With the holidays approaching, gift-giving is in the air.
But with the economy still in the shitter, some other things are in the air as well.
So how can you give wonderful gifts that people will cherish, but in a way that’s responsible to the world? I would like to share an idea I think is brilliant, and which I have to acknowledge came to me from Dawn M Simmons and Robin LaPlant: Giving the gift of local art.
I was recently fortunate enough to sell four of my own paintings to someone for this very reason, and that made me particularly thoughtful about the benefits of giving and receiving local art. (BTW you can check out my other paintings at my Etsy shop, where I’ll be adding more throughout the holiday season: http://www.etsy.com/people/JRexPlays)
The reasons to give local art, while sometimes obvious, are powerful:
1. Buying local art directly supports the local arts scene and – if you’re buying it for someone NOT local – spreads Boston’s reach.
2. Buying local art supports artists who likely NEED IT. More than, say, Lady Gaga or Jonathon Franzen.
3. By the same token, giving local art likely gets something unique into your receiver’s hands that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. GETTING local art is FUN! Aren’t some of the greatest gifts surprises that we fall in love with?
So I encourage you, this holiday season, to surprise yourself and your loved ones by giving the gift of local art. Here are some suggestions:
1. A subscription to WHISTLER IN THE DARK. Ranges from $60 - $160, gets your friend various access to shows by one of the most talked about small theatre companies in Boston. http://www.whistlerinthedark.com/index.php
2. A painting by Dana Nacer. Honestly, the lady does cool work and it’s well priced. Who doesn’t need something cool and pretty and colorful to look at in their home? http://www.dananacer.com/index.html
3. Tickets to a Gold Dust Orphans Show. There are some people who would NOT enjoy a show by the Orphans. Those people are not friends, so you shouldn’t be getting them anything in the first place. https://www.facebook.com/golddustorphans
4. Something from the hands of Christina Watka. The woman does everything and does it all spectacularly. Check out her paintings, her sculptures, and if your eye gets tired, listen to her sing. There’s no shop on her website but I’m pretty sure if you emailed her and said “I want to give you money for art,” she’d say yes. http://christinawatka.com/
5. Join CSArt. If you're familiar with CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) you probably get the idea. In CSA you pay a certain amount per month and you get a fresh shipment of locally raised produce. Now apply the same to art: you put down some $$ each month and you get your monthly ration of art: paintings, sculptures, etc. The artists vary by year. Check out the full details here.
6. We all know there are hundreds of great local bands. Pick your favorite that someone might not know. Buy a CD or take them to a show.
These are five ideas mostly for groups and artists I already know and love. The real list of what Boston artists give to the world is hundreds of pages too long.
So tell me in the comments: what Local Art are you anxious to give the gift of?