I Never Played With Dolls
Opening reception, Nov. 1, 5-8 p.m.; on display through Nov. 30, The Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., free, thebridgegallery.com
Encaustic artist Sheary Clough Suiter is mum on whether she truly never played with dolls as a child, but there is no question she has played with them extensively for her upcoming show. After more than two decades of creating beautiful artwork, Suiter engaged in what she calls “relentless play,” forging a new, darker path for her creativity accompanied by plastic baby dolls and a desire to disturb.
“Dolls are equated with childish play and imagination. It’s the part of us that thinks we will live forever and that anything is possible,” says Suiter. “Yet dolls out of context can be quite creepy and I play with that juxtaposition of delight versus danger.”
Suiter’s exhibition will showcase the results of her play. She says that no idea was considered off-limits during her exploration — she desired work that would inspire surprise and conversation, as well as a sense of unease. To facilitate the latter, her opening night will include an interactive experience with a living doll that will engage — silently — with guests throughout the evening.
Actor and activist Julia Greene, who just finished performing in the Fine Arts Center’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
, will wander the gallery bedecked in a doll costume. Suiter believes Greene’s presence will enhance the feelings of discomfort her pieces tend to inspire. Greene agrees.
“The very nature of a doll is that they are inanimate,” says Greene. “The title of the character ‘living doll’ is antithetical to itself and that makes it uncanny and disturbing.”
Both women have kept the final execution of their vision for the living doll persona under wraps but note that the finished piece will challenge the social gender constructs that begin in infancy and evolve as we reach adulthood. Suiter also hints that Greene’s face could be made to resemble that of a baby doll — think plastic aesthetic, hairless head and artificial mouth. While the final result remains a mystery, what is clear is that Greene will be yet another work of eerie art amongst good, if far more inanimate, company.
While the living doll will only be present during opening night, plenty of non-living dolls will remain on display through the month of November. Those who want a deeper dive into the mind behind Suiter’s peculiar playground can also attend an artist Q&A on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Jewel of a Wine Tasting
Nov. 1, 6:30-9 p.m., Norris Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, $65-$75, springsteencourt.org
Teen Court is a restorative justice program run by teens for teens with a powerful record of reducing recidivism. You can help support their mission — now in its 25th year — at their annual wine tasting party. Sip samples of incredible wines from 15 vendors and enjoy a delicious meal while mingling with fellow vino enthusiasts. Purchase a commemorative glass for $25 and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing for a piece of beautiful jewelry. Bottles of wine will also be available for purchase during the event.
Veterans Day Parade
Nov. 2, 10 a.m., Tejon Street, free, cosvetsparade.org
Veterans Day might fall on a Monday this year, but the Colorado Springs parade always falls on a Saturday to ensure everyone in the community can celebrate the contributions of our service members. Attendees can expect an enormous lineup featuring marching bands, veterans organizations and other patriotic displays. Refreshments and activities will be available along the route and most of the local shops will be open for business. This year, the event will honor veterans service organizations — those who support others long after they have completed their service. Bundle up, snag a thermos of cocoa or cider and get ready to cheer your heart out for our nation’s veterans.
African Marketplace and Cultural Festival
Nov. 2, noon to 4 p.m., Hillside Community Center, 925 S. Institute St., free, cospringskwanzaa.org
Check out an amazing array of unique African crafts, clothing and art at this family-friendly festival. You’ll learn about the diverse cultures that make up the African continent while enjoying live entertainment provided by spoken-word artists, poets and African dancers and drummers. For those who make all decisions to attend events based solely on the available food, both Jamaican and Sudanese items will be available for purchase and we can promise you that you do not want to miss out on that.
Nov. 5, 6-7:30 p.m., Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road, free, tinyurl.com/Stuffed-BCNC
Have you ever pondered the world of taxidermy and the people who practice it? The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival is offering a free screening of Stuffed, a documentary that explores the fascinating people who create lifelike sculptures from the dead. Director Erin Derham’s vivid depiction of a subject that is often viewed with disgust or fear forces viewers to confront their preconceived notions about the craft and its practitioners. While the screening is free, please register in advance to ensure adequate seating is provided.