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Magdalene Spiritual Doll by Mercedes Molina

Mercedes Molina started making dolls after her muse told her in a dream to do so. Ever since then she has been making spiritual dolls in the Puerto Rican tradition of black dolls. Mercedes creates dolls according to her intuition, and throughout the years, she has created hundreds of dolls for the spiritual practices of African ancestry religions in the New York community and beyond.

The Magdalene doll was created with a different type of dress and purpose. But the doll itself did not seem to want to fit that destiny, so when I invited Mercedes to participate in the Mary Magdalene Celebration craft fair some years ago, we decided that the doll might want to be Mary Magdalene. And she has been wearing her red dress ever since!

About the Artist

Mercedes Molina is an East Harlem-based educator, artesana, and community advocate for 35+ years. Her practice teaching spirituality through the art of cultural doll making at La Marqueta and cultural festivals citywide. Essential to the fabric of the East Harlem, she has mentored many from all ages, ethnicities, and creeds to crate a network of creatives from various fields. She continues teaching the art of spiritual doll making and other artisanal workshops.

creative community, her journey of spirituality spans from the 70s to present, connecting her creative path with spirituality.

See more in Instagram @spiritual_dolls_by_molina


This artwork is part of the collective art exhibition dedicated to Mary Magdalene titled Blossoming, July 18-22 in El Barrio Art Space Art Gallery, with a reception on July 22, 2023, during The Mary Magdalene Celebration. This exhibition is possible thanks to La Casa de La Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc.


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Tanya Torres  
Art for Love, Peace and Joy

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