Bring Out the Dolls 2019 brings out the art

Bring Out the Dolls: A Charity Fundraiser & Toy Drive was held Dec. 8 at Callaloo Restaurant.

ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — Legacy Entertainment & Arts Foundation’s Bring Out the Dolls: A Charity Fundraiser & Toy Drive kicked off its sixth annual toy giveaway last month, resulting in more than 1,200 toys being donated to children in need during the holidays.

Toys were donated to the Gathering of Women, Harbor House of Central Florida Domestic Violence Shelter, the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Christmas Toy Shop, Childs Park YMCA and CASA. They also supplied Christmas gifts for the residents of Alpine Health and Rehabilitation Center.

This year, event founder Attorney Shannon Ligon highlighted local young visual, musical and spoken word artists who competed for a $1,500 scholarship. 

Zaire Tafari was one of several talented visual artists who competed. She said her painting entitled “Heart on Ice” evolved out of her own personal struggles. 

“I stayed up all night just thinking about it — the heartache and pain of not just getting your heart broken in a relationship but the pain that life brings you in the death of a loved one,” she said.

Tafari saw life’s stresses and strains take a toll on loved ones and decided to take her pain out on the canvas. 

“I just painted this to get some relief on what I’ve been feeling this year,” said Tafari.

Taylor Young’s painting honors Vanessa Van Dyke, who was bullied for wearing her hair naturally instead of styling it to fit in with a clique of girls in Orlando. 

“My painting represented one trying to be only one’s self instead of falling into the trap of being what others may perceive you to be,” said Young. 

The mask in Young’s painting represented the individualities of people from all over the world instead of stereotypical graphic images of them.

“It’s a tribute to young women who feel that they don’t fit a certain quota or their appearance,” said Young, a Land O’ Lakes high school student.

Pinellas County Center for the Arts student Éliyah Page’s graphic artwork celebrated the people suffering from vitiligo, a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches. 

“I feel that people with this skin condition are beautiful too,” said Page, who does not personally know anyone with vitiligo but was inspired by a model with the disease.

Competition winners:

  • Jabari Reed – First place winner (visual art)
  • Taylor Young – Second place winner (visual art)
  • Tiekei Dickerson — Third place (visual art/spoken word)