The Artist's Muse Art Blog
Art: the Unique Holiday Gift
Whether you are looking for a unique gift for a grab bag or trying to buy something for the person who has everything, think about giving art for the holidays. Art comes in all shapes and sizes, all mediums, a variety of colors and price ranges. You also won't have to worry about someone duplicating your gift. Art galleries, museum gift shops, and open studios are all great places to find unusual gifts in your area. There are many different ways that you can buy art for friends and family. First, you can purchase an original work of art directly from an artist at an art show or open studio. Second, you can buy an "art experience" by purchasing tickets to a concert, play, museum exhibition opening or dance performance. Finally, giving a membership to a cultural institution as a gift, which would include a variety of benefits for its recipient, would extend for a full year.
Original art can be a personal thing, so make sure you have an idea what colors and styles the person you are buying for prefers. Something small that could be tucked on a mantel or desk will make a charming gift. Often artists sell their work pre-framed so all that is needed to make the gift complete is a gold ribbon and gift card. Hand-crafted jewelry is also a unique gift that would put a smile on anyone's face. If you are certain your friend or loved one would like the work of a particular artist, but know they are fussy, ask if the artist sells gift certificates. That way he or she could chose their own piece. Many colleges, art schools and galleries feature special sales this time of year, so be sure to keep your eyes open for these events. Museum gift stores often sell original arts and crafts and usually offer discounts on purchases to members, so you might consider joining while you shop.
Investigate the cultural organizations in your area. Is their a performance hall for musical events? Do you have a local theater company? How about special exhibition opening at an art museum? You can purchase tickets for events online and tie the ticket envelope to the tree with a ribbon or slip it into a stocking. To complete the gift of a "night on the town" you could also present a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant. For the sleuth in your life, some theater companies offer dinner theater experiences which are often mysteries that unfold as you eat your meal.
Individual or family memberships to museums, theaters, symphonies and Audubon societies offer a full range of benefits and can be enjoyed all year long. Parents of young children might appreciate a membership to a local children's museum especially when winter temperatures are not conducive to outdoor activity. Children's museums are great places to explore art, science and history. Museum memberships often include special privileges such as exclusive events, discounted or free programs, reduced rates for studio classes and lectures, newsletters and volunteer opportunities. Audubon society memberships allow members to hike and roam the outdoors at their leisure. Art lovers could easily set up an easel and paint en plein aire. You might want to also include a sketch pad and pencils or paint with the membership.
This year, challenge yourself to find a unique way to say "happy holidays" to the people that you care about. You will be supporting the arts at the same time!
Photo: Holy Family with the Infant St. John Andrea Del Brescianino Springfield Museum of Fine Arts