8 reasons to shop DVAC’s Holiday Gift Gallery

The Dayton Visual Arts Center’s annual Holiday Gift Gallery is a popular stop for finding unique presents for special people on your list.

“We are so excited to once again offer DVAC friends and supporters this fun way to support the artists in our community and check off their shopping list with truly one-of-a-kind gifts,” said DVAC executive director Eva Buttacavoli.

>> PHOTOS: 8 gifts made by local artists you can find at DVAC Art to Buy

Here are eight reasons to put this visit on your calendar:

1. Fun kick-off holiday event. 

Get a Sneak Peek at the “Holiday on Ice” Preview Party. On Thursday, Nov. 16, you can shop, sip, and cast your vote in the third annual cocktail competition. Celebrity bartenders from Coco’s, Corner Kitchen, De’Lish, Lily’s Bistro, Mudlick Taphouse and Wheat Penny will be on hand to mix the cocktails.

Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members and include fancy cheeseballs and party snacks by Nibbles Catering, cash bar and 10 percent off gift purchase. Cocktail tastings are $1 each or 6 for $5, so bring cash.

>> Shop, sip and snack at Holiday on Ice

2. Buy unique locally made gifts.

The downtown gallery is transformed this time of year into an all-art, all-original, all-local gift gallery where guests can shop from hundreds of unique items created by 55 Miami Valley artists. Customers can find ceramics, pottery, jewelry, fiber works, wood sculpture, paintings, prints, photographs, mixed media, flame-worked glass/metal, wearables and ornaments among other decorative and functional art.

“This year we are using the entire gallery, meaning more great pieces to choose from,” said Buttacavoli.

3. Gifts for every budget.

Widely Varied Pricing is another feature of this yearly event that appeals to a lot of holiday shoppers. An example of an item at the low end of the price scale are cute horse ornaments by Dianne Judge at $10 each. Someone with a more expensive gift in mind might go for a wooden bowl by Tom Keen for $140, or sculptured blue/salmon earrings by Sandra Picciano Brand for $195.

“As always, prices vary and there are items available for every budget,” Buttacavoli said.

>> November events we cannot wait for

4. Holiday Trunk Show I

Shop and see more creations by local artists. “Wood, Ribbon and Silk: New Textured Glass Vessels” by Jim DeLange will be on view Dec. 1-2, with an opening party from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 30.

5. Holiday Trunk Show II

Along the same lines, check out “Semi-Peaceable Kingdoms: New Ceramics” by Almost Normal Design on Dec. 7-9, with an opening party from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6. Almost Normal Design in Casstown is operated by Scott Farrara and Vaka Pereyma, who create ceramic tile, mosaics and pottery with whimsical story images.

“These mosaics and tile pieces are molded in our self-created plaster molds. We also form vessels on the pottery wheel, [then] glaze and kiln fire,” Farrara said.

6. Holiday Trunk Show III 

And one more. This one features “Wanderings: Exotic Landscapes in Fiber” by Anna Talei Fisher from Dec. 15-16, with an opening party from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14. She is showing 12 woven tapestries and six decorative clay pieces.

“I have always held images in my head, and when I feel comfortable with my idea create the plate with clay,” said Fisher, who was born in Fiji and now lives outside of Wapakoneta. Then I carve the drawing into the wet clay. I use acrylic paints after the bisque fire and sealant.”

7. Special touches

The Holiday Gift Gallery also features a delightful installation by architect Matt Sauer. It’s a special holiday “Gallery Wrap” titled “giftsgiftsgifts3.” These special touches are what keep customers coming back year after year.

“Mayor Whaley visits every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving to complete her gift list,” said Buttacavoli. “We expect up to 2,500 visitors.”

>> Get to know the director of DVAC

8) A gift to local artists

DVAC’s tagline is “art for the community and a community for artists,” and the organization lives up to that. All of the participating artists receive a 60 percent commission on Holiday Gift Gallery sales, which is definitely on the high end for gallery representation. So you can be confident that more than half of what you spend is going right back to the DVAC member artists.

>> What you need to know about DVAC’s CSA


What: "Holiday Gift Gallery"

Where: Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St.

When: Nov. 17 - Dec. 23

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 5-8 p.m. First Friday

More Info: 937-224-3822 | daytonvisualarts.org

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