It’s been a long, slow slog of a year. It’s almost hard to believe that the holidays have arrived, but they are here – and with them, holiday shopping. While holiday events may be scaled back or even canceled, the gift of art, no matter how small, is welcome – by the recipient and by local artists who have struggled. Communities, businesses and organizations throughout the area are coming up with novel ways to help our local artists this holiday season.
St. Pete Arts Alliance
The St. Pete Arts Alliance hosts their first virtual silent auction this year with the Curate St. Pete Arts Fair. Online bidding begins December 6, culminating with a live auction and virtual celebration on December 13. The Arts Fair spotlights artists and their work, providing them with an online presence for direct sales, which split between the artists and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.
Yet another way to support local studios and galleries is the SPAA-created Curate St. Pete Gallery Tours. These video tours provide access to businesses that don’t have the resources to establish and maintain a virtual arts business. The video tours highlight 28 artists and gallerists inside their creative businesses, with more expected.
For more information, to donate auction items or contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Creative Giving Virtual Holiday Shoppe and Silent Auction, hosted by Creative Clay, kicks off a week of holiday shopping November 23 to 30. Creative Clay member artists offer coffee gift packages, holiday cards and ornaments. Shoppers can choose to “buy now” or bid against others for Creative Clay art hand-selected by the Art Oracles, local artists well known for their involvement in St. Pete’s art scene. Each Art Oracle will share why a particular work is a favorite and meaningful to them.
The auction also includes donations from area businesses, and proceeds benefit Creative Clay’s programs to create equality through art.
Gulfport Art Shopping Opportunities Abound
There is no shortage of ways to shop for art in Gulfport and support artists this season.
First up is the First Friday Art Walk on December 4, an outdoor art fest featuring artists from across Pinellas, giving art demonstrations and selling their work.
ArtJones, the popular open studio tour, is slated for December 5 and 6, featuring seven stops and 12 resident artists in their studios throughout Gulfport.
Art Works Here, a program established by the Gulfport Merchants Chamber to support artists and their work, now features 20 artists with a variety of studio and gallery locations and hours by appointment.
In addition, galleries provide unique gift-giving ideas. The Brenda McMahon Gallery represents 13 regional artists and offers one-of-a-kind gift ideas such as an Art Wall of affordable art gifts by different artists, Artful Addresses to put your own “art mark on the outside of your home,” commissioned work by featured artists, A Taste of Art Gourmet Workshops for the gift of art experience, and a virtual gallery where shoppers can search for unique gifts from the comfort of their home.
Other Gulfport stops featuring gifts by local artists include Custom House Décor, Gulfport Beach Bazaar, Beach House, Zaiya and Stella’s Sundries.