We fooled around and fell in love with all the holiday offerings by local galleries, museums and studios. Most hold special exhibitions this time of year to help you check off the hard-to-please on your list.
The Arts Association of Oldham County/Gallery 104 (104 E. Main St. in La Grange, aaooc.org) presents its “Holiday Artistique” through Dec. 28. Liberty Tattoo and Art Parlor’s “Fifth Annual Under $50 Art Show” also runs through Dec. 28 (2801 S. Third St., libertytattooandart.com). This year, Liberty will donate all of the art proceeds to the Shamrock Foundation. They also have a Pet Angel Tree, with contributions of pet items earning a chance to win a tattoo gift certificate.
Galerie Hertz (1253 S. Preston St., galeriehertz.com) reminds us that “Art: The Perfect Gift.” It runs through Jan. 4. The similarly titled “The Gift of Art” is at Gallery Janjobe (Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, 1860 Mellwood Ave., galleryjanjobe.com) through Jan. 24.
For the opposite train of thought, Sojourn Arts & Culture (1207 S. Shelby St., sojournartsandculture.com) is showing “At What Cost?” from Dec. 6-Jan. 5. It’s an exhibition they planned specially for Christmas, but they say it isn’t exactly “Christmas-y” because it deals with consumerism.
“Once Upon a Holiday,” an exhibition on how holidays are celebrated in other cultures, is at the Muhammad Ali Center (144 N. Sixth St., alicenter.org) through Jan. 5. Another show with the same theme is “Holidays Around the World” at the Frazier History Museum (829 W. Main St., fraziermuseum.org). It also closes on Jan. 5.
Spot5 Art Studio & Gallery (2005 Frankfort Ave., spot5artstudio.com) displays its “Annual Holiday Art Sale & Exhibition” through Jan. 10.
There are plenty of special sales as well.
U of L’s ceramic students and faculty hold an annual end-of-the-semester clay sale perfectly timed for the holidays. This year’s sale is Friday, Dec. 6, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Studio Arts Building (2314 S. Floyd St., louisville.edu/art).
B. Deemer Gallery (2650 Frankfort Ave., bdeemer.com) has a Christmas Open House on Saturday, Dec. 14, in conjunction with Olde Tyme Christmas on Frankfort Avenue.
Two shows that have been going strong for years and are quite the seasonal favorites are the “Umpteenth Annual $20 Art Show” and “A Very Portland Christmas.” The World’s Second Most Awesome Art Market presents the “Umpteenth Show” at Art Sanctuary (1433 S. Shelby St., art-sanctuary.org) on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 6-9 p.m. “A Very Portland Christmas, 2013” is at Nelligan Hall (2010 Portland Ave., nelliganhall.org) on Saturday, Dec. 21, from noon-8 p.m.
Blow-your-own glass ornaments continue to be popular. Appointments are available at Flame Run at Glassworks (815 W. Market St., flamerun.com) through Dec. 23 (check out their exhibition “Holiday Hang-Ups” through Jan. 11). Hyland Glass (619 E. Main St., hylandglass.com) is taking reservations through Dec. 28.
The local historic house museums have geared up for the holidays in a big way, decorating the mansions in bygone splendor. Both Whitehall and the Conrad-Caldwell House are serving up tea for the holidays (advanced reservations required). The Whitehall House & Gardens (3110 Lexington Road, historichomes.org) hosts a Victorian Christmas Tea on Saturday, Dec. 7 ($35 per person), while the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum (1402 St. James Ct., conrad-caldwell.org) features its Seventh Annual Holiday Victorian Tea on Dec. 7 and 8 as part of the Old Louisville Holiday Homes Tour ($30 per person).
The Howard Steamboat Museum & Mansion (1101 E. Market St. in Jeffersonville, steamboatmuseum.org) holds its Holiday Open House on Sunday, Dec. 8. “Christmastide at Locust Grove” (561 Blankenbaker Lane, locustgrove.org) is on Dec. 13 & 14, with the house decorated as it would have been in 1816.
Locally produced calendars have all the features you’d expect, but because they’re of our city, there’s a sense of what makes Louisville, well, “Looavull.” For the first time, Preservation Louisville (631 S. Fifth St., preservationlouisville.org) has produced a calendar featuring its top 10 preservation successes with photographs by local artists. Preservation Louisville in located in the Brennan House Historic Home and Gardens, a stop on the Victorian Holiday Tours that runs through Jan. 5.
As previously noted, a few art businesses are tying their seasonal showcases to established city events. During the Dec. 6 First Friday Trolley Hop, E&S Gallery (108 S. 10th St., eandsgallery.com) holds its Holiday Open House. The Miracle on South Fourth Street is held at the same time as First Friday, with the Block Party Handmade Boutique (560 S. Fourth St., blockpartyhandmade.com) displaying holiday-themed art pieces. During the Dec. 7 Bardstown Aglow, StudioWorks (2008 Eastern Pkwy., zoomgroup.org) has its Holiday Open House, and Prophecy Ink Tattoo Studio & Fine Art Gallery (907 Baxter Ave., prophecyink.com) features a tribute to Norman Rockwell with the Christmas show “Nostalgia.”
And since the world continues to turn, with days turning into months, it will soon start all over again. The next F.A.T. Friday Trolley Hop, dubbed the New Year’s Hop, is Dec. 27.