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Our favorite things: Local treasures from Utah artists

Gift Guide » We’ve searched through local boutiques and stores to find an eclectic selection of local gifts.

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What makes it unique » On his website, artist Fred Conlon’s work is touted as "original metal art that doesn’t suck." His found-metal raptor sculptures at the Natural History Museum’s gift shop appear gracefully inventive, the kind of art that serves as a reminder of Utah’s recent past (thanks to feet made out of wrenches) as well as our region’s ancient history (thanks to a raccoon skull representing the raptor’s head).

Where » Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City; 801-581-6927; or www.sugarpost.com

At a glance

Seeking local art and artisans?

Here’s a few of our favorite shows.

Holiday jewelry trunk shows » (Dec. 7 and 8) Natural History Museum of Utah showcases the copper jewelry of Fred Wilhelmsen, gems and mineral jewelry of Kim Kendell, and Jessica Bolda’s bead work at the show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Proceeds benefit the museum.) Also save 10 percent on Wednesdays in December from 5-9 p.m. at the gift shop. 331 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City; 801-581-6927.

Art Barn’s holiday craft exhibit and sale » (Through Dec. 19). Salt Lake City Arts Council holds its 29th annual sale at the Art Barn in Reservoir Park, 1340 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City. Work for sale includes letterpress cards, holiday ornaments, scarves, hats, cups, bowls, jewelry and art glass. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and until 9 p.m. on Gallery Stroll on Friday, Dec. 7. Info at 801-596-5000 or www.slcgov.com/arts.

Holiday market at Gallivan Center » (Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 22) Focusing on local, hand-made goods and one-of-a-kind items. Free admission; 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; 239 S. Main St., Salt Lake City.

Vine St. holiday market » (Saturdays through Dec. 22) More than 25 vendors will offer locally made items, art, jewelry, vintage wares and artisanal food at this market in a 1906-era church, 184 E. Vine St. (5144 South), Murray; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, and Sunday, Dec. 16. Artists seeking information should contact vsholidaymarket@gmail.com. Info at www.vinestmarket.com.

Dickens Festival » (Dec. 7-8 and 10-15)Olde World charm, offering everything from hand-made rocking horses to hand-carved rubber-band guns to an appearance by Santa Claus. At the Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, Salt Lake City; weekdays 4-9 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; admission $7 adults, $5 seniors (65+) and children (4-12); dickenschristmasfestival.com.

More favorite things

I If you know of local products that you think would make perfect holiday gifts, send an email explaining why (with a link to the item) to spierce@sltrib.com, who will consider for a blog post or future story.

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Price » $150 — which is expensive, but these are one-of-a-kind sculptures. And Conlon’s website also offers smaller pieces.

Whom to give to » Anyone who likes artwork with a backstory.

Heliosphere solar time piece

What makes it unique » This beautiful sculpture, made by Logan artist Joyce Popendorf, is notable for its elegant lines, featuring a graceful glass sphere balanced on a curved metal base. When the timepiece is placed in sunlight, the sphere displays the approximate time.

Where » Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakura Way, Salt Lake City; 801-581-6927

Price » $225; information at heliospheredesigns.com

Whom to give to » Any collector who loves function as much as form.

Pop Art gourmet popcorn

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What makes it unique » Two reasons The Tribune’s movie critic doesn’t eat popcorn while watching movies: I don’t want to balloon to 300 pounds, and most theaters don’t have anything as tasty as Pop Art’s gourmet blends. The Salt Lake City-based company makes its corn in four flavors — rosemary truffle, Thai coconut curry, white cheddar jalepeño and white pepper Parmesan — and uses air-popped organic corn, natural and organic spices, and GMO-free cheese. The Broadway Centre Cinemas always has it in stock, and it’s also available at various supermarkets.

Where to buy it » Whole Foods Markets, Harmon’s, Cali’s Natural Foods and other stores.

Price » $4.50 and up in stores; $6 at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.

Whom to give to » The movie buff whose palate is as sophisticated as his/her film tastes.

Sean P. Means

The book "Christmas Memories: A Family Diary"

What makes it unique » This 40-page, hardcover book, created by a local grandfather for his family, serves as a Christmas diary. There’s space for brief entries for 20 years of holidays — and it will just take a few minutes to fill in and record your family’s memorial celebrations.

Where » The 15th Street Gallery, 1519 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, or online at FamilyChristmasDiary.com

Price » $19.95

Whom to give to » Anybody with a family who wants to remember each Christmas but is too busy/lazy to spend a lot of time writing anything down. In other words, everybody.

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