Give the Gift of Art This Holiday Season

By Carol Flynn

The winter holidays are upon us, bringing the age-old question – what do I buy for everyone on my gift list? This year, consider giving gifts of artwork or hand-crafted items from very talented local artists.

Paintings, prints, pottery, candles, soap, jewelry, fabric arts, sculpture, weavings, photographs – all are available right in our own community. Thanks to the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, it’s easy now to access a wide variety of unique items, many of them one of a kind. And unlike buying from an anonymous store or website, in most cases, you can actually meet the artist and establish a personal connection, which is a really nice touch in presenting a gift.

Some local artists produce special items with themes appropriate to the season.

Judie Anderson, an alumna of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is a painter and illustrator who worked as the Art Director for the Chicago Tribune. Together with her husband, the late artist Bill Anderson, Anderson was a founder of the art school at the Beverly Art Center. She has a wide variety of prints and cards with winter and holiday themes. A trip to Judie’s neighborhood studio is well worth the visit to view her items. Anderson can be contacted at 773/233-4198. She is also on Facebook.

Pamela Johnson-Howe, a native of Beverly/Morgan Park, produces award-winning pottery and offers hand-made one-of-a-kind ornaments through her studio, NorthWind Pottery. Johnson-Howe’s website is www.northwindpottery.net and she is also on Facebook. She sells her items on-line through Etsy at www.northwindpottery.etsy.com, or can be contacted through email at northwindpottery@gmail.com .

Over 30 local artisans will be offering their creations for sale at the Uprising Handmade Holiday Fair on Sun., Dec. 4, 12 to 5 p. m., at the Blue Island Beer Company, 13357 Olde Western Ave., Blue Island.  This is an all-ages event, with a $5 entry fee for adults, and free for children age 17 and under. The entry fee includes raffle tickets to win a gift bag of items from the participating sellers. This is where you can find the candles, soap, jewelry, fabric items, and other goods made locally.

Local artists are invited to share their holiday items and contact information on The Alliance’s Beverly Art Walk Facebook page so that shoppers can locate them. This is a public under “Beverly Art Walk.”