Ole! Gift ideas are overflowing at Durango Arts Center as submitted

Holiday gift giving doesn’t have to be redundant and predictable. Unique, original gifts are available during Holiday Art Ole at the Durango Arts Center.

Holiday Art Ole is a juried show of fine arts and crafts, specifically selected for gift giving. The Barbara Conrad gallery is crammed full of folk art, jewelry, paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, scarves, clothing, candles, boxes, ornaments, jackets, purses, pens, teddy bears and Santa’s.

It’s difficult to describe the multitude of creative vessels and adornments available at the DAC. The gallery is overflowing with possibilities. I spent nearly two hours perusing the gallery to find these hidden treasures.

Lorraine Trenholm’s pastel drawings of kayakers are vibrant strokes of color on black paper ($150). Trenholm uses intense hues in her pastel work—haystacks are yellow and purple ($150) and a cloudy sky reflects that intense red hue we see here in the Southwest ($150). Trenholm also shows tiny oil paintings of cows, chickens, trees, horses and landscapes in big, gold frames. These small three and four inch paintings are only $75 and would make a perfect hostess gift for Aunt Mabel who agreed to let you crash at her house for the week while you ski Durango Mountain.

Dave Sipe’s folk art trees, Santas and totems ($45-$995) are hand-carved and finished to reflect a hip, fun vibe. They are not your typical folk art bears and sculptures seen around the region. Sipe’s work has soul and character. Heck, I’d prefer his carved wooden trees to the real fir in my living room. Less needles to sweep up come January.

Deborah Gorton’s collage and mixed media boxes are ideal for keeping all your wishes and dreams. “Travelers Box” ($220) and “A Special Place” ($200) are large footed vessels with an Asian design influence. “Traveler Box” features a female figure postage stamp over an idyllic European street scene. Gorton also creates shadow box collage with torn paper and found objects that are like dimensional paintings. ($75-$175) Women like Gorton’s artwork. There is a feminine aspect to her colors, objects and design. Give one to your mom, your aunt, your sister or your girlfriend.

Gorton’s work is displayed near, and compliments the Raku ceramics by Fiona Clark. A large vessel with spiral lid ($110) is white with a spiral crackle pattern. Clark’s small round vessel ($44) is nicely shaped and a bargain at that price. Buy it for your boss or favorite professor.

Artisan made jewelry by Rachel Davis includes silver leaves on earrings and necklaces ($46-$89). Davis’ large rectangular textured wave earrings ($79) are for the woman who wants to make a statement. Nancy Frederick Conrad creates Dichroic glass jewelry well priced at $24-$62 that is ideal for a young woman or your tween niece. At the higher end, intarsia and lapidary pendants, bracelets and rings by Brian and Stacey Maggard of Albuquerque provide Southwestern style art to wear. A red Hopi rug pattern pendant and bracelet set is $485 and would make a lovely gift for the wife who wears only Pendleton jackets with her jeans.

In Local Expressions, hand painted silk and velvet tops and jackets ($55-$165) by Lynne McGee are colorful additions to any fashionista’s wardrobe. Mary Ellen Morrow’s “Quite a Pair” ($250) is a beautiful still life of two pears painted in an impressionistic style. Take this home to grandma in Connecticut and she’ll remember you in her will.

Holiday shopping should be fun and at Holiday Art Ole they have something for even the most finicky and difficult person to buy for. If you go, leave plenty of time to really take in everything being offered. And go back more than once, because while I was there three artists came in bringing new items to add to the collection.

If you go:

Through Dec. 28
Holiday Art Ole
Durango Arts Center
802 East 2nd Avenue
Tues-Sat, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

artsjournalist@centurytel.net Leanne Goebel is a freelance writer specializing in the arts.

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