A crush of holiday markets will divide and multiply over the next two weeks, giving proof to the notion that Colorado is a hotbed of talented crafters, artists and creatives. Only a bona fide Scrooge couldn't find a place to shop on the list below. And you're likely to want to hit them all over the next two weeks -- because these goods are all good.
Read on (including the links below), and visit our holiday shopping listings online for even more events. And if you don't see your favorite, tell us about it in the comments below.
Starry Night Opens December 7, 4-8 p.m.; continues through January 9. Downtown Aurora Visual Arts Free
Some of our favorite gifts comes from the hands of babes, and that will surely include those handmade by artist-mentored youths at DAVA's Starry Night holiday show and sale, which combines clever work by the kids with more sophisticated items from adult artists. Look for colorful block prints, whimsical stuffed animals, clay pieces, jewelry and more. The grownup guests -- Kay Casperson, Kym Bloom and Alchemy in Glass -- will also offer handstitched dolls, pixilated candy portraits and beautiful silvered glass pendants.
Fine Art Market Show and Sale and Arvada Center Educational Studios Sale December 7-16 Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities Free
The Fine Art Market Show and Sale is an Arvada Center tradition, bringing together a comprehensive selection of work made by Colorado artists for more than 25 years. This round, ninety or more artists are represented in every medium and price point imaginable. Concurrent to the art market, the center will host the Arvada Center Educational Studios Sale, now in its fourth year, featuring well-made and well-priced pottery and studio art by its students and their instructors. Two shows for the price of one -- which is, incidentally, free. Shop on.
A Big Print Sale! December 7-23 Edge Gallery Free
Edge Gallery, like many other galleries all over town, is giving December over to an art-to-buy show, but with a slightly different focus: A Big Print Sale features monotypes, etchings, lithos and more, spanning a period of fifty years and all culled from the collection of former University of Colorado printmaking professor Clint Cline. Some of Cline's own experimental work is included in the mix; check it out at Edge on weekends through December 23.
Continue reading for more holiday markets. Holiday Mercado December 7, 5-9 p.m. Museo de las Americas and Celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe/Christmas Mercado Show and Sale: Through December 22 Chicano Humanities & Arts Council Free
If First Friday takes you to Santa Fe Drive, you'll want to stop by the Museo de las Americas for its one-day Holiday Mercado, which shows off holiday gifts from five artisans and other artworks during the evening art-walk. And don't miss the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, where both Celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe and the annual Christmas Mercado Show and Sale will light the night.
Fresh Art for the Holidays December 7, 6-9 p.m.; December 8, 1-3 p.m. Fresh Art Studios Free
Also on Santa Fe, where the district's famous flickering luminarias will line the windows and street for the season, Fresh Art Studios, tucked behind Spark and CORE galleries, will open its doors for an open house showcasing eight artists. Meet the makers and take advantage of special affordable prices on original art.
Winter Bazaar December 7-January 4 Studio 12 Gallery Free
Sean Brown's Studio 12 Gallery is a playground of whimsy for the holidays, where you'll be tripping over a treasury of contemporary art, stocking stuffers and everything in between. The selection expands even further with trunk shows on both First Friday and Saturday, December 15, overflowing with prints, custom millinery, jewelry, body products and more. Another plus? Show up in an ugly holiday sweater on Friday, December 7, and you'll receive a $5 discount on any purchase of more than $20. Ugliness was never so useful!
Handcrafted Soiree December 8, 7-11 p.m. Wazee Union Free
The monthly Second Saturday fete at Wazee Union will be given over to holiday shoppers in December, with a Handcrafted Soiree. Featured artist Chelsea Myslik of MAKER Studio Gallery and Chloe Rousseau Textiles will show clothing, sculpture and jewelry alongside a curated selection of gift items from fellow craftspeople and artists.
The barter-friendly alternative Denver HaHo goes all out for the season with a two-day market featuring more than fifty vendors hawking everything from hand-canned pickles and vegan soaps to jewelry and even aromatherapy play-dough! Food is also part of the deal, with an all-vegan spread and live music offered on Saturday and a holiday brunch buffet and mimosa bar on Sunday. Give a $2 donation at the door, or bring a regift to recycle on an exchange table.
Horseshoe Holiday Market December 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Denver Pavilions Free
The Horseshoe, already a Westword Best of Denver favorite, is expanding this year to include a perfectly curated outdoor holiday market downtown at the Denver Pavilions. And you can't go wrong at this wintry version; many of the vendors we loved at the summer events will be here, too, along with some new ones. Hot chocolate and strolling carolers will add some Christmas spirit.
Denver Craft Ninjas and Stephanie Shearer's Pandora on the Hill are joining forces for this feisty market in the elegant old Parkside Mansion. Dedicated to the buy-local theme, it comes with more than thirty vendors, music, wine and continuous raffles throughout the day; get a raffle ticket free if you bring a canned food item for Metro Caring Food Bank.
Jonesy's EatBar ramps up its ongoing support for local creatives and micro-businesses in a big way with this mixed market of all-local gifts and services that also benefits the GrowHaus nonprofit urban market. There'll be lots of room to move in the spacious Exdo Event Center.
Another twofold benefit and sale, the Holiday Mission Market offers donated wares and services for purchase, along with make-and-take hands-on crafts, DJ spins, dollar-a-minute massages and more, for a $5 donation. Funds raised go to Mission Supports, a nonprofit offering services and assistance to adults with disabilities.
Continue reading for more holiday markets. Design Within Denver, Holiday Edition December 14, 6-9 p.m. MCA Denver Free, in the MCA Shop
Design Within Denver, Holiday Edition is a little sleeker and a lot chicer than your typical holiday fair: Featuring a selection of gifts by local creatives smartly curated by MCA shop buyer Sandra Fettingis, Design Within Denver will speak to your inner cosmopolitan gifter. What's on the block? Comics by Noah Van Sciver, jewelry by I.darling, unusual hand-printed giftwrap by Judy Gehrke-Gilbert and more.
Matter's 13th Annual Printsale and Party December 14 7 p.m. Matter Studio Free
Another event for the design-savvy, the annual Matter Print Sale truly does come but once a year. That's when Matter Studio's letterpress genius Rick Griffith throws a party with eclectic spins, food and live music, as well as the main draw: a year's worth of fantastic Matter prints and posters for sale.
Like the Horseshoe, Boulder's biggest craft market also cracks open its treasure trunk for a holiday market this season: This event spans three days, with more than seventy artisans, a self-serve custom wrap station, activities for kids, treats for sale and more. The artsy atmosphere of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art makes for a perfect day of picking and choosing.
Find information on hundreds of other arts and entertainment events in our online Calendar.
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