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The holidays are swiftly approaching, and that means prioritizing getting gifts for everyone on your list.
While Amazon has risen in popularity due to its ease and convenience, nothing really compares to tracking down a one-of-a-kind treasure made by a talented human.
The Front Range is teeming with creatives that have been busy crafting everything from small-batch clothing to fine jewelry.
Markets are popping up all over town, and we’ve compiled quite the list to meet local purchasing needs. Consider this article your holy grail to a successful holiday season.
Say goodbye to buyer’s remorse and hello to fabulous finds. Who knows, you may just find a little something for yourself.
The New Local — a nonprofit art cooperative made up of all female makers — has found a new home at 741 Pearl St. in Boulder.
The group once operated out of a former janitorial supply store downtown, but recently set up in the most idyllic Victorian dwelling that was built in the 1870s. The Montgomery House is a charming Queen Anne with climbing vines and a vibrant color palette.
“I’ve been looking for the right long-term venue,” said Marie-Juliette Bird, founder of The New Local. “COVID aside, it’s been a Goldilocks-type of situation — too hot, too cold, too expensive, too far away, too small, too sterile, etcetera. But the Montgomery House was just right.”
In 2021, Boulder Small Business Development Center awarded The New Local a spot in its marketing incubator.
“Director Suzi Bahnsen referred me to Terri Takata-Smith, at Downtown Boulder Partnerships,” Bird said. “Terri introduced me to Molly Bayer, a broker who loves working with women small-business owners. Molly found us The Montgomery House and Tebo Properties made everything possible.”
The interior of the historic gem has received new coats of paint and plenty of TLC, resulting in a truly inviting shop. The New Local’s grand opening will take place on Friday, kicking off at 10 a.m.
“We received a seed grant from The Radical Waves foundation, which empowered us to sign the lease,” Bird said. “So many individuals and local institutions helped us find our way. We feel extremely privileged to breathe creative life into this special Boulder venue and into the broader community.”
Bird is a jeweler who operates under the moniker Blackbird in the Snow. Her delicate and luxurious pieces — that feature precious stones and designs ranging from bees to birds — have been featured in high-end publications, such as Vogue, Elle, Vogue Italia and W.
One of the artists of The New Local is Beth Naumann, a creator who crafts shiny brass wall hangings.
“I had been working in architecture before making art and wanted to be doing something creative with my hands instead,” Naumann said. “Around 2010, I started playing with shapes made out of steel wire and immediately took a liking to the feel and scale of it.”
Her eye-catching pieces remain popular among collectors.
“That year when I wanted to make a mobile for my mom that looked more refined, I tried brass, which was a familiar material from when I had made architectural models,” Naumann said. “As I worked through a lot of ideas, I eventually developed a style of hand-bending loops as a way to connect everything.”
For Naumann, creating art is much more about the process and not so much the end result.
“My art practice has evolved into a more spiritual one that feels like a homage to craftspeople before me,” Naumann said. “That love of craft is a sentiment I think I share with my clients.”
Naumann has shown work on The New Local’s website through the pandemic, but she is excited to be displaying her alluring pieces amid fellow artists in a charming brick-and-mortar locale.
“In 2019, just before the pandemic, I went to a party at The New Local pop-up space and thought, ‘this is the kind of community I’d like to have here,’” Naumann said. “So I’ve been awaiting the day. I can’t wait to see the work all together and spend time with the other creators.”
Inside the new digs, an impressive body of artwork and products by over 50 women can be found.
“You’ll find work from painters, jewelers, clothing designers, print-makers, ceramicists, textile artists, chocolatiers, sculptors, weavers and more,” Bird said. “Within the walls of The New Local, we have multiple artists working in private studios.”
Bird and fellow artists now refer to The New Local’s historic space as “the hive,” and it is certainly much more than a store filled with unique treasures. The New Local hosts ongoing classes for children and adults. Interested folks can find our more by visiting the group’s site.
“The most rewarding part of The New Local is meeting all of the extraordinary creators in this community and cultivating something bigger than ourselves, together,” Bird said.
No longer just a holiday pop-up, The New Local will be open every day and has an extended lease on West Pearl. Buyers can explore the inviting space 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
“The Montgomery House intrigues most every person who walks by,” Bird said. “It’s integral to the cultural landscape of Boulder. It’s also personally meaningful to me. My mother, Diana, was an active member of the Historic Boulder Society for many years. By stewarding this special property alongside The New Local, I hope to continue her legacy.”
