Holiday Gifts for Art Lovers in Newark
I can get all my holiday shopping done in an afternoon’s jaunt around town here in Newark, NJ. That’s pronounced ‘Nork,” FYI. Visit Artisan Collective at 25 Halsey Street and have a talk with partner Jae Quinlan about her wrapped jewelry. There’s something lovely and intimate about going down the steps to their warm, below-sidewalk-level abode.
Project for Empty Space, meanwhile, will have a Holiday Art Bazaar November 24th through December 21st at their space located in Gateway Center. The word bazaar has a wonderful, ancient, and suitably complex etymology, but refers in part to the networks of open air as well as enclosed markets created by craftspeople near trade routes. We may be modern urban denizens, but being able to tell someone you love that you sought out an object’s maker, and brought it with you – perhaps across distances if you are visiting Newark from afar – is highly romantic in sentiment if you ask me.
Gallery Aferro has been offering a potluck party, with art sale, for ten years this winter. For the first time ever, the art sale will take over two floors of their 20,000 sq. ft. floor building downtown, and will run Dec 8th – Dec 22nd. How cool is that? There will be art in every style from $50-$500, noshing, and general merriment including dance performances by Newark youth, who have different-themed costumes each year.
I love being able to talk with artists and gallerists about an artwork I buy and hear stories about the motivations, perspectives, and approach of the creator. Start an art collection for a child in your life! Buy yourself a present! Stand out from the mall-trolling masses with a thoughtful gift that supports a local creative economy. It’s all at 73 Market Street.
From November 15th – 19th, the Newark Museum will host their holiday market, which means that their items will be marked down by around 20%. Go to 49 Washington Street and make sure to check out the newly installed Tom Otterness sculpture, of enormous feet, at the entrance facing the park. For fans of Botero, these giant toes will satisfy as well – they are so unexpected sitting by the steps to our very own museum.
The Greater Newark Conservancy will have a one-day event on December 1st, the second annual holiday fair. This unique organization is a bit of a world unto itself, at 32 Prince Street. I recommend also visiting them in high summer. Okay – do you have all your gifts yet? If not, go to Glassroots at 10 Bleeker Street and get something forged at high temperatures by young people from the community. I have found ornaments, jewelry, coasters, and many other interesting items made with glassblowing and kilnforming techniques. And finally, for that person who has everything, get a terrarium, or better yet, a gift certificate for a terrarium making workshop, from Fern and Fossil. Shop Newark, people! It’s the way to get it done.
Evonne M. Davis and Emma Wilcox are working artists and cofounders of a Newark alternative arts nonprofit. Begun in 2003, Gallery Aferro offers exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists, a wide range of public events, a year-round studio residency program, educational offerings, group tours, a publication line, a gift shop and public art initiatives.