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Local galleries offer gifts for different price points, all with that handmade touch

  • Bunny paintings by Heidi Lorenz

    Bunny paintings by Heidi Lorenz

  • Handmade Bags by Camille Gibson

    Handmade Bags by Camille Gibson

  • Tomorrow s Project by William Turner

    Tomorrow s Project by William Turner

  • Jewelry by Jo Raskin

    Jewelry by Jo Raskin

  • Pig Pals by Ronnie Gould

    Pig Pals by Ronnie Gould

  • Glass jewelry by Hal Danser

    Glass jewelry by Hal Danser

  • Bunny paintings by Heidi Lorenz
  • Handmade Bags by Camille Gibson
  • Tomorrow s Project by William Turner
  • Jewelry by Jo Raskin
  • Pig Pals by Ronnie Gould
  • Glass jewelry by Hal Danser

A mug of something warm. A sly kitten, sitting sentinel on the mantle. A little something shiny beneath the tree. As winter closes in, local art galleries are keeping us warm with all of the above.

Yes, even the kittens.

Keeping with national trends, the selling point for local galleries is being just that, local.

“It keeps the dollars in your own neighborhood and helps the economic ecosystem,” said Sarah Chaffee, gallery director for McGowan Fine Art.

Not only does it help the galleries keep the lights on, but it helps the artists continue to do their work, said Pamela Tarbell, owner and curator of Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden.

“Artists have to pay bills, too,” she said. Buying local art “helps the artist get through the winter, and they certainly need it. And I think sometimes people don’t realize how much energy and time it takes to create these things.

“When you buy a mug for $30, they’ve been through two firings and the glazing and creating it, and it’s a lot of work.”

Chaffee said she looks at each purchase like a “mini NEA grant” for the artists. That said, both gallery officials said visitors shouldn’t feel that gallery pieces are monetarily out of reach. In fact, Tarbell said, many of the gift items – jewelry, small pieces of pottery and prints – are priced anywhere from $30 to $500 and all points in between.

Chaffee, whose gallery put out a gift guide on Facebook this year, said they did that to show that public can afford to give local art as gifts.

One gift suggestion in the guide is a mezzotint print by Vermont artist Judy Lampe that retails for $230. The print is of a striking black cat. Another suggestion in the guide is a crocheted necklace by gallery founder Mary McGowan which retails for $80. Studded with small shiny stones, each necklace is unique, according to gallery officials.

Which is another reason to search through galleries for presents, Tarbell said: Everything is handcrafted and one-of-a-kind.

“Plus I don’t have any lines and don’t have any parking problems,” Tarbell said.

On display at Millbrook these days is jewelry, such as New Hampshire artist Jo Raskin’s handmade silver necklaces and glass necklaces by Hal Danser. She also has paintings of bunnies in the snow by Heidi Lorenz and handmade handbags by Camille Gibson.

Mill Brook gallery is open April 1-Dec. 24, and by appointment. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

All art work is for sale, and inquiries are encouraged.

The Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden is located at 236 Hopkinton Road in Concord. For information call 226-2046 or visit themillbrookgallery.com.

McGowan Fine Art is located at 10 Hills Ave. in Concord. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment.

The gallery is closed on major holidays, and call in advance if there is inclement weather. For information, call 225-2515 or visit mcgowanfineart.com.

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