This week presents three excellent opportunities to pick up the perfect gifts for your most discerning loved ones, each one bringing local artisans and craftspeople together in one place to provide plenty of tasteful (and sometimes tasty) choices.
Unison’s Holiday Craft Fair in New Paltz
Topping our list of holiday art and craft fairs in the Hudson Valley – partly because it has a sterling reputation after 24 years in operation, and partly because it’s the biggest annual fundraiser for a cherished cultural institution currently finding itself in dire financial straits – is the Unison Arts & Learning Center’s Holiday Craft Fair. It’s held at the New Paltz Middle School, at the corner of Main Street and Route 32 South, and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7.
It costs $4 to get in, $3 if you’re a member, but that entry fee goes toward a noble cause: to keep Unison open. You’re sure to enjoy browsing (and buying) high-end, locally made crafts and artworks by more than 50 creative types, like the Andean-inspired tapestry handbags by A. Ruiz Designs, Birdhouse Brokerage’s whimsical mini-dwellings made from recycled barn wood, Harriet Forman Barrett’s delicately sculpted jewelry, Leonie Lacouette’s sleek contemporary clocks and Annie O’Neill’s charming folk-motif painted earthenware. And there’s nothing like the eye-popping colors of Stacie Flint’s vibrant naïf paintings to liven up a dark nook in someone’s home. Call Unison at (845) 255-1559 for more info, or visit the website at https://unisonarts.org for more photos of the works on sale.
WORK:SHOP Holiday Pop-up Sale in Beacon
Looking for a source that’s fresh and new, rather than tried-and-true? Also happening this weekend, down in Beacon, is an event only in its second year: the WORK:SHOP Holiday Pop-up Sale. The brainchild of furnituremaker Jessica Wickham, it takes place in her own workshop space, a renovated hat factory at 578 Main Street, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Several of the 12 participating artisans are from the Beacon area, and one – Beth Bolgla Ceramics – is from Brooklyn. But for many shoppers, perhaps the biggest draw at this curated sale will be the intricate cut-paper art of Kingston’s Jenny Lee Fowler. Bring along a photo of that tough-to-shop-for person on your gift list and commission a silhouette!
Made in Kingston Showcase
On Wednesday, December 10 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., something equally intriguing will be going on in Kingston’s Seven 21 Media Center, which now houses more than a dozen arts businesses. But it’s a little different in that it spotlights some of the small businesses that have been moving into the city, including the intrepid pioneers revitalizing its deteriorated, formerly industrial Midtown.
Not all of them are individual craftspeople, but the range of products available for purchase at the Made in Kingston Showcase is promised to be “eclectic.” You could pick up some stylish headgear from Carole Amper Hats, a reproduction sword from Knightly Endeavors, a Luminist landscape painting from Jane Bloodgood-Abrams, handmade candy canes or some artisan chocolate from Michael’s Candy Corner, a Hollywood-quality scary mask from American Made Monster Studios. Any which way you turn you’ll be supporting Midtown’s comeback, and get a chance to scope out the interior of Seven 21 – located, naturally, at 721 Broadway – while you’re at it.
Admission to the Made in Kingston Showcase is also free. You can RSVP at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event, or call (845) 331-2238 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
All three of these holiday fairs will have food and drink available on premises, so you can relax and shop at your own pace. Have fun!
24th annual Unison Holiday Craft Fair, Saturday/Sunday, December 6/7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $4/$3, New Paltz Middle School, Main Street/South Manheim Boulevard, New Paltz; (845) 255-1559, https://unisonarts.org.
WORK:SHOP Holiday Pop-up Sale, Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, December 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free, Wickham Solid Wood Studio, 578 Main Street, Beacon; (917) 797-9247, www.workshop.virb.com.
Made in Kingston Showcase, Wednesday, December 10, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Seven 21 Media Center, 21 Broadway, Kingston; (845) 331-2238, https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event.