For 20 years, the Featherstone Center for the Arts has wrapped up its yearlong programming with the Holiday Gift Show — an event that features more participants than any of its other exhibits, and allows visitors to purchase unique handmade items for any budget. The Gift Show opened two weeks earlier than usual so that folks can get a good head start on their Christmas shopping. Ninety-three artists and artisans are participating, giving visitors plenty to peruse. Here are just a few of the gift-giving options on offer.
Charlotte Cole makes beautiful and colorful quilted items, including table runners, stockings, and, new this year, patchwork totes. A fun item that may establish a new family tradition is a quilted Advent calendar with a traditional blue and white border and fun, holiday-themed images for each day of the month. Cole has also been knitting all year to provide a good stock of hats, scarves, and mittens for the show. Prices range from $20 knitted goods to $50 for the Advent calendar.
Fred Hancock will once again be showing his hand-turned and handcrafted vases, boxes, and bowls made from a variety of woods in striking colors with interesting woodgrain patterns. Hancock has an eye for unusual, attractive wood pieces, and he styles each selection of white birch, cherry, mahogany, black walnut, holly, or plum wood to highlight the unique patterns. His prices range from $40 to $130.
Among the ceramicists included in the show is Sabrina Kuchta, who manages Featherstone’s pottery studio and teaches various classes. Kutchta has a fondness for the fanciful, and along with her lovely hand-painted and handcarved vases, mugs, and other vessels, one will find elaborate dragons and little fairy houses that can be hung on the tree, or just invited in to bring some magic to your home all year long.
If you have a new mother on your gift-giving list, check out Peter Hall’s silkscreened designs. Hall creates charming little Onesies with three different designs — the Vineyard outline, an adorable line drawing of a fox curled up with her cub, and a green Christmas-themed design with candy cane–striped sleeves. There are also holiday and Vineyard-themed dish towels that make great inexpensive gifts at $10. Onesies are $18 and $20.
The appropriately named Jim Oakes also works in wood — creating items for the kitchen and dining room table. His popular cutting boards in a variety of sizes sell for $50 to $65. He also creates very interesting block-style candleholders and votive candle trays, for $15 and $35 respectively. His natural woods in light or darker tones and simple designs nicely combine the rustic with the contemporary.
Lynn Hoeft’s display offers an enchanting assortment of items. Her nature-themed watercolor cards, ornaments, and notebooks make lovely, affordable keepsakes at $5 to $20, while her framed prints make great gifts for you or someone you love. Hoeft has also added another creation to her offerings this year. In keeping with the nature theme, the artist has created a series of twig-based wreaths made from the vines of Martha’s Vineyard bittersweet, with local moss, lichen, pinecones, and acorns. These organic treasures, unlike pine wreaths, can be used year-round as wall hangings or table decorations. They are both long-lasting and appropriate for all seasons.
Don’t forget your favorite furred friend this holiday season. Paige Guizzardi is once again showing her colorful line of handmade dog collars and leashes for around $25.
Other items include clothing, knitwear, M.V. Sea Salt gift packages, and loads of jewelry.
Of course, Featherstone is also showcasing plenty of fine art for the holiday show. Some of their most popular painters, photographers, and mixed-media and collage artists are offering work at affordable prices. Prices range from around $40 to $250 for one of Wendy Weldon’s distinctive barn paintings.
A percentage of the proceeds go toward Featherstone’s fundraising efforts. In some cases the artists are donating 100 percent of their profits. The show offers a great opportunity to shop for yourself or others, or just enjoy checking out the bounty of creative output by local artists.
The Holiday Gift Show will be open every day from 12 to 4 pm through Dec. 15 (except Thanksgiving Day). Stop by Sunday, Nov. 24, from 1 to 3 pm to enjoy a program of holiday songs by Featherstone’s own ukulele group, FeatherStrum.