Art As Gift

Three Holiday Art Sales

Steven Robert Allen
3 min read
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Last year, right around Christmas, a local artist informed me that conventional wisdom holds that art always makes a terrible gift. Given how seldom I sip at the fountain of conventional wisdom, I'd never heard this before. I can see his point, though. Art is extremely personal. Also, because it's meant to be displayed, it isn't easy to hide in the back of a closet—like, say, that ugly sweater my aunt gave me for my birthday. When art givers come over to visit, they're going to expect to see that painting hanging over the couch, damn it!

Even so, I don't agree that art always makes a bad present. If you know someone well, if you have a sense of their artistic likes and dislikes, then you can probably succeed in giving art as a gift. If you can, you'll score points for intimacy and originality that you'll never get with a bath mat, a gold fish, a set of steak knives or other more conventional gifts.

Gifted, a new exhibit at Artopia, features an extensive array of affordable artwork by 10 Albuquerque artists. You'll find painterly digital collages by Grey Wolf, abstracted landscapes by Glenn Halak, surreal paintings and sculptures by Carol Adamac, ceramics by Mark Woody as well as work by Bobb Neoboy Maestas, Allan Rosenfield, LeDonna Shouse, George Taack and Timothy Cummings. If you're going to shop for art in Albuquerque this holiday season, Gifted is a good place to start. The show runs through Jan. 3.

Magnífico is hosting a preview sale and reception for its Artmarket on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. For $10, you can get into the reception. If you see something you like, that fee can go toward the purchase of art on display. Work by lots of Albuquerque's best artists—from Douglas Kent Hall to Becky Holtzman to David Ondrick—will be available for purchase. There'll also be grub and music by Filhos da Bossa. The exhibit will run through Dec. 18.

A short drive north along I-25 will bring you to the 22nd Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale. The sale takes place at the Anasazi Fields Winery, the Placitas Elementary School and under a big tent east of the Presbyterian Church. Come anytime between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 23, to browse 70 booths filled with work by local artists.

These are just a small handful of art shopping events. There are countless other opportunities in and around Albuquerque to buy art this holiday season, but these sales are good places to start.

Gifted: Bright and Shiny Things, an exhibit featuring work by various artists, runs through Jan. 3 at Artopia. 254-0504. Artmarket opens at 516 Magnífico Artspace with a preview and reception on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. 242-8244. The 22nd Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale occurs on Saturday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at locations around Placitas. 867-2450.

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