Art can be an unforgettable gift, and local artists are making the most of the holiday season by putting up stunning work that won’t break the bank. If you’re out and about this First Friday weekend, here are some excellent stops to put on your itinerary.
Fresh Art | 50 Bucks
Fresh Art Studios
6 to 10 p.m. Friday, December 4
The artists of Fresh Art Studios, which snake around the back of Core and Spark galleries in the Arts District on Santa Fe, regularly open their doors to gallery-goers throughout the year. But that will all come to an end: The building has been sold and resident artists Terri Bell, Anthony Camera, Katie Hoffman, Jon Koenigsberg, Claudia Roulier and David Wyzenbeek have been asked to move on from their beloved spaces. (For now, the galleries will remain up front.) The show will go on, though, at Fresh Art’s annual holiday art sale, which will include works for $50 or less, as well as discounts on larger pieces that suddenly need to find new homes. Come chat with the Fresh Art crew and buy some artful holiday gifts there — for the last time. And while you're in the district, Kanon Collective co-op is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a big Mixed Bag invitational group show, also featuring affordable art in many mediums, giving proof, one can only hope, that Kanon isn't going anywhere!
Christmas Mercado, Fair Trade Market and Guadalupe Celebration
Chicano Humanities and Arts Council
Opening reception: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, December 4
Also on Santa Fe, CHAC gallery will unveil its annual holiday shows with a gorgeous spread of images of the Virgen de Guadalupe, along with a fair-trade market and a mercado chock-full of handmade gift items. If you can’t drop by CHAC on First Friday, there will be additional opportunities to gawk and shop during the Santa Fe art district’s Luminarias Walk on December 11 and Third Friday Art Walk on December 18.
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25th Annual Holiday Miniatures Show
December 4 through January 16
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, December 4
Over the holiday season, Abend on Colfax is giving its spacious galleries over to small, affordable art — each work no larger than 150 square inches in size — from dozens of artists working in a wide variety of styles. The annual show makes the option of giving art for gifts (or picking up something special for your own walls) especially easy. Party with the artists at the opening, and watch those red dots appear.
Belmar Block 7 First Friday Arts Walk
445 South Saulsbury Street in Lakewood
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, December 4
The galleries, small businesses and art studios of Belmar’s Block 7 still thrive on the back side of the Lakewood shopping center, where they’ll be throwing open their doors for a holiday open house today. Drop into Valkarie Gallery to peruse fresh, affordable works from resident artists, as well as the current skateboard-art show, PUSH/POP/KICK. And Anam Cara Gallery will be hosting its Holiday Feast of the Arts, featuring handmade art-aprons, jewelry and art prints, all reasonably priced for gift-giving goodness. When you stop by, bring a canned or nonperishable food item for the Jeffco Action Food Bank. And come hungry — there are lots of dining options right around the corner.
Want more? Indyink on South Broadway heads into the holiday fray on First Friday with a cash-and-carry Gift of Getting Art Show featuring dozens of talented Colorado artists, all priced at $100 and under; the print studio and shop will also join other businesses up and down the street all day on December 5 for the annual Broadway Holiday Shopping Crawl. Members of Marie Gibbons's weekly clay-art studio group will be showing off in Dwell, a group show of fine ceramic works that opens December 4 at Tenn Street Coffee and Books. Can't get enough of classy clay? Gibbons is also hosting an open house and holiday sale in her brand new studio in Wheat Ridge from 1 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 6. See the Westword event listings for current gallery and art museum exhibitions and openings in the metro area.