Stumped on what presents to buy for the holidays? Tired of mass-produced, expendable gifts? Committed to — or at least interested in — supporting local shops and artists?
Art markets now open or launching soon help shoppers find one-of-a-kind, locally made paintings, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, clothing, stationery, woodwork and treats.
Popular options that opened this week or will be open this weekend include Friday’s Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, Park Silly Holiday Bazaar and the Holiday Flea Market.
And the art won’t break your bank. Several organizers guarantee affordable prices, with some commissioning artists to create work for less than $100.
Artists find freedom in the limitations, too. To distinguish its art market, this year the Art Access gallery required artists to create works that are 12 inches or smaller and sell them for under $250.
Sue Martin, a participating artist and one of the show’s curators, says she created 6-inch-by-6-inch boards of plein air landscapes in between larger pieces she painted at an art festival in Escalante earlier this year.
“When you’re painting outdoors and you’re painting plein air, I tend to get a little seduced by the detail,” she says. “My work can become a little bit tight, and I like to paint looser. Doing these quick six-by-sixes and trying to keep it simple and keep the shapes simple … was a great exercise.”
Artists get to experiment, and so can buyers, without a major financial commitment.
Here are a selection of art-focused holiday markets along the Wasatch Front, beginning with two opening Friday.
Park Silly Holiday Bazaar
The eighth annual indoor market features more than 90 juried artists and crafters from Summit and Salt Lake counties. They will be selling photography, paintings, pottery, wreaths, clothing, lotions, jewelry and more. Santa will be there (photos with him are free), as well as live music. And the hotel bar and restaurant will be open.
The Marriott Park City, 1895 Sidewinder Drive, Park City. Dec. 7-9; Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Nostalgia Café — Salt Lake Gallery Stroll
As part of the December Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, this participating café and gallery will host an affordable art sale and show with pieces priced at $100. Thirteen local artists have created pieces no larger than 16 by 20 inches. Three works per artist will hang on the walls, and more pieces will be available throughout the café. The show was curated and organized by Hank Mattson and Jenna Ward. To see a list of other galleries participating in the monthly stroll, go to http://www.gallerystroll.org.
Nostalgia Café, 248 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City. Dec. 7; 6-9 p.m.
Urban Flea Market
The Urban Flea Market will hold its indoor Holiday Flea Market at The Gateway on Sunday, Dec. 9, with local crafters offering handcrafted and upcycled vintage items. One hundred vendors provide eclectic vintage, mid-century and antique finds. Local food trucks and the market commissary will be open throughout the day. The market will be held in a warehouse-style space across from the outdoor mall’s fountain.
The Gateway, 18 North Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City. Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission $2; kids under 12 are free. Free parking in the north parking garage; enter on 100 South or 400 West. Details at fleamarketslc.com.
Ongoing shows —
Holiday Craft Market at Finch Lane Gallery
This marks the 35th year of the market, run by the Salt Lake City Arts Council. More than 80 artists submitted original and locally produced art and food gifts, including earrings, framed art, fine chocolates, ginger and lavender sodas, letter-press greeting cards, throw pillows, candles, bowls, ornaments, nesting dolls and other holiday art.
54 S. Finch Lane (1340 East), Salt Lake City. Nov. 30-Dec. 19; Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
This market at Art Access features small works of art from 50 local artists, including paintings, pottery and jewelry, sized and priced for gift giving. Everything in the gallery is priced under $250, with half under $100. A list of artists is available at accessart.org. Work includes traditional landscapes and still life, abstract paintings, images of local neon signs, paintings of doughnuts and Tootsie Pops, fine art etchings and paintings of Corgi dogs.
230 S. 500 West, Salt Lake City. Normal gallery hours Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; additional hours Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m. (includes artists' reception); Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Show ends Dec. 12.
Bountiful holiday show
You can find Ruth Bader Ginsburg onesies, handmade miniature books, wheel-thrown pottery of Utah Lake clay, steampunk lamps and more at the Bountiful Davis Art Center holiday show. It offers fine art from local artists and Christmas gifts and crafts. A list of participating artists is available at https://www.bdac.org/holidayshow. Original paintings range from $60 to $350. The center also is exhibiting contemporary winter landscape paintings, called Effets de Neige, and portraits by its junior artist-in-residence, Davis District student Pablo Cruz Ayala.
90 N. Main St., Bountiful. Open through Dec. 21. Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Special hours include Nov. 30 reception, 6-8 p.m., and Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., for The Gingerbread Festival. Festival costs $5 per child; children can take photos with Santa 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and get their faces painted.
