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Charlottesville artist selling “Putin Karma Dolls” for Ukraine relief efforts

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville artist is putting the phrase, “Make Art Not War,” into action. She’s using her sewing talents to raise awareness about what’s going on in Ukraine.

“A lot of people try to call these voodoo dolls, and I say, ‘Oh no no. They’re karma dolls.’ We really wish that Vladamir Putin would get well and have a change of heart,” sewer, Dawn Hanson said.

Sewing is in Hanson’s blood. She’s been sewing art pieces for years, and is now using her creative ability to “stick it” to the man.

“When things like this happen, and you feel helpless, and you want to do something, for an artist, one of the things we can do is use our creativity and use our skills,” Hanson said.

From her basement studio at McGuffey Art Center, Hanson gets to work stitching the dolls. Each one comes with a yellow and blue pin.

“Those are the colors of the Ukrainian flag,” Hanson said.

This endeavor is how Hanson is raising awareness for what’s going on in Ukraine and raising money. Profits support Doctors without Borders. It’s a nonprofit that provides medical care to those injured in the war in Ukraine. So far, the dolls have raised nearly $500 and the money keeps coming in.

“You can’t sit by idly and just be angry about it, it’s not going to do anything. We have to take action in any way we have as individuals and use the skills that we have,” Hanson said.

She’s made bags, pins, all in support of Ukraine and she plans to keep at it.

“A lot of people have asked me when I’ve put the dolls in the gallery shop, ‘Are you worried about people getting angry with you or disagree with your believe, and the answer is like, I want them to be angry about the war that’s taking place in Ukraine. Not my art,’” Hanson said.

You can find these dolls at Rethreads in Charlottesville. Each one is $24 and comes with the special blue and yellow pins.

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