I often hear complaints that people do not view or buy visual art during the holidays. There seems to be just too little daylight available; hours and sanity vanish as you fight with other stressed-out consumers over the latest must-have toy. Take a deep breath, exhale and focus. Now see if you can make the time to visit a museum, gallery, store or holiday art event. Remember what we celebrate during this time of year and let art help you put the spiritual back in your life.
Art can be quite moving, and as close to religion as some people get. The abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko once said, “The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”
Two small shows that will remove you from the holiday rush are “Seeking the Light” and “Spirituality: An Exhibition.” The former will be up from Dec. 2-Jan. 30 at Shepherding Images, the studio and gallery of artist Glynis McManamon, a.k.a. Sister Glynis Mary, who specializes in multicultural and female-related art. Shepherding Images, along with other galleries and shops, will be open during the evening of Saturday, Dec. 2 for Bardstown Aglow. The Patio Gallery at the Jewish Community Center will show “Spirituality: An Exhibition” till Jan. 2.
But I am a realist: I know your shopping list is beginning to burn in your brain and you might not be able to take the time to see art. Then how about buying art? Venues that market creative gifts are in overdrive during this time of year.
Some locations have found great success with their holiday sales and events, so they return annually. The biggest is “Holidazzle” at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, which will be up until Dec. 30. It will indeed dazzle your holiday with work from more than 75 craftspeople. KMAC spotlights its exhibit with its “Martinis & Mistletoe” holiday cocktail party, on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 5-8 p.m. (free for museum members, $10 for non-members).
“Blow Ho Ho!” is another way to say it’s that time of year again and to blow your own glass ornament at Glassworks. Event days are Saturdays in November and Thursdays-Sundays in December ($40, ages 7 and up, reservations required). Glassworks’ annual Seconds Sale (these are slightly flawed glass pieces) will be held during the Dec. 1 First Friday Gallery Hop, starting at 6 p.m.
Other annual events include the Christmas open house at B. Deemer Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 2, during the Olde Tyme Christmas festivities on Frankfort Avenue (other galleries and shops along the route will also have open houses); the Clifton Center’s 31st Annual Potter’s Show & Sale on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (including work by area artists that has been featured in numerous group and solo art exhibitions and exhibited at national galleries); and the 16th Annual Holiday Open House at E&S Gallery on Saturday Nov. 18 from 2-4 p.m.
The ornament show at Swanson Reed Gallery during the entire month of December is especially huge. This year the gallery, which is well known for the unique, hand-blown glass ornaments it carries, will have more than 500 ornaments by more than 30 national artists.
After seeing the success more established galleries have had with holiday sales, Louisville’s new galleries are trying their hands at it. Chez Moi Art Gallery presents a Holiday Auction on Dec. 15; the gallery also has the exhibition “Flight of Angels” on view from Nov. 17-Dec. 14. Gallery Janjobe in the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center has started a gift registry where shoppers make up a wish list, then add a few well-chosen names who they hope will buy the selected items. They also will show wearable art and textiles by Laverne Zabielski during the Nov. 24 F.A.T. Friday Trolley Hop.
A different spin on the season is at Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, the Speed Art Museum and Objects of Desire Gallery. Mellwood has always had F.A.T. Friday Trolley Hop events, but this year they’ll celebrate the winter solstice for the first time. That’s on Dec. 22.
The Speed presents “It’s Snow Surprise” by the Madcap Puppet Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 26 at 1 and 3 p.m. (members: $7 for adults, $6 for children, non-members: $8 for adults, $7 for children). In this tale, the Ice Goblin has kidnapped the Snow Makers, depriving everyone of holiday snow. What are the children to do without snowmen and sled rides? Maybe we should ask kids in Florida.
“Fire and Ice — Contemporary Nordic Jewelry,” is on display from Nov. 17-Jan. 10 at Objects of Desire. It’s owner Julia Comer’s way of “avoiding the commercial clichés” and focusing on “the land from which much of the narrative about Christmas comes from.”
So you can see, art can be a holiday forethought — and not an afterthought.
Contact the writer at [email protected]
Visual Art: Go to guide
For galleries, museums and events referenced in the article
B. Deemer Gallery — 2650 Frankfort Ave.; www.bdeemer.com, 896-6687
Chez Moi Art Gallery — 974 Barret Ave.; www.geocities.com/chezmoiartgallery, 561-6206
E&S Gallery — 108 S. 10th St.; www.eandsgallery.com, 568-2005
Gallery Janjobe — 1860 Mellwood Ave.; 899-9293
Glassworks — 815 W. Market St.; www.louisvilleglassworks.com,
Objects of Desire Gallery — 1503 Bardstown Road; www.objectsofdesiregallery.com, 458-4164
Patio Gallery at the Jewish Community Center — 3600 Dutchmans Lane; www.jccoflouisville.org,
Shepherding Images — 1910 Bardstown Road; www.shepherdingimages.com, 645-6909
Swanson Reed Gallery — 1377 Bardstown Road; 452-2904
(For more information about Louisville galleries, visit www.looklouisvilleart.com, the Web page of LOOK, a consortium of fine art galleries in Louisville, Bardstown and Southern Indiana.)
Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft — 715 W. Main St.; www.kentuckyarts.org, 589-0102
Speed Art Museum — 2035 S. Third St.; www.speedmuseum.org, 634-2960
Clifton Center — 2117 Payne St.; www.cliftoncenter.org, 896-8480
Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center — 1860 Mellwood Ave.; www.mellwoodartcenter.com,
Bardstown Aglow — www.bardstownroadaglow.com, 585-5727
F.A.T. Friday Trolley Hop — www.fatfridayhop.org, 296-0091
First Friday Gallery Hop — www.galleryhop.org
Olde Tyme Christmas — www.frankfortave.com; 896-4706 (Margaret’s Consignment & Collectibles)