Our Teachers

Figurative Artist Adele Sciortino is the inspiration behind the internationally acclaimed website, AforArtistic.com. Proud editor of AforArtistic a quarterly e-magazine which reaches many artists around the world. Artist member of  ODACA (Original Doll Artist Council of America), a professional one-of-kind doll organization. (www.odaca.org) 

Originally, from New Orleans, Louisiana, Adele now lives in Canada where she is also the vice president of the forty five-year-old company, PCA Calendars & Planners. (www.pcacal.com) She is a certified Graphic Design and studied Fine Arts at the University of South Alabama as well as the Dale Carnegie Sales and Marketing Program, boasting more than thirty years’ experience in marketing and sales. 

Adele’s natural talents were encouraged by her parents and grandparents who were master tailors, quilt makers and music teachers. Their skills and expertise inspired her to find her own artistic path leading her to exploring figurative sculpture, creative costuming, wearable art, bead weaving, watercolor painting, photography, crocheting and sewing. 

Each of Adele’s fine art figurative sculptures captures the true spirit of doll-making, with their unique souls and personalities. Her figurative pieces adorn homes that have become treasured gifts – held in awe and appreciation by all who view them. 

Adele now shares her love for the figurative art with aspiring and experienced students through both live and online classes that challenge their talents and meet their creative needs.  Her creative journey will continue to grow as she merges more into the polymer world of sculpting realistic figures.   

Adele Sciortino, Figurative Artist


I am happy to share classes and art dolls with you and to meet you in the safe world of cyberspace.

About 40 years ago dollmaking became my mission! I love (art) dolls so much because there is an internal connection of the creation with the human spirit.

A doll can give you a smile and a tear on the same moment. They are a 3-dimensional illustration and tells imaginary stories.

I try to accomplish that the total impression that counts for a good doll is a combination of high standard craftsmanship, the recognition of emotional expression and the utility of high-quality materials. And when the doll is good it will stay in the memory!

My medium is mostly Creative Paper clay and sometimes porcelain. Besides making my own art dolls I love to teach and bring students into the wonderful world of doll making.

I taught classes all over the world and twice a year I am happy that  many students find their way into Spain to enjoy an eight-day Dollmaking Holiday Class. I always say about creating my art dolls; it is a never-ending story.

 For now, I consider myself as a very lucky dollmaker. My dolls are now seen all over the world and I have to thank my audience for sharing their emotions with me, because it is they who inspire me every time, to try to make the perfect doll “that stays in the memory”.

Ankie Daanen, NIADA Artist 

Curiosity is the force that has driven Diane Keeler all her life.  Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1950 to parents that nurtured this curiosity. "When I was growing up, my parents were always doing something, always trying a new hobby or pursuing a new interest. They encouraged all five of us girls to do the same thing. "Diane reflects when asked about the source of her curiosity. "We never heard the words 'You can't do that'." 

In 1987, while engaged in her then current passion of miniatures, she discovered polymer clay. This was it: she knew immediately, the medium she had been searching for Diane immersed herself in her "new" passion. Even though she had never sculpted before,  the faces came relatively easy, right from the beginning. 

Diane honed her skills, and in 1990 started doing art shows with all polymer clay figures.  Gradually she started winning awards for best of show and best sculptor. As she began including one-of-a-kind dolls into her stock, they sold. Galleries started calling her asking to purchase dolls from her. 

In the spring of 1994, Diane became a full time artist and in 1998 another facet immeraged; she began to teach live workshops and 2010 teaching online classes. This added a whole new dimension to her and "has made me a better artist".  

2001 elected into NIADA 
2002 elected into ODACA 

Her philoshophy is to keep searching and learning.  In doing so, she helps to promote the doll as an accepted art form.

Diane Keeler, NIADA Artist (Polymer) 


Award-winning master polymer clay artist focusing on figurative sculpture. 

Medium: polymer clay, textiles, resin.