Open Studios is currently hosting Pop! Gallery at a location on 11th Street between Walnut and Pearl Street, just south of Fjällräven. Folks can visit the space, teeming with paintings, ceramics and more, noon-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Beginning on Black Friday (Nov. 25) it will be open daily from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
“Most recently, I began incorporating fossils into my pieces, specifically ammolite,” said Nina Brandin, a jeweler who has work at Pop! Gallery. “These stunningly vibrant fossils are from as far back as 71 million years ago. Their physical beauty and strong, energetic essence somehow transcended the test of time. I’m honored that I have an opportunity to preserve these fascinatingly beautiful fossils and share their unique and unusual allure with people.”
Brandin will also have pieces for sale at Holiday Gallery at The Village, located at The Village Shopping Center at 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. Visitors are encouraged to enter from Arapahoe between Folsom and 28th Street. The gallery is located across the parking lot on the east side of Sprouts.
In November, it is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. In December, folks can shop 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
“Shopping locally has a tremendous ripple effect,” Brandin said. “Artists are supported, allowing them to continue making personal and meaningful pieces. Buying art through the Holiday Market and Open Studio’s Pop Gallery is a particularly fantastic way to support artists since the majority of profits go directly to the artist.”
Both Pop! Gallery and Holiday Gallery at The Village hope to be open into the new year.
The Found Collective is hosting a fabulous Winter Marketplace from 11a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 4 at 3550 Frontier Ave., Suite A2, Boulder.
Over 35 talented vendors will have everything from vintage pieces to hand-crafted art and jewelry for sale.
Admission is $14, but the day also includes speakers, live music from local gypsy-jazz group Espresso! and DJ sets.
Eats from FED food truck and Ghanaian cuisine will fuel the day of retail therapy.
“I’m mostly looking forward to seeing the community connect,” said Emmy Swenson, owner of The Found Collective. “At my last event it was so incredible to see friends coming together and new friendships being born. The joy in all of the guests and vendors was just remarkable. It was noticeable.”
The day will also include significant fundraising efforts.
Swenson has teamed up with El Central Amistad — a Boulder-based organization dedicated to helping children, families and the Latino community with programs focused on health, education and human development.
“I feel like donations and fundraisers this time of year get focused on families in need and toy drives,” Swenson said. “I plan to do those additionally on the side, but with a large-scale event such as this, I wanted to bring awareness to our underserved local community.”
All ticket sales will be matched and donated by local philanthropist The Radical Waves Project, directly benefitting El Centro Amistad. In addition, all alcohol sales will benefit the organization.
A tarot reader, a tea lounge, kombucha, wine and more will be a part of the intoxicating mix.
“I’m also looking forward to people being exposed to new things,” Swenson said. “I’m looking forward to people not having a need to be on their phone or to shop online. Being amongst the tangible is just so refreshing.”
East Boulder County Artists, a group of creators who normally open their individual studios for sales, is holding Arts Extravaganza at 380 Main St. in Longmont on 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Nov. 26 and 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Nov. 27.
“I’ve been a member of EBCA for about three years now, and what I’m looking forward to the most is having so many wonderful artists in the same space,” said potter Julia Zúñiga. “It’s the first time EBCA has hosted an event like this.”
Zúñiga’s pieces range from ornate coffee mugs to large salad bowls.
“I have had my hands in clay my whole life,” Zúñiga said. “My grandmother is also a ceramic artist and has been for over 50 years. She taught me how to hand build in clay, and eventually I took my first wheel throwing course in college and fell in love with the process.”
Like many creatives, she finds inspiration in the surroundings that shaped her.
“My cultural background drives a lot of the patterns in my work,” Zúñiga said. “I’m always looking at textiles and architecture from Colombia and Ukraine, as well as my hometown Miami. I also find that working in clay is a way for me to reclaim parts of my identity that have been lost to colonization and help me stay grounded in my art practice.”
The same weekend (Nov. 26-27), also in Longmont at Firehouse Art Center — 667 4th Ave. — shoppers can find over a dozen artists’ work on display and for sale from noon-5 p.m. both days.
Among the pieces at the Holiday Market will be Betsy Anderson’s colorful and vibrant embroideries.
