Friday, December 5, 2008

Shop 'til You Drop

Much of the art you'll see during the winter months is like the summer movie season: cheesy, clichéd, and anything but pushing the proverbial envelope. While it's true there's a lot of corny art gifts out there, keep in mind that many self-employed artists, artisans and craftspeople rely heavily on holiday sales in order to sustain their more creative work. When you can, buy from locals to keep the community and culture growing right here in your own backyard. Savvy collectors should keep an eye out for good deals whether purchased directly from the artist or through a gallery, since many folks clean house this time of year to make room for new spring work.

If I've missed anything, please leave your info in the comments.

Saturday, December 6 and 20, 11am-5pm
423 N. Hoff

It's not just a "do," it's a must! Tucson's Banditas Art Brigade and Exchange (B.A.B.E.), recently formed this summer, will be peddling their jewelry, accessories, glasswork, housewares, found object art and other handmade trinkets at a cozy spot just off 4th Avenue, not once, but twice this month. They are also looking for other artsy/crafty people to join their group.

Holiday Bazaar
Reception: Saturday, December 6, 7-10pm

through December 20, 1pm-5pm
388 S. Stone

WomanKraft's Holiday Bazaar has been going strong since November 1, and they'll be keeping it up all the way through December 20. Shop here and you'll be supporting local artists, and WomanKraft, a non-profit organization that has been serving Tucson for over 33 years. Located in a beautiful historic castle, there's no better place to enjoy warm holiday ambiance and unique, affordable arts and crafts.

Gala Holiday Fair
Sunday, December 7, 9am-2pm

Cat Moutain Station
2740 S. Kinney Rd.

Cat Mountain Station is an eclectic, rustic artisan gift center just west of town near Tucson Mountain Park and on the way to Old Tucson and the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. There you'll find gallery/frame shop Studio S’Evans, custom iron and woodwork and restoration at RS Furniture, Kathy's Bead Box, and the Cat Mountain Emporium, a store handling a collage of gifts, vintage, furniture, and collectables from all over the world (put this in your submission file: the Emporium does take items in on consignment). There's also Coyote Pause Café serving breakfast and lunch, so you'll won't go hungry either.

Featuring the works of many local artists, the fair will offer a wide selection of reasonably priced fine art and hand-crafted items for those hard-to-find gifts and for your own home décor. Enjoy live music and freestyle dog dancing (think back to that episode of King of the Hill) while browsing original paintings, pottery, stained glass, jewelry and photographs.

Chocolate, Bubbly, Jewels and Art
Sunday, December 7, 11am-5pm

Gallery Row
3001 E. Skyline Dr.

Ah, champagne, my one true weekness. Well, more like one of them, but I think this might be a perfect reason to make the trip up to the foothills and see how the commercial galleries are faring in these lean times, including Mountain Shadow Gallery, The Max Gallery, Wilde Meyer Gallery, El Presidio Gallery, Madaras Gallery, Details Art & Design and others.

4th Avenue Winter Street Fair
Friday-Sunday, December 12-14, 10am-6pm

4th Avenue between University and 9th St.

Although I'm fairly new to Tucson, it's crystal clear to me that the 4th Avenue Winter Street Fair has attained the status of local holiday institution, or at the least, tradition. Free to the public, the fair brings together 400+ arts and crafts booths, 35+ food vendors, 2 music / performance stages, street musicians, food, jugglers, street performers, “VAN GROW” kids hands-on-art area, face painting, balloons, and tons of other activities, then packs them into three days of celebration.

Artists! There's still time to get a piece of the 4th Avenue Street Fair pie and help out a very worthy cause [via]. The Center for Creative Chaos Art Gallery on 4th Ave. is accepting art work to sell during the fair. Artists will set prices for their work, receiving 70% of the sale price, while 30% will benefit homeless advocacy projects. The center is accepting all artwork. For more information, contact Marcella at 954-5598 or

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