores to carry her line, she established an organization to help increase the public visibility of Black dolls and dollmakers. This organization, LaVerne's Original Holiday Festival of Black Dolls, was the first of its kind to sponsor Black doll shows in selected cities each year.
Events and shows produced by LaVerne's Original Holiday Festival of Black Dolls continued for 18 years. A February 16, 2012, article, Woman Creates Black Paper Dolls for Her Daughters, provides additional information about Ms. Hall's work in the Black doll community.
It's a Small World
Ms. Hall is also responsible for publishing my first doll-related writings in her DOLL-E-GRAM publication from 1998-1999. I wrote several collector profiles for the "Spotlight on Collectors" column of DOLL-E-GRAM.