November 23rd, 2020

Forget Black Friday: Score some local art instead

Many have spoken to me this year of art’s capacity to nourish the soul, to offer respite when the world turns topsy-turvy. “Art is food for the soul for artists, as well as for the supporters of local small businesses in our community,” says Currents Gallery’s Marlene Eichner. 

With the holidays upon us, keep those thoughts in mind when shopping for gifts — locally, of course. Here are just a few options.

Golden Girls Pottery

Jocie (left) and Michelle Golden have operated Golden Girls Pottery for two years, providing locals with a chance to lose themselves in painting ceramics. It’s the perfect, personalized art gift for the holidays.

Owned and operated by the mother-daughter team of Michelle and Jocie Golden, this cozy shop offers plenty of choices for a truly personalized gift: Ceramics you paint yourself. If you don’t trust yourself with a brush, pick one out and the recipient can do the rest. On-site painting isn’t available during the “freeze,” but you’re welcome to browse, and they can make to-go kits. They do the firing on site. 

Prices range from as little as $2 (for a mini-magnet) to $70 for a Christmas tree. In between there are figurines, light switch panels, dishware, etc. “It doesn’t have to be a nick-nack you have to dust,” says Michelle. “It can be something you use on a daily basis.”

It’s a perfect gift for all ages, and gift certificates are available. Complete store information and full inventory is available online.

NW Food & Gifts

For a good dose of festive vibes, visit NW Food & Gifts.

Just up the street, this McMinnville mainstay offers, along with food, clothing and soaps, locally produced art and crafts, including jewelry. Some inventory is online, but your best bet is to drop by.

Marilyn Affolter Fine Art Gallery:

Left: Clay masks by local artist Amy Brodie-Scout. Price range, $35-75.
Right: Acrylic and cold wax on board, by Rebecca Kiser: Price, $45.

There’s something about just walking in this downtown gallery that is calming. As an artist herself, Affolter knows full well how surrounding ourselves with art is a balm for the soul. “It can transform us,” she says, and much of it is easily affordable. If you’re not quite sure what to buy, consider a gift certificate — for art, or for the Zoom photography classes she teaches. 

Gallery at Ten Oaks

Raku bowl by B.G. Dodson. $25.
Ten Oaks Gallery

Owners Dan and Nancy Morrow have two maze-like floors with rooms full of great stuff to look at, but you can get a jump start by hopping on the incredibly user-friendly website, which allows navigating the large inventory by artist, medium and even topic — people, birds, etc. Shipping is also available. 

Currents Gallery

There is such a wide variety of gift ideas at Currents Gallery, from jewelry and ornaments, to scarves and wall art. Photo courtesy of Currents Gallery.

The artist-owners of this co-op gallery have been busy this year to ensure that satisfying and affordable giftable art is available for purchase this season. Gift certificates with no expiration date are available for both art or classes, which are offered in real time through Zoom and also recorded videos, as well as occasional in-person Back Door Studio art classes (when conditions allow). 

David Bates is a McMinnville writer who has appeared in Gallery Theater productions since 1998.