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Artwork by Maryland Artists Makes Affordable, Unique Holiday Gifts

Ev Craft pan Arts organizations also offer do-it-yourself workshops, projects

Want to buy a unique holiday gift, support local enterprise and indulge your creative side – all at the same time? Then consider a visit to a local gallery, artwork holiday sale or arts-center gift shop, says the Maryland Office of Tourism.

“As you travel across Maryland, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to purchase signature jewelry, ceramics, paintings, textiles and other distinctive local artwork,” says Margot Amelia, executive director of the tourism office. “These original, hand-crafted items make wonderful gifts.”

“You can also work with arts instructors and experts to make your own gifts,” says Theresa Colvin, executive director of the Maryland State Arts Council. “Or, why not give the gift of an art class?”

Here is a selection of places across the state where you can either purchase the work of local artists or create your own masterpiece:

Western Maryland

Art for Giving, C. William Gilchrist Museum, Cumberland (Allegany County) – This exhibition – through December – presents the work of 63 local artists representing a variety of disciplines, including: fiber, jewelry, metal, mixed-media, photography, sculpture and paintings. The property is an early 19th-century Federal mansion with six renovated galleries and art library.

Art-o-Mat machine, Saville Gallery, Cumberland (Allegany County) – Last January, the Allegany County Arts Council installed Maryland’s first Art-o-Mat – a converted cigarette vending machine that dispenses original artwork – in its gallery. The machine offers individual items of artwork from 22 artists for $5 apiece. Some 400 artists contribute their work to more than 90 Art-o-Mats around the U.S.
Holiday Open House and Reception, Dec. 9, The Gallery Shop, Oakland (Garrett County) – The Garrett County Arts Council presents a kitchen show featuring such hand-crafted gifts as: paintings and photographs of produce; wooden bowls; cutting boards; rolling pins; pepper mills; mugs; and woven rugs.

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown – This regional museum, which has more than 7,000 works of art – including significant holdings of European and American art from the 16th century to the present – offers a year-round schedule of art classes for adults and children. It also has a gift shop.

Capital Region

Art for the Holidays, The Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick – The artwork of resident and area artists is on display and available for purchase at The Delaplaine’s Gift Gallery through Dec. 30.

Bethesda Art Walk, Dec. 9 (Montgomery County) – Galleries and studios in Bethesda open their doors, 6-9 p.m., on the second Friday of every month. Free guided-tours of participating galleries begin at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenue.

Mansion Shop at Strathmore, North Bethesda (Montgomery County) – Hand-crafted jewelry, textiles, stationery, decorative gifts, and children’s books and creative kits are available at the store and online. Strathmore provides a range of arts programming in the Mansion at Strathmore, the Music Center at Strathmore and on its 11-acre site.

Women, Wine & Art-making Workshops, Dec. 9 and Jan. 20, CREATE Art Center Silver Spring (Montgomery County) – Bring wine, a group leader and your creative urges to the center where an expert will lead you through the creative process. Registration required.

Dancing Bear’s Holiday Market, Dec. 9-10, 16-17, Cultural Arts Center, Frederick – Handcrafted fair-trade gifts, priced at $10 and under, are available. Children can shop “in secret” as parents wait nearby. They can also wrap their gifts. Portion of proceeds benefits Frederick Arts Council.

Central Maryland

Art Market, Dec. 7-10, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore – This four-day sale in the Brown Center offers artwork created by more than 250 MICA students, faculty, alumni and staff.

Gallery of Gifts, Dec. 8 – Jan. 12, Tevis Gallery at Carroll Arts Center, Westminster (Carroll County) – Starting with an artists’ reception, Dec. 8, the gallery offers the artwork of approximately 30 local and regional artists. Open Monday through Saturday.

Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) Gift Shop – At the invitation of the BMA, regional artists created original artwork for the museum store. All of the items were inspired by works in BMA’s collections.

Holiday Boutique, Dec. 10-11, The Lock House at Susquehanna Museum of Havre de Grace (Harford County) – This holiday show features handcrafted gifts and decorations, including vintage jewelry, loose greens and arrangement, and Japanese Washi eggs. Hand-baked cakes, pies and cookies are also available.

Singular Sensations, Dec. 8-16, Columbia Art Center (Howard County) – This holiday exhibition has paintings, cards, fiber art, photography, jewelry and ceramics – all for under $150 apiece. Opening reception is Thursday evening, Dec. 8. The center also offers Silk Wall Art, Dec. 9, as part of its Girls Night Out series – opportunities for socializing and creating art.

Sock Monkey Saturday, Dec. 10, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore – Make your own gift at this annual free event. Bring two pairs of clean socks and your own scissors. For more information, call 410-244-1900.

Winterfest and Annual Holiday Sale, through Jan. 6, Baltimore Clayworks – Functional and decorative ceramics by Clayworks member artists and invited artists are on display in the art center’s gift shop. Prices start at $20. Clayworks also offers workshops throughout the year, starting at $45. A Gift of Clay can be redeemed for any of these sessions.

Southern Maryland

Ornament Show & Sale, Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons (Calvert County) – This annual event, which runs through Jan. 1, is a juried show that displays one-of-a-kind ornaments created by 22 regional artists. The show is open late on evenings that Annmarie offers its Garden in Light tour of the property.

Gifts of a Lifetime, calvART Gallery, Prince Frederick (Calvert County) – Featuring the work of 21 Southern Maryland artists, this co-operative gallery (a program of the Calvert County Arts Council) offers items for holiday giving through the end of the month. Gallery is open daily. Prince Frederick also has a holiday Art Walk, Dec. 10. Arts-related merchants and eateries offer special promotions.

Eastern Shore

FIVE in December, Joie de Vivre Gallery, Cambridge (Dorchester County) – Owner Joy Staniforth has acquired eclectic artwork from around the country that sells in the gallery at prices between $5 and $50.

Free Craft Saturdays, Dec. 17, Academy Art Museum, Easton (Talbot County) – This particular Saturday is a session for children, ages 6-12, to make holiday gifts and decorations. Registration is required. The museum also offers classes in drawing, painting, pastels, photography and pottery for children and adults.

Holiday Gift Boutique, Kent Island Federation of Arts, Stevensville (Queen Anne’s County) – Member artists offer their artwork at prices ranging from $1 to $250 through Dec. 23.

Holly-Days gift gallery, Berlin – Worcester County Arts Council showcases the work of local artists through Dec. 24.  A portion of each sale benefits the arts council’s community programs. Gallery is open Monday through Friday and some Saturdays.

Second Saturdays at the Foundry, Dec. 10, Denton (Caroline County) – Each month, the Caroline County Council of Arts sponsors opportunities to watch and interact with artists at The Foundry, a community art gallery where more than 20 county artists display and sell their work. Proceeds help to benefit building restoration and council programs.

Small Works, Chestertown Arts League (Kent County) – About a dozen artists have their work – priced at $100 and less – in this show, which runs to the end of the month in its Studio Gallery. Located at 312 Cannon St., the Arts League has another exhibit, Beautiful Light, in the Main Gallery.

Click here for more local Maryland Shopping Events


To receive free Maryland travel information – Destination Maryland, Maryland Calendar of Events and a state highway map – by mail, call 800-719-5900. More information is available on the tourism office’s web site, VisitMaryland.org.


Artists: Jane Rubini

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