“I can not imagine my life without dollmaking, no other art form combines so many creative endeavors that I truly love, painting, fashion design, pattern drafting, hairstyling and color harmonizing. My hope is for others to be touched by these visual elements that I love, but by the humor my characters evoke as well”. Donna May Robinson-Pelittieri Member of NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists) since 1999.
It's immediately clear to the art collector that NIADA artist member Donna May Robinson-Pelittieri draws upon her fashion design background to create her wonderfully unique-cloth doll characters. Donna May's education began at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology-(FIT) where she garnered a scholarship to further her studies. However, when Donna May entered in the job market she discovered her vocation as a fashion designer offered little creativity. Determined to seek her own creative outlet, she returned to school to earn a degree in nursing, a smart move as this afforded her a sustainable part-time job so she could budget time to explore new avenues with her talents and soon the “aha” moment arrived. Weeks before graduation, Donna May spied a doll pattern in a magazine and sent away for it. Immediately she jumped in to improvise on the commercial pattern and then drafted her own patterns. Donna May’s passion to create characters was so prolific she started exhibiting at local shows where her dolls sold swiftly. Soon she branched out to work in porcelain and created one-of-a-kind designs by making her own doll molds. Soon after Donna won the prestigious Rosette prize at Seely's Convention of Original Dolls. But, Donna May missed the designing, pattern drafting, sewing and painting aspect of her art and returned to creating cloth dolls where she spent months designing an armature that would allow her dolls to be free-standing and have oil painted faces on a head that could rotate. In 1992, at her first national show, Donna May realized she'd found her own creative niche. Her goal continues today to evolve her skills as a figurative dress sculpture (doll) artist and to: "Create work that has a true signature style and not anything derivative of another artist, something that is recognizable as my work, I feel this is sharing a part of my "soul" with others".
Donna May recently returned to her fashion design background to create a line of Children’s fashions, like her dolls, her designs evoke a vintage look in appeal yet offer a timeless quality to this fast paced world. Donna May is also a member of The American Sewing Guild; The Connecticut Button Society and was inducted into NIADA-(National Institute of American Doll Artists) in 1999. Her work has been exhibited at IDEX, Wachtanoff Gallery in Moscow, the CFM gallery in NYC and other notable gallery venues. Donna May resides in a charming rustic home once owned by a children’s book illustrator–nestled within the Connecticut woods with her husband and son and admits to a severe addiction to collecting all kinds of fabrics at four times the rate she uses them!