red hair blythe leaning on the wallThe phenomenon of Blythe dolls is not new. They have a rich history and have evolved through the generations. But there is an intangible essence of these dolls contain that is not quite explainable. Why are they able to so aptly tug at the heartstrings so much so that true collectors will pay thousands of dollars for a unique original Blythe doll? I decided to partake in a journey of discovery to determine what makes these dolls so desirable.

So, I did some research and purchased a modern version of this doll online. Now I don’t have the budget to invest in an original Blythe, but there are less expensive versions available for purchase that are very similar. What makes these dolls so cute are the distinct large eyes that are changeable via a pull cord coming from the back of the doll’s neck. These dolls come with a set of clothing that is unique and different for each doll. Additional clothing and accessories can be ordered or clothing can be personalized if the customer has a unique skill set to sew small clothing.

When I received my Blythe doll, the first thing that I experienced as I pulled the little weighted body with hair from the box was a childlike excitement mixed with a tugging at the heartstrings; Somehow the doll creators captured the cuteness of that adorable stage of childhood sans the real life expenses (for dance class, transportation to soccer practice and temper tantrums etc.). It really is like having a moment to just take in the 24/7 cuteness that will never be lost with age. Maybe Blythe doll owners are mothers and little girls finding a way to revisit childhood or motherhood.

Regardless, I was captivated as I am sure others are by the undeniable appreciation for this work of art that can be adjusted to suit different personalities. I actually liked the clothing that I received with the doll, but have since found and changed my doll into some clothing that reflects my personal style; clothing that I would probably wear myself. I guess I have turned mine into a mini me complete with a designer handbag (which is a little more expensive than me). I have my doll displayed on a shelf in my bedroom and every time I see her and sometimes change her eyes, I see a bit of myself in that cuteness. Obviously, I don’t have gigantic eyes in proportion to my body, but as with caricature, I feel affirmed every time I see this mini representation of myself.

I am very happy with my doll and if you would like to experience the joy of the Blythe without the designer price, I found a website that offers a less expensive version of the doll for a fraction of the cost of an original Blythe. To answer the question of why these dolls are so cute, maybe it is better to ask, how could these dolls be made ugly? Despite the use of some questionable clothing from the 70’s, I don’t think that it is possible. However, if someone would like to take on this challenge . . . make sure to post your results.

September 18 – November 15

Artist Reception September 18 5-9pm

Curated by Leon Loughridge

Printmaking is an artistic medium overloaded with process. As opposed to creating the image directly on the substrate, a printmaker creates the image in reverse on a printing matrix, transferring that to the final image substrate with assorted pressure devices. Even this is done piece meal, with multiple states, blocks or templates, layering color upon color to generate a final image. This convoluted process of transferring images from block to paper can be a real detriment to an artist’s creativity. The process is fraught with procedural distractions, challenging the printmaker to remain focused artistically while managing the intricacies of the process.

An understanding of the printmaking process is achieved by many; mastering of the process by fewer; and the handling of the medium intuitively for expressive results is achieved by even fewer. When the process becomes a tool, merely a brush, so to speak, for the artist to apply and manipulate color, value and texture, expressive work with universal appeal is the result. The artists in this exhibit have all moved beyond mastering the process in their own realm of printmaking. Their prints speak beyond the medium.

Leon Loughridge


May 22 – July 5, 2009

Traveling in Africa is a grand adventure.
These paintings, drawings and photos provide a glimpse of the beauty, life and diversity in South Africa and Botswana. Modern South Africa offers a contrast of historical Dutch colonial architecture amidst sprawling townships established during apartheid. In rural South Africa a rose farm, Summerfields, provided a taste of African hospitality. A visit to an elephant sanctuary prepped us for our safari into the bush of Botswana. In the Okavango Delta, fresh water spills out into the Kalahari Desert creating ecosystems that give life to a diverse abundance of animals. Southern Africa is an engaging landscape, an oasis of rich palettes that instantly became an addictive subject.

Nicholas Reti – Winter Road Doug Martin – Old Miss River Valley Geoffrey Ridge – Tree In The Garden

Dan Beck, Tom Dickson, Djanette Khiari, Doug Martin, Janet Moore, Geoffrey Ridge, Nicholas Reti, Susiehyer Eldon Warren

Gallery Artists February 6 – March 29

834 Santa Fe Drive Denver, Colorado 80204 ph. (303) 623-2500

Theresa Haberkorn
Melinda Laz
Leon Loughridge
Mark Lunning
Geoffrey Ridge
Jill Soukup
Foreword by Michael Chavez