Glen-A-Palooza presents a great chance to buy local for Christmas | PostIndependent.com

Glen-A-Palooza presents a great chance to buy local for Christmas

If you're looking to shop locally for Christmas, Garfield County has plenty of opportunities to take the next step, with gifts made by local artists and craftsmen.

"There's nothing like receiving a handmade gift," said Christina Brusig, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. "It shows that the buyer put the extra effort into getting something truly unique and special."

As part of tonight's second Friday Glen-A-Palooza celebration, the center is launching its 18th annual WinterFest with gifts from 15 local artists.

"There's everything from pottery to jewelry to quilts to fine art to food for purchase," Brusig said. "There's never a shortage of artists in this valley. Not many get to do what they love, and the more we can support that the better."

It's the first major exhibition at the art center since a flood damaged the space over the summer, and it kicks off with an opening from 5-8 p.m. If you can't make the festivities, you can still stop by the gallery weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Christmas Eve.

That's just one of numerous spots where you can browse the work of many local artists at once. Stop by Art on 8th and you might get a chance to see some of Mountain Valley Developmental Services' 14 weavers in action.

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"It's a really neat opportunity for anyone at Mountain Valley to come and try," said manager Melissa DeHaan. "People are always impressed when they come upstairs to watch the weavers, and the kudos are really important."

In addition to offering textiles ranging from runners to oven mitts to ornaments, the shop also carries work from 50 artists from around the state, most of them local. Unique offerings include clothing, salt and pepper shakers, pens and switch plates — with a 10 percent discount on many items during Glen-A-Palooza.

"People make all kinds of cool stuff, and each piece is really by heart," DeHaan said. "We wanted to do something that wouldn't compete but rather add, so we chose fine crafts rather than fine art."

Just down the street, Cooper Corner Gallery is slightly less crafty, but still offers jewelry, woodwork and pottery in addition to photographic prints and paintings. The spiritual successor to Gallery 809, it includes the work of 24 members who also help staff the space.

"You're not talking to a salesperson," said member George Cutting. "You're talking to an artist whose heart is in the store."

Western Garfield County's "Ambassador of Art," Cutting is also the director of the Bookcliffs Art Center and proprietor of the bite-size Crack in the Wall Gallery near Silt.

"It started with just 12 of my photos," he recalled. "I couldn't say no, so now I'm up to 34 artists, and the walls are packed."

He's glad to see others getting behind efforts to support local artisans.

"All of this is working," he said. "You're keeping a roof over people's heads, and in turn many of them are sourcing many of their materials locally. It's supporting your local community multifold."

Support local artisans

Art on 8th

209 8th St, Glenwood Springs

928-0774 / mtnvalley.org

Cooper Corner Gallery

315 8th Street, Glenwood Springs

945-5199 / coopercornergallery.com

Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts

601 East 6th Street, Glenwood Springs

945-2414 / glenwoodarts.org

Speckled Feather Mercantile

820 Castle Valley Blvd #102B, New Castle

573-6378 / speckledfeather.com

Carbondale Clay Center

135 Main St., Carbondale

963-2529 / carbondaleclay.org

R2 Gallery and Artique

76 S. 4th St., Carbondale

963-1680 / carbondalearts.com

Crack in the Wall Gallery

1887 Co Rd 23, Silt

876-1110 / crackinthewallgallery.com

The Whimsical Wagon

521 Main St., Silt

876-0120 / thewhimsicalwagon.com

Midland Arts Company

101 E 3rd St., Rifle

625-3068 / midlandartscompany.com

Old Mountain Gift & Jewelry

393 East 2nd St Unit 5, Parachute

285-7565 / oldmountaingift.com

Are we missing a major storefront in Garfield County? Email will@postindependent.com and we’ll update the list online.

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