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She's more than just a doll

Barbie exhibit fuses fashion, art, fun

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POSTED: June 11, 2010 12:25 p.m.
Photo by Denise Etheridge/

Jessica Sanchez and her 4-year-old daughter, Kayla, browse the Hinesville Area Arts Council Barbie exhibit, "The Icon: A Part of History, A Piece of Art – Barbie," Wednesday at the Mills House.

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Local artist Christina Mansfield’s latest exhibit, “Le Chic Chaussure,” was inspired by the iconic fashionista doll Barbie.
“Barbie’s a diva…she’s into the glitz and glam,” Mansfield said. “I was raised with Barbies. It’s who we (American girls) are. It’s femininity…it’s fun.”
Mansfield’s funky, modern acrylic paintings and a vintage Barbie doll collection are currently on display at the Mills House at the corner of Highway 84 and Memorial Drive in Hinesville. The dolls will being auctioned off and are on display through June 30. Mansfield’s exhibit will be shown through mid-July.
The Hinesville Area Arts Council kicked off the exhibit Wednesday with a barbecue reception. Team Suzie Q also met during the event to discuss the formation of a new support group. The Suzie Qs are a group of Liberty County women dedicated to raising funds and awareness to battle breast cancer.
“The Barbie dolls were donated by an anonymous donor from Baxley,” Leah Poole, a participant in the Hinesville Area Arts Council, said. “This is half of the donor’s collection. She wanted (the funds raised) to help children and families.”
Proceeds from the auction will go to Toys for Tots and the Suzie Qs, Poole said.
Suzie Q member Deidre Howell said the group recently received a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to organize a breast cancer support group, BRAVE (Be Readily Available and Very Empathetic). Volunteers will accompany women who have received a possible cancer diagnosis to mammograms and other treatments, Howell explained.
Mansfield, an arts council board affiliate, said her abstract art blends well with the Barbie collection. She is majoring in psychology at Brewton-Parker College when she’s not painting, photographing nature, sculpting or making jewelry. The local artist held her first exhibit at the historic Liberty County jail last year.
Mansfield said fashion is universal. Barbie, she said, reflects how American women have changed since Barbie came on the scene in 1959.
“Barbie evolved over the years,” she said. “It’s like how we (women) have evolved over the years with the women’s movement.”
The young artist hopes her exhibit will draw more area artists and art-lovers to the council. Mansfield will be teaching an adult painting class through HAAC and will offer a children’s sculpture class this summer through First Presbyterian Christian Academy.
Poole said HAAC will continue to hold events, like the exhibit and a Barbie tea this weekend, to encourage greater participation in the council. HAAC promotes fine art, music and theater.
“We have 69 girls and their moms, grandmas and aunts, scheduled to attend two seatings of the Barbie tea this Saturday,” Poole said.
For more information, visit www.hinesvillearts.com.
 

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