Shop local at Featherstone

The 19th annual Holiday Gift Show begins this weekend, with plenty of handmade ideas for family and friends.

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For 19 of its 25 years, Featherstone Center for the Arts has showered Islanders with a plethora of fabulous holiday gift ideas for the loved ones on their lists. You can get a good head start, since the show opens this weekend, on Friday, Nov. 12. It’s an opportunity to do a little shopping before the craziness of Thanksgiving kicks off the season. Because of COVID, Featherstone isn’t doing its usual big Friday night opening, but starting that day at noon, you can schedule an appointment to browse in the large gallery space. This year they have bumped up the number of shoppers allowed in at once from a half-dozen to 10 at a time.
The variety is, as usual, immense — more than 100 artists are participating.
Handmade creations include paintings, photography, crafts, jewelry, clothing, purses, accessories, soaps, dog goods, ornaments, cards, calendars, and all sorts of stocking stuffers. Particularly popular are ornaments, be they quilted or glittered. “We have a lot of ceramic artists too,” Smith says. “The works can be soap dishes, bowls, casserole dishes, candleholders, mugs, platters. Also, there are lots of knitted objects — scarves, hats, and gloves. And lots and lots of holiday cards, which are really beautiful and elaborate but also very affordable. You name it, we have it.”
The gift show is a common tradition at many art centers to support their local artists. It is just another way that Featherstone meets its mission, which is to engage, enrich, and connect the community through the power of art and creativity.
“We started in the gallery in the farmhouse, and it has just grown, and grown, and grown,” Smith says. The much larger Francine Kelly Gallery in the Art Barn allows them to showcase hanging art, as well as many more gift items, all in one place.
“Everything is made by Island artists and affordable, ranging up to $250, except for the artwork on the walls, which can be a little more,” Smith says. The artists share the proceeds with Featherstone, so the annual event is an important fundraiser, and shopping there is a feel-good experience.
Whether you’re looking for a gift for family, friends, co-workers, or a partner, Featherstone has something in store for you. Shop early, shop local, and shop often.

The 19th annual Holiday Gift Show, Featherstone Center for the Arts, opens on Nov. 12 and ends Dec. 16, 12 to 4 pm except Thanksgiving Day. For more information and to sign up, see featherstoneart.org/holidaygiftshow.html.