Tell me a secret

By Pat Ratliff | Mar 18, 2010
Artists reveal a collaborative project they've kept
under wraps for years – seven wildly imaginative

Local artist Lisa Myers Bulmash will be signing books and telling her secret at Everett Artist's Supply & Framing

Lisa Myers Bulmash has been bursting to tell a secret for four years: She and some of her friends play with dollhouses. But not the ones for the ten-and-under set. No, Lisa and her friends create the kind you might see in an art gallery.

But the Lynnwood artist couldn't tell anyone about the dollhouses, not even her other artist friends... until now.

Lisa's work appears in a new book, Mixed-Media Dollhouses: Techniques and Ideas for Doll-size Assemblages by Tally Oliveau and Julie Molina (Quarry).

On March 19, Everett Artist's Supply & Framing will host Lisa and Tally at a book signing from 5 to 7 p.m. She will be displaying and talking about some of the art objects featured in the new book.

Back in 2006, Lisa remembers Tally's original idea for this collaborative art project. She asked if Lisa was interested in making dollhouses –  “not the doll houses you made as a little girl. These are to be artsy, avant-garde houses.”

Lisa was intrigued. “This is a great way to get my art on,” she replied. “Definitely the most ambitious project I've undertaken so far as an artist.”

So Lisa joined the mission to transform cigar boxes into the rooms of seven dollhouses, each with a theme: a tree house, a Gothic manor, a Wonderland-inspired construction, a multiple-ring circus tent, a hotel, a undersea fantasy-land and a castle.

At the upcoming book signing, Lisa and Tally will reveal how the artists' group kept in touch – and kept their work under wraps. They also plan to discuss how they combined craft store purchases,
recycled pieces and natural materials with specialized art materials, such as those sold at Everett Artist's Supply & Framing.

Storeowner Dawn Westmoreland was excited to hear about the new book, since she enjoys mixed- media art and books on the subject as well. Dawn also supports local artists with open studio sessions every Friday.

When Lisa suggested they share their mutual interest with other artists at a book signing, Dawn immediately offered her art annex as a venue.

Lisa and Tally see the publication of Mixed-Media Dollhouses as a triumph of creativity, as well as a relief.

Finally – finally! – they can tell others about their secret project. After all, a secret is best when it's shared.

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