|Ceramic bowls and plates make great practical gifts.|
But guess what? There are plenty of alternatives to this madness. One of them is to not procrastinate. Start your Christmas shopping in June. Another is to do what my grandmother did... She started her knitting projects in January, making hats and sweaters and afghans for her numerous grandchildren. A third, this one being the theme for today, is to look for all those special gatherings of artists who have wares that might can fill the bill... or the stocking.
|Zentangle-inspired Art Cards by Esther Piszczek|
The whole building was open this weekend, meaning that all the artists who have studios there also had their doors open including painter Terry Millikan, fabric artist Erika Mock and the Mud Sisters, who also have a great variety of practical ceramic arts.
Speaking of games, Esther Piszczek -- who has applied her drawings to T-shirts, calendars and gift cards -- has now produced several decks of playing cards which are, like, way cool.
Yesterday I found out that Marian Lasky and Rick Allen -- The Kenspeckle Letterpress team -- have been residing on the second floor of the DeWitt Seitz Building in Canal Park. I'd been doing occasional walk-throughs of Sivi's Art Gallery nearby to see their stuff, and now realize I need to take time to get down here to Canal Park's other spaces more often.
Another interesting space in the DeWitt Seitz Building is Mary Reichart's fiber arts space called Otlak on the 4th floor. Reichart, who works with felt, learned some of her techniques by observing locals during a stay in Kyrgyzstan.
Other things you'll find include cookies, candies, jellies and jams, all made locally and with love. Really. And of course there's the wall art that I'm so frequently writing about. You can appreciate it for five minutes in a gallery, or for the rest of your life in your living room. I'm not making that up.
Bottom line: Have you been buying local this year? Start collecting.