The holiday market features about 30 local artists’ work — mainly from the artists who are members of the Downtown Artist Collective co-op gallery. The juried work includes paintings and pen-and-ink drawings, landscape photography, stickers, journals, pins, ornaments and other novelties. Prices range from under $5 to more than $1,000.
100 S. 258 East, Salt Lake City. Open normal gallery hours through Dec. 23: Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, noon-4 p.m. Artist reception on Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m., where artists will be available to talk about their work, including a block printer making T-shirts, scarves and dish towels.
Winter Farmers Market
The Winter Farmers Market at the Rio Grande adds an Arts & Craft Market on Saturdays through Dec. 22, featuring 30 artisans throughout the season. Artworks include ceramics, jewelry, textiles, visual art and woodwork.
Rio Grande Depot at 300 S Rio Grande St. in Salt Lake City; every Saturday through Dec. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Opening later this month —
Art Adoption is celebrating its 11th year of giving local artists the opportunity to find homes for previously unsold pieces. Thirty upcoming and established artists will offer screen prints, gig posters, oil and acrylic paintings, wood cuts, holiday greeting and hand-pressed cards, shirts, buttons and more, with prices ranging between $1 and $70 on average. Warm clothing and nonperishable food donations will be collected for the Volunteers of America Homeless Youth Resource Center.
Signed & Numbered framing shop, 2320 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City. Saturday, Dec. 15, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Closed now; remember for next year
Utah Art Market
Created by Utah native Nanette Banks Amis — who modeled the quarterly shows after Pike Place Market in Seattle sans fish — the December show is the largest and includes more than 70 artists, with about 20 new to the market this year. All offerings are local and handmade merchandise, including graphic prints, ceramic wares, jewelry, children’s clothes, stationery and other paper goods, original paintings, fine art prints, stained glass, treats and home décor. For a list of artists and their work, go to https://www.utahartmarket.com.
Sugar House Garden Center, 1602 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City. Nov. 29-Dec. 1; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Red Butte Art Fair
The 18th anniversary of Red Butte Garden’s Holiday Open House and Art Fair features 19 juried artists selling a range of handmade gifts, from mobiles and belt buckles to jewelry made from acorns, stone and wood. A list of artists and their work is available at https://www.redbuttegarden.org/holiday-open-house/.
Admission to all of Red Butte is free during the market, and guests can enjoy complimentary cider and hot chocolate. 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City. Dec. 1-2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
This University of Utah market was so popular last year, it’s been extended to two days this year. Gifts from 22 local artists include children’s books, framed butterflies and insects, silk scarves, pottery, leather journals, notecards, handmade soaps, fused glass, paintings and prints, books, artisanal confections, jewelry, fiber and textile arts. For a list of artists, go to https://umfa.utah.edu/store/holidaymarket. Prices start at less than $10.
Marcia and John Price Museum Building, 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City. Dec. 1-2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Parking, entrance and wrapping is free. To see the rest of the museum, tickets are required.
Urban Indian Center Market
This art market has become the premier social and community event of the year at the Urban Indian Center. About 30 American Indian and Alaska Native artists and craftspeople from Utah and surrounding states show and sell their traditional and contemporary art, including jewelry, pottery, beadwork, paintings, clothing, wood carvings and seasonal ornaments. One of the organizers of the 29th annual American Indian Holiday Arts Market, Rad Cuch, is selling multimedia work that can’t be found elsewhere: drawings in fine pen and ink, pencil, acrylic paints and Ute Indian beadwork.
120 W. 1300 South, Salt Lake City. Dec. 1-2; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
A traditional German Christmas market comes to Salt Lake City. More than 90 vendors include locally made art — pottery, puppets, ornaments, felt crafts, upcycled journals — and plenty of food gifts, food vendors, a live Nativity, a kinder treasure hunt and gnome fest. Details: https://www.christkindlmarkt-slc.com.
Location: This Is the Place Heritage Park, 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City. Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Festival of Trees
This event may be best known for its collection of elaborately decorated Christmas trees — along with intricate gingerbread houses and stunning quilts on display — but the fundraiser for Primary Children’s Hospital is also a great spot to buy mostly handmade items donated by the community. Shoppers will find items including dolls, marshmallow shooters, quilts, baby blankets, aprons, cake stands, jewelry, Christmas decorations and Nativity sets and Pinterest-worthy gifts for neighbors.
Tickets are required: $7 per adult; $4 per child ages 2-11; kids under 2 are free. Mountain America Expo Center, 9575 State St., Sandy, Nov. 28-Dec. 1. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Shops close each night at 8:30.