  • Art Director & Instructor for creation and construction of a permanent installation for Wabano Aboriginal Health Centre. Ottawa, ON,April-May, 2016
  • Cover and feature artist in online Canadian art magazine “A for Artistic”, spring issue, April 2016
  • 2nd place winner in Mixed Media and Sculpting category, International Contemporary Art Online Exhibit
  • “The Selfie” People’s Choice Award, AOE Arts Council, SELECTION Exhibit, October 2014, Ottawa, ON 
  • “The News” selected for Art Kudos One Year International Online Exhibit
  •  Art Work of the Month for May, 2014, Figureworks.org, Ottawa, ON
  • Art Master This Month, (March 2014) Gallery For.Me, NY
  • First Prize Winner in the Figureworks 2013 Annual Juried Competition (Ottawa, ON) 


  • March 2016 - Spring Fever Exhibit, Kanata Art Gallery
  • February 2016 – Moments in Time – Solo Exhibit, Orange Art Gallery, Ottawa
  • November 2015 – SELECTIONS, AOE Trinity Gallery, Ottawa
  • July 2015 – Canadiana – Solo Exhibit in AOE Gallery, Shenkman Arts Centre, Ottawa
  • “Life’s Simple Pleasures” Solo exhibit at the Orange Art Gallery, February 4-22, 2015
  • Art Kudos, one year International Online Exhibit
  • DIMENSIONS – National Capital Network of Sculptors Exhibit, September 2014
  • The Best of NCNS, Kanata Gallery, Mllack Centre,       February 3-9, 2014
  • Figureworks 2013 and 2014, November 19-December 1, 2013
  • Three sculptures included in the 2003-2004 Presenza Exhibit, Museum of Civiliation
  • Sculpture on display in the 3 year Timeless Treasurers Exhibit at the Museum of Civilization 2000-2003 


  • Orange Art Gallery, 290 City Center Drive, Ottawa
  • Rimawi Art Gallery, 109 b. boul. Labelle, Rosemere, Quebec
  • Gallery on Gore, 92 Gore St. E., Perth, ON 


National Capital Network of Sculptors

  • Member – joined in 2013
  • Director of Dimensions Exhibit 2015 – 2016 - 2017
Contact Information

Marla Niederer is a self-taught artist who has been designing and creating dolls for 22 years. She infuses her work with the inspiration and beauty that she finds in nature, dreams, animals, children, and other people. Marla has been heard making the statement, “I could no less stop creating art than I can stop breathing,” and has always been engaged in one art form or another. Marla has been focusing on needle-sculpted cloth dolls for the past several years but also has experience with several other mediums including paper clay, and polymer clay. The expressions that she captures on the faces of her dolls brings a warm, nurturing quality to her art. It is hard to view Marla's dolls without finding a smile upon your face. Her love of antiques is also often reflected in her art by the use of vintage fashions, fibers, lace, and beads.   

Marla has a Masters degree in Education and has worked in the public school system for 20 years. This experience adds to her workshops the skills of a seasoned teacher along with a sense of humour  Her work has been exhibited throughout New York State and has been seen in Doll Collector on several occasions. Always striving to learn new techniques and sharpen her skills, Marla has taken workshops from a variety of talented doll artists such as Peggy Wilson, Barbara Schoenoff, Kate Church, and Colleen Babcock. She is currently an active member of the All Dolled Up Cloth Doll Club in Ottawa and has presented several programs to the group utilizing techniques and patterns that she has designed and developed. 

You can keep up to date on Marla's most recent projects by viewing her blog 

Marla Niederer, Cloth Doll Artist 


Leslie O'Leary


You have heard art imitates life. I have found this to be truly so.

I personally went through a very profound transition to land on solid ground where I found another path leading me onwards. I have discovered this IS life….this is growth.

This has also been expressed in my art. Now that I look back at my art over the last 3-4 years,  it is very clear where I was in each of my transitional stages. I feel that I have broken free of my binds and cocoon and now am soaring on a continuous flight of discovery! Stay tuned for much new work coming from me! Transcending.

I am so very excited that color has returned to my life and I have a clear vision to where I want to take my personal one of a kind art and my Workshops that I share with all of you.

I have been a full-time artist created dolls for 30 years. My devotion to my craft, my hope is to inspire others by teaching my designs that are explicitly patterned you.

I am a member of the international juried organization, NIADA, and have taught my art workshop designs world-wide. My one of a kind works is held in collections around the world.

I love bringing my life as an artist, yoga health-life coach, SoulCollage® instructor, & committed optimism together and am devoted to helping others experience the best they can be!

I come here to celebrate with you in joy, grace, and faith in my own journey...ever growing!

I share my life with my darling husband, Sean, and our crazy little dog, Sparti, in Phoenix, AZ.



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