Shopping the Arts this Holiday Season

In December, Arts Visalia is pleased to host its Annual Holiday Show & Sale. It’s a most wonderful time of year when Arts Visalia’s gift shop spills over into the entire gallery, featuring a wide variety of unique works of art, hand-crafted by local artisans.

This season of giving, support the arts in your community by shopping with local artisans. The Arts Visalia exhibition runs now – December 16. The official opening reception will be held on First Friday, December 1, from 6-8pm.

Fine woodworking such as this chess board and serving trays by David Daniels at the Arts Visalia Holiday Show.

Arts Visalia has the pleasure in taking part in Downtown Visalia’s Holiday Open House with special extended hours for the Holiday season! On Thursday, November 30, December 7 and December 14, Arts Visalia will be open until 8pm. Be sure to take advantage of these extended hours to view the Annual Holiday Show & Sale, purchase one-of-a-kind gifts, and enjoy the wonderful organizations, restaurants and shops that Downtown Visalia has to offer.

Participating artisans and crafters of the show include Andrew Turner, Antonio Cuellar, Carrie Bragg, David Daniels, Debb Campbell, Elsah Cort, Heidi Steinman, Janet Ontko, Jasmine Gregory, Joan Seibel, Kay Woods, Laurie Gorman, Mark Dillon, Melissa Stewart, Miguel Pujol, Susan Guzzetta, Toni Best, Yanninia Marie, Anne and HJ Brown, Mike Wood and Brenda Wood.

Basketry & Gourds

Entangled – a sample of Toni Best’s gourd work, available at the Arts Visalia Holiday Show & Sale.

Toni Best was first exposed to basketry, while in the 8th grade – she’s been perfecting her art ever since and added gourds as a medium to also weave pine needles.

“It became a passion,” she said. As a retired musician, “when I create [her pine needle coiling on gourd work], I can actually hear music.”

Best’s work is well-known throughout the Valley and beyond. She teaches classes locally and around the country. In a six-hour class with basketry, students may have only completed 3” x 1 ½” of a project, but by adding a prepared gourd, “you can come away with something you created and feel you really did something,” she said.

Best uses Florida pine needles, which are very flexible and long, she said. Other needles may be woven wet or damp, but the will shrink when dried. With Florida needles, the weaving can be done dry, she said.

At least 10 of Bests gourds and/or basketry art will be on display and for sale during the Arts Visalia show.

Paintings in Oil

The Patient Fisherman is one of Heidi Steinman’s recent oils. Some of her original pieces will be available during the Arts Visalia Show, open now through Dec. 16.

Visalia native Heidi Steinman found her artistic talent early in life by winning an award in first grade. She subsequently won again and again throughout grammar school, with teachers singling her out, she said, for her artistic talent and telling her parents she had a real gift.

Her love for working in oil started in high school and remains today. After winning an award for art in the congressional district of her home, her work was displayed in Washington DC for one year.

Steinman will have up to 10 oils on display during Arts Visalia, room permitting. Her artwork is in arrays of sizes and prices.

Another Arts Visalia Holiday Event

Join Arts Visalia for a morning of free face painting at the 13th Annual Race Against Hunger’s Kid’s Zone on Thursday, November 23, Thanksgiving Day! Arts Visalia is partnering with the Visalia Emergency Aid Council to provide fun activities for the children of this beneficial event. All proceeds from the Race Against Hunger benefit the Visalia Emergency Aid Food Pantry. The Race Against Hunger provides critical funding for food assistance to more than 1,100 families (2,500 children) in need each month. Arts Visalia is happy to be a part of such a cause.

Arts Visalia is also excited to participate in the Chamber of Commerce’s 36th annual Christmas Tree Auction, with a small tree for the silent auction.

The Arts Visalia Annual Holiday Show & Sale is sponsored in part by TS Ranch Flatbeds, Bueno Beverage, Jack & Charlie’s, the Vintage Press and the Southern Pacific Depot Restaurant.

Other South Valley Holiday Art Sales

The Arts Consortium is hosting a $100 or Under Membership Show from Nov. 29 – Dec. 22 including First Friday in December. The gallery at 300 E. Oak St. in Visalia. Original artwork entries will include original artwork including paintings, cards, mugs, pottery and woodwork.
Toni Best will also have some of her basketry and/or gourds here as well. The gallery is open from Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 3pm. For more information, call (559) 802-3266.

Le Tres Petite Noel is a one-day event on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10am – 5pm at the Cort Gallery at the end of Skyline Rd. in Three Rivers. Featuring the artwork of Elsah Cort and her friends, on display and for sale will be mandala ornaments and calendars, Native American jewelry, hand-knit scarves and hats, homemade jams and goodies, and giclee prints – digital collages. For more information, call (559) 561-4671.

The Porterville Art Association Gift Shop always has a lot of member artwork available including paintings, books by local authors, jewelry, hand-knit scarves, hand-woven handbags wood work, pottery and more. The gallery and gift shop is located at 151 N. Main St. in Porterville. For hours and more information, call (559) 784-4323.

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