In today’s episode of “Holiday Shopping,” let’s take you out of that packed, anxiety-ridden department store and into a creative and more peaceful shopping environment. Shopping local has so many benefits, such as stimulating the economy and keeping money out of the hands of trumpettes. You get quality crafted goods, and it seems more thoughtful to the gift recipient. So how can you fulfill gift obligations for Mom, Pop, Grammy and little Lulu by shopping at galleries? Wouldn’t Apple products and EOS eggs do the trick?. Let’s get you out of that idea; I won’t disappoint.
And don’t doubt the power of a celebrity guide *wink*. If you missed my celebrity tour with Gallery Night Providence (gallerynight.org), don’t fret! They start up shortly after the new year. Then I can take you on a real art adventure. But this will do for now.
Gallery Z (galleryzprov.com)
Gallery Z is at 259 Atwells Ave on Federal Hill across from Pastiche Fine Desserts and a savory hop from neighboring Venda or Zooma. The walls of Gallery Z are covered in small- to medium-sized paintings, photographs, drawings and collages that are the perfect sized gift for a true art collector. We all have an aunt or grandma who loves glass jewelry and wears that pendant you made years ago in art class. The Dreamy Venice collection (dreamyvenice.com) featured at the Z is available in their store or online. Crafted with beautiful Venetian glass, this jewelry is affordable and charming. Shown in the photo is the Color Drop Pendant, which adds a little color to an everyday outfit!
For the trinket lover, I was captivated by a metal bucket near the register with thousands of monopoly pieces shaped like anything you could imagine! I saw one gallery groupie grab a pretzel, a post office truck (with the real USPS sign) and a couple other odd things. Confuse the heck outta someone or play a killer game of Monopoly with some personalization.
Inner Space Outsider Art Gallery & Shop
If you’re familiar with the White Buffalo antique store (140 Broadway), you’ll find this gallery inside it. Inner Space Outsider describes itself like this:
A gallery and shop inside the Share Space building that focuses on the work of New England-based artists with disabilities – or what we call Outsider Art. By using the term ‘outsider’ we are not trying to be exclusionary or stigmatizing. We use the term because, in our experience, it is the most widely accepted way to talk about this area of the art world.
Inner Space was crowdfunded earlier this year (they raised $9,000 via Kickstarter!) and started by White Buffalo owner, Dana Kretzmann. During a recent visit, I met several of their local artists. One piece that stood out to me was a beautiful interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. And there were enough small shops within the gallery that you could easily get lost. One of those little shops showcased an artist’s beautiful knitting. The handmade scarves looked super cozy and would definitely make the best gifts (you possibly could take credit for making it, but your family wouldn’t believe you!). For the funny people in your life, perhaps a Weird Pet could fill a lonely void. Find one in a shop inside Inner called Factory of Weird. The Factory had some of the best flannels and hand-sewn dresses I’ve seen in a long time. Definitely tell your niece about this place!
Back inside White Buffalo there are SO many local art tees that I couldn’t decide which one to grab. I finally decided that one depicting an alien smoking a butt exclaiming, “I’m sick of your SH*T human,” was the most fitting for my wardrobe. And my companion grabbed a pimply looking monster named “NAIRWOLF” that has a ghostly resemblance to another unfortunate celeb I promised I would stop writing about. These are the best gifts. And they are made by local people! How much cooler can that be?
Rudely elegant jewelry is the motto of this “very satisfying”store located at 17 Peck Street in PVD. But it steps beyond just jewelry, with one-of-a-kind clocks lining the walls. My favorites were the ones made from forks and other unusual materials. A super creative decorative clock could be the perfect gift for any art lover. Spice up the den or a dorm room in two seconds *tick tick*. But among the clocks and beautifully curated gems was my favorite thing in the world: knick-knacks! I put a quarter on a box, and this plastic
electronic cat purred, slapped its paw on the coin and smashed it into its box. It was a kitty bank, and I just solved how I would save money next year. Try it and tell me that’s not the coolest thing ever! Kids would go crazy for it, too (facebook.com/copaceticjewelry).
I love museums. I love that art has graced all of mankind in every age and museums document that. I love that the world is a huge place with SO much diversity. Peaceable Kingdom, located at 116 Ives Street in PVD, is an answer to all the reasons I love museums. When I walked in, I had to admire the Nativity scenes from all around the world. The family that owns the store/gallery finds inventory by traveling the globe for unique and handmade items. Grandma, kids and parents are all present at the store. My favorite display was the La Muerta and Day of The Dead collections they brought back from Mexico. For that gothy girl in your life, a pair of bottle cap ”La Muerta” painted earrings are the best ($10). A taste of the world, right in Providence. You could gift that to someone (facebook.com/pkgiftspvd)
While you’re downtown, head to 144 Brook Street to explore the LORE Collection. From textiles to jewelry, wall art and bags, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your shopping list (lorecollection.com).
Now, tell me why you want to visit Target. To yell at the cashier and fuss about a coupon on your Apple something your 5-year-old wants? Tag me in your art adventures #MotifGalleryLove.