Do you have a Black Friday shopping hangover? Would you prefer to buy holiday gifts made in Georgia, rather than China?
This year, consider decking the halls with original art by Savannah-area artists. Photography, paintings and pottery can make ideal stocking stuffers for family and friends.
"Art is a great holiday gift because it's a very personal thing to give, even if you didn't create it," says Lauren Flotte, Art Rise Savannah board president and organizer of the new Thinc:SMALL holiday exhibition.
"Art is one of those things that many people would love to have more of in their lives, but wouldn't normally purchase for themselves. Those are always the best gifts to give."
Savannah's art galleries offer work by local artists throughout the year, but several holiday shows are specifically designed to encourage gift-giving beyond big-box department stores.
"For me, the holidays are really about celebrating the human connections that we have in our lives," Flotte explains. "I can't think of a better way to do that than giving a gift that comes from an innately human place like art does, and by spending time around those that I cherish in my own life."
The Savannah College of Art and Design's annual "Small Works" group show offers a variety of options for residents who want to give the gift of creativity, originality and inspiration this season.
"This year's submissions were incredible," reports Aaron Levi Garvey, assistant curator of exhibitions at SCAD. "There were a few familiar artists and many new artists, which made for a tough selection."
Armstrong State University art professor John Jensen organizes the annual Christmas Pottery Sale, which has become a favorite holiday tradition on Savannah's southside.
"Pottery is an excellent gift because they are one-of-a kind pieces created by talented artists," Jensen explains. "You can't buy these pieces at Wal-Mart."