Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Have a Crafty, Art-filled Christmas

I had planned to get this post up much last week, but other stuff that makes up my so-called real life got in the way, and so here we are, just over a week until Christmas....

Tis the season where many of the local art galleries hold shows featuring works by local artists in a generally affordable price range (say, $200 instead of $2,000) in hopes of enticing people to purchase a gift of art for someone on their Christmas list.  A piece of art is a very personal gift, and usually reserved for the recipient whose taste in such things is very familiar to you.  On Friday, December 5th I stopped by the openings of two such shows, and there was enough variety on offer for there to be something to appeal to everyone.

Sales from CRAFTEDThe ARTS Project's exhibition and sale of unique, handcrafted items,  support the artists and The ARTS Project's programming and events.  The show, which runs until December 18th, has a bit of everything.....

If your living room is too small for a real Christmas tree, Jayne Cornelis' glass one is an option

For the feline fan on your list - a bag decorated with a hand-hooked rug by Simone Vojvodin

Sarah Legault, whose work you have seen in this blog before, contributed a few of her cool/creepy art dolls to the show

Clockwise from top left:  glassware by Angie Quick;  fabric clutch purses from Willow and Poppy Studios; Manly forged steel bottle openers by Scott McKay; fashion illustration painted on silk by Selma Popovic

Tim Cosen's "Apple Tree Blossoms, Sun" (left) and Dorothy Pilot's textile collage would add some glorious colour to a room

This re-imagined Jack-in-the-Box created by Gabrielle Nowicki would appeal more to adults than kids, and she also had some small whimsical collages for sale (which you can see on her website)

So from there, it was on to Strand Fine Art Services for the kick-off party to their annual Christmas Show and Sale, featuring work from approximately 25 Southwestern Ontario artists.   Prices ranged from $8 to $1800, with most pieces in the $100 - $300 range.

I'll start with my favourite pieces in the show - a series titled "stockings" by Agnieszka Foltyn.  The small pieces were approximately 6" X 8" and the large one in the top left was maybe 2' x 3'.  I have included a closeup of the black and white striped stockings with red toes, which I could happily imagine hanging in my apartment.

There were a number of bird-themed pieces in the show: Clockwise from top - "Flock" by Agnieszka Foltyn; an origami canary by Bartek Foltyn (I'm thinking they are related), and a flock of crows made from vinyl records by Fran Whitney.

For people looking for a splash of colour, there were many small-to-medium sized acrylic and oil paintings available.  Top left - "Parc St. Jacques" by Jeremy Price; "Pears" and "Eggs" by Thelma Rosner, and "Farming Flowers-Purple" by Laney Richmond

For those who prefer their art in monochrome, there were works in charcoal by Kevin Bice (left), and "Lace Leaves", a mixed media work by Sharron Corrigan Forrest

Fran Whitney was the most prolific artist represented in the show -  the fish prints, bowls made from vinyl records, and mixed media pins above were all her creations, as were the vinyl crows seen in a previous photo.

Some smaller pieces that I wouldn't mind finding under my Christmas tree - clockwise from top left:  "gentle souls hand crank orchestral balladeers" by Leslie Putnam; "untitled trees" by Bill Stelpstra; "Enso" (acrylic on panel with resin) by Maya Foltyn (whom I assume is related to Bartek and Agnieszka);  pastel "Cats" by Linda Fried

The Christmas Show and Sale at Strand Fine Art Services runs until noon on Tuesday, December 24th, and their December hours are:  Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm, and Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm


  1. Art is indeed such a person thing - I would love to own many of those pieces (the crows made from vinyl records hugely appeal to me). I should swing by the Art Gallery soon - I got a bonus cheque from work recently and some art would make a fine purchase.

    1. Come on by Sheila. Great article Shelley. Thanks!

  2. Great post -- I wish I could go to this Christmas Show (and i don't even "do" Christmas!). Love the cat bag, of course - and the stockings, the birds - well, everything. xox

  3. I'm with Patti, I don't "do" Xmas but would love to peruse the stalls. x

  4. I'm always amazed that people will walk into a mass produced store to buy "art". Yet they balk at buying an original piece from a local artist because of the price. Check out the student art sales at your local university, great stuff and you're helping out young artists.

  5. Loved the creepy-cool dolls and the birds. Very interesting pieces. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This is a dizzying array of talent. Your coverage of these artists is fantastic, Shelley. I can't imagine the time it took to catalog the photos, let alone get all the names right. The Sad Man Jack in the Box strikes a particular chord. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Great talents and you love your choices
    Love the paintings, great inspiration Shelley but like Melanie said it must took you a lot of time to catalog the pics, great job!
    We are not buying gifts for each other and all the adults as well this year, only the children -

  8. I love this gallery. Went there last week with my art-loving daughter Jess. She shared your love of those stockings! I just wish I could live there with all that great light and those tiny cats!