Diane Keeler Biography
Curiosity is the force that has driven 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.” Keeler reflects when asked about the source of her curiosity. “We never heard the words ‘You can’t do that’.”
This environment, rich in the nutrients that sustain a creative mind, produced in Keeler an adventurous and passionate drive that has found fulfillment in doll artistry. For years Keeler engaged in various creative outlets. She was a hairdresser by profession and she had a multitude of hobbies including sewing, upholstering, weaving, spinning, knitting, basket making, quilting, leatherwork, and jewelry making, basically any medium. Once she had mastered each new undertaking, however, she soon lost interest in it. Keeler now refers to this as her, “That was fun, now what?” period.
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. Keeler immersed herself in her “new” passion. Even though she had never sculpted before, the faces came relatively easy, right from the beginning.
Keeler 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, Keeler became a full time artist.
1998 has seen another facet of Keeler; she began to teach. This added a whole new dimension to her art and “has made me a better artist”.
2001 elected into NIADA
2002 elected into ODACA
Her philosophy is to keep searching and learning. In doing so, she helps to promote the doll as an accepted art form.