It started a few years ago with a slight buzz, but the concept of buying local has become a resonant holiday-season mantra for urban forward-thinkers. In its wake, handmade holiday markets are thriving, all packed to the rafters with the work of regional crafters, jewelers and artisans. A slew of sales kick off the shopping season this weekend, and you can hit several if you plan ahead. So we're starting your shopping list here, and watch for a separate rundown of sales in December.
Art By Craft fancies up the functional in a gallery setting, behaving more like a gallery show than a traditional market. But the works on view, the creations of eighteen Denver Handmade Alliance members working in a variety of craft and design mediums, are unquestionably for sale. The exhibition opens Friday, November 9, with a reception featuring live music and refreshments from 6 to 9 p.m.
Like all craft guild shows, this one, featuring pottery and sculptural clay works from forty members of the Boulder Potter's Guild, promises to be all over the place -- just as crafters are out in the world. But there's no doubt that every piece for sale will be unique and handmade, and the price right.
This is the sale for the tastiest hostess gifts -- especially the Denver Botanic Gardens Guild's beautifully bottled, homemade vinegars infused with herbs harvested right at the gardens. But that's not the only thing you'll find at this time-honored holiday market: There will also be handmade items -- scarves, handbags, jewelry and more -- from the gorgeous to the whimsical, some of it garden-themed. Visit on Friday or Saturday and you'll also be able to commune with live animals from the Urban Farm and watch weavers from the Colorado Weavers Guild at work.
Paris Holiday Market Trunk Show 10 a.m.-6 p.m. November 10 Victorian Event Center, Heritage Square Free
Elegant hand-knitted items, trinkets, candles, handbags and edibles will be displayed in a Parisian setting for this one-day extravaganza in Golden. Snack on croissants and enjoy accordion music (from 1 to 2 p.m.) while you shop.
Join the Mizel Museum of Judaica for a Sunday afternoon of art shopping and a live multimedia performance by photographer Zion Ozeri and musician Rabbi Joe Black at 4:30 p.m. Along with the ongoing sale of fine art and crafts by Mizel Museum artists, tours of the museum's 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks exhibit, as well as a nosh, are included in the admission fee.
Lakewood's fledgling 40 West Arts District will throw its one-day market as a grand goodbye to Denver Arts Week 2012; in keeping, the autumn treasure-hunt showcases artwork and craft items specifically by Lakewood artists.
Just an hour's drive to the north, the Lincoln Center's annual sale is huge, drawing from a pool of fifty artisans, many of them showing work not often seen south of the Fort. While you're there, drop by the center's Hall of Trees to bid on a bevy of artist-decorated trees up for auction.
Foothills Art Center Holiday Art Market Daily except Sundays, November 10-December 30 Foothills Art Center Free Larger still is the Foothills Art Center's Holiday Art Market, which has been drawing crowds of shoppers for 35 years. The Colorado-centric selection includes works from 100 artists, and special programs are scheduled throughout the show's run, including kids' activities and artist demonstrations. Keep reading for upcoming markets.
The homey and bright Sugar Plum will once again fill the cozy rooms of City Park West's classic Parkside Mansion with unique crafts, jewelry, clothing, accessories and antiques for everyone on your list, from more than forty of the region's favorite vendors. This is a place where good, old-fashioned touching is allowed! Admission is free, but donations will be taken for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Find information on hundreds of other arts and entertainment events in our online Calendar.
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