ArtFul Living

St. Louis Area Fine Arts, Crafts & Performing Arts
Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky, Arts Editor

Shop Early, Shop Often For Art & Fine Craft

Have you noticed that the “holiday season” has crept earlier? I used to think that it began after Thanksgiving but serious shoppers start sooner than that. At the very least, this month seems the proper time to give some thought to what gifts you might purchase for those on your list.

I preach the same message every year: as the holiday season approaches, give gifts that say you truly care. Nothing says, “I think you are special” more than a one-of-a-kind, handmade work of art. There’s nothing wrong with shopping at major retail or discount stores, but why not give a unique gift? Original art and fine craft are indeed special gifts, will not be returned to the mall and are probably destined to be treasured heirlooms.
This month, it’s easy to find beautiful special gifts. Check out these special shopping opportunities:

The 8th annual Holiday Art Show and Sale is presented by Muddy Rivers Arts at The Ethical Society, 9001 Clayton, on November 14-15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Included in the offerings by these professional artist are pottery, glass, fiber and more.

John Burroughs High School, 755 Price Road in Ladue, is the setting for the annual Unique Boutique, a holiday shopping extravaganza. Local and nationally known artists offer handmade items of every imaginable kind to suit every price range and taste: fine jewelry, fun jewelry, scrimshaw, furniture, wearable art, and so much more. The show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 22-23. Find more info by calling 314-993-4040.

At Norton’s Fine Art and Framing, a show entitled, “Smaller is Better,” features works no larger than 16 x 20 inches. “Smaller art is easy to hang, easy to gift, and easy on the wallet,” said Mary Norton—and she’s right! The juried works by more than twenty artists are available for sale and encompass all mediums. Opening on Friday, November 21 with a reception and awards ceremony from 5-8 p.m., the sale actually begins on Saturday, November 22. Check it out at www.NortonsFineArt.com or just go to 2025 S. Big Bend to start your holiday shopping.

Still more names on your gift-giving list? On November 28, head over to Third Degree Glass at 5200 Delmar for a Black Friday “Fire” Sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. These items have been in the fire–literally! Glass bowls, glasses, objects d’art, jewelry, ornaments and lots more are sure to delight. Everything is priced to sell, so get there early! More info at www.stlglass or call 314-367-4527.

Of course, gift memberships in the many fine ARTful institutions in St. Louis make ideal gifts that continue to give throughout the year, often offering the recipients special privileges. The St. Louis Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum, the St. Louis Symphony, Dance St. Louis, the Muny, Missouri Botanical Garden, Stages St. Louis, the Fox, the Touhill — to name just a very few — offer memberships, single tickets or season ticket subscriptions that make welcomed gifts. And don’t forget the delightful array of unusual gift items available in museum gift shops! Your purchases there also help the institutions — talk about stretching the impact!

The bottom line is that your holiday shopping can make a difference, make a statement, and generate revenue in the immediate community. When you’re buying a gift for someone special (or for yourself), please support local artists.

A tip of the hat to St. Louis Harmony Chorus: This group of local women will represent our region in the International Chorus Competition for Sweet Adelines International in the first week of November. The competition, held in Baltimore, Maryland this year, includes just 33 of the top choruses from seven countries around the world. Worldwide, 650 choruses compete in hopes of being one of the 33 chosen to compete for the worldwide title. Wow! St. Louis Harmony Chorus has been training singers and entertaining the community since 1961. We’re rooting for you, ladies—and St. Louis is proud of you! www.Stlharmony.org.