It’s no coincidence that local art galleries, studios, symphonies and theaters are putting a little extra effort in creating accessibly styled, sized and priced art right now. Artful gifting opportunities are all around southern New Hampshire — you just need to decide what you’re looking for.
And, in a way, when you shop locally, it’s kind of like you’re giving two gifts in one. The artist appreciates your thoughtful spending, too.
“Buying local art gives validation to fine craftsmen and artists that what they’re doing is valuable,” said Pam Tarbell, owner of the Mill Brook Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Concord.
For art to look at:
This year’s theme is small, bright and affordable. The Mill Brook Gallery (236 Hopkinton Road, Concord, 226-2046, themillbrookgallery.com) presents Artful Giving for the Holidays right now, which, on view at the gallery, is a collection of paintings, pottery, sculpture, jewelry and mobiles. There are items there for every price point, starting at $20. You can check out some of these items during the gallery’s regular hours, Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. (Regular hours end Christmas Eve and don’t start up again until April 1.
The Love Grows Photography Studio (102 Main St., Newmarket, melissacooperman.com, email@example.com) hosts a holiday show called the “Under 100 Exhibit,” which contains artwork for less than $100 that is 10”x10” or smaller. The exhibit is on view until Jan. 6, with a reception on Friday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center (30 Ash St., Hollis, wildsalamander.com, 465-WILD) hosts “Good Things Come in Small Packages” through Dec. 23. On view is work from local and regional artists, many of whom worked in smaller formats in order to meet the gallery’s exhibiton criteria (good things, small packages, small prices). The show also displays art by local children and teens, some of which is also for sale.
You might find something at InTown Manchester’s Holiday Market, which you have four chances to catch: Thursday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Thursday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Brady Sullivan Plaza, 1000 Elm St., Manchester, where you’ll find all kinds of artsy and homemade goodies.
The Art 3 Gallery (44 W. Brook St., Manchester) hosts a show, “Small, Medium, Large,” which is aimed at offering art at every size, every price and every style. The show opened Dec. 2 and is on view through Jan. 31.
For something curated and crafty, you might want to check out the items at one of the League of NH Craftsmen retail galleries in Concord (36 N. Main St., 228-8171), Nashua (98 Main St., 595-8233), Meredith (279 DW Highway, 279-7920) and Hanover (13 Lebanon St., 643-5050). You could also check out the items on display at the 26th Members’ Juried Exhibition at The Craft Center, 49 S. Main St., Suite 100, Concord, which is on view through Dec. 11. (You can purchase these items on display; however, they must remain on display until the exhibit’s end.)
If you don’t have the time to browse, you might want to check out the League’s 2013 Annual Ornament, “Woven in Winter,” a miniature woven black basket with a white oak handle and rim made by Alice Ogden of Salisbury. It’s embellished with shimmery, sage-colored ribbon and a golden thread for hanging on a tree, wreath, etc., sold exclusively at the League retail galleries. It’s 3” tall, 2” wide, and costs $24.50.
Studio 550 (550 Elm St., Manchester, 550arts.com, 232-5597) is still housing its Cup Show and Sale (ceramic cups, mugs, tumblers) and the Women’s Caucus for the Art Panel Show, both of which will be on view through Jan. 8. Most of the pieces are less than $70.
If you haven’t gotten one yet, Symphony NH is still selling its N is for Nashua picture book, which you can get through symphonynh.org and at Ikebana (175 Main St., Nashua), Scontsas (169-173 Main St., Nashua) and the Symphony NH office (6 Church St., Nashua). The book contains images of Nashua’s trademark characters illustrated by local artists and costs $20.
For art to make (and then give):
The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester, currier.org, 669-6144, ext. 122) hosts a workshop at which time participants can create hand-painted silk scarves on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. At the workshop, participants will learn how colors flow together to create organic designs using a gutta resist. Tuition is $150 and all levels are welcome to attend. The museum gift shop is also home to a variety of artistic gifts, including prints from the collection; textiles, jewelry, home goods, books and hand-crafted art made by local, national and international artists. (For something specific, try the Currier Limited Edition Wall Calendars, which right now are filled with images from the Poster Mania! exhibition, $16.99 each.)
You can give someone you love an artistic experience with a gift card to one of the many “paint night out” venues like Muse Paintbar (42 Hanover St., Manchester, 421-6500, musepaintbar.com), Canvas Roadshow (176 S. River Road, Bedford, 943-2103, thecanvasroadshow.com), Art With A Splash (222 State St., Portsmouth/11 Main St., Nashua, artwithasplash.com) and Paint Party (63 Range Road, Suite 204, Windham, 912-5441, paintparty.com).
For an artistic experience:
You can buy gift cards for any dollar amount for a show at The Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester, palacetheatre.org, 668-5588, which may be used to purchase tickets, concessions, merchandise, vacation camps, etc. (Plus, they never expire.) Visit the website for upcoming shows.
Appeared in the Dec. 5, 2013 issue of the Hippo