“In this work, I am drawing attention to the stunning natural beauty that is all around us,” Anderson said. “My pieces are celebrations of the delicate ecosystems which we need to protect. I am looking forward to participating in this group art market, as it is always full of unexpected and original artistic expressions.”
Museum of Boulder is hosting a Community Holiday Gift Market, presented by Natural Highs, where vendors of all ages will be selling their wares from 1-5 p.m. Saturday. Shoppers can explore museum exhibits, sample offerings from a Yerba Mate & Herb Bar and visit a free AcuDetox station. There are opportunities to make ornaments and learn about self-care practices; $8-10; 2205 Broadway, Boulder; museumofboulder.org.
BMoCA`s museum shop take over, running through Dec. 5, will feature a selection of art ranging from printmaking to ceramics and jewelry. Artists featured include Eleonor Boström, Miriam Dubinsky, Katalin Messing, Paula Nylen, Tom Olejar, Jeff Osgood and more; 11-a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, 1750 13th St., Boulder; free; bmoca.org.
First Friday Art Walks are always great to visit to score some extraordinary pieces. Head to NoBo Art District from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 2  to stroll into an array of galleries filled with eclectic works; free; noboartdistrict.org.
ARTastic Holiday Market, happening 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 2, will feature work by over 40 vendors. From ornaments to bath products, the selection remains vast; Horizons K-8, 4545 Sioux Drive, Boulder; horizonsk8school.org.
Boulder Holiday Gift Festival will feature over 100 local vendors at the Boulder YMCA, 2850 Mapleton Ave. The 17th annual event, happening from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 11, will feature a free concert starting at noon; free; 2850 Mapleton Ave., Boulder; coloradoevents.org.
At Chautauqua WinterFest Market, folks can shop a variety of work by artists and vendors at the foot of the majestic Flatirons. Head to Chautauqua Community house, from noon-5 p.m. Dec. 10-11, to discover unique treasures while sipping hot cocoa and taking in the festive sights of WinterFest; 900 Baseline Road, Boulder; no admission to shop the market; chautauqua.com/winterfest-22.
Pick up a new artful mug or dynamic salad bowl at the Holiday Ceramics Sale put on by Studio Arts Boulder from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 10-11. Those who can’t make it to the in-person sales can buy online; 3036 Sterling Circle, Boulder; studioartsboulder.org/holiday-sale.
Green Gifts at Art Parts, a nonprofit creative reuse center, is hosting a consignment shopping experience where shoppers can find unique gift options featuring recycled and reused materials from 19 local makers. Meet the makers, get first dibs on cool gifts and take advantage of the alternative gift wrapping station from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 2. Runs through Dec. 23; 3080 Valmont St., Boulder; artpartsboulder.org.
Procrastinators will want to hit up The Last Chance Gift Fest happening from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 17 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 18. Shop toys, home décor, crafts and pieces of art from over 150 vendors. This is the biggest holiday craft fair in Colorado. Live music starts at noon. The free event will be held inside the Exhibit Hall at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road in Longmont; coloradoevents.org.
Particular’s is hosting its second-annual Holiday Faire from Dec. 3-11 in the gallery. Artists are working hard to create beautiful handmade items for special holiday gifts; 401 S. Public Road, Lafayette; particularsart.com. 
The Great Frame Up will host The Holiday Art Show and Bazaar, featuring art from 15 local artists. An opening reception will take place 5-8 p.m. Friday. Work will be on display through Dec. 30; 430 Main St., Longmont; longmont.thegreatframeup.com.
Midtown Handmade, a literal vending machine filled with artisanal items, is open 24/7. Whenever the mood strikes, folks can visit this unique mini-shop to purchase jewelry, cards, ceramic chimes and even wrapping material; 921 Kimbark St., Longmont; facebook.com/MidtownHandmade.
Lyons Holiday Artisan Market features locally made art, crafts and handmade items. Head to Lyons Elementary School, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 3-4, to shop the unique finds. There will be nearly 60 vendors and visits from Santa both days, 338 High St., Lyons; townoflyons.com.
Open Studios Holiday Market in Niwot will have a beautiful selection of ceramics, jewelry, paintings and more. It is open Thursday-Sunday from Nov. 18-Dec. 30, noon to 6 p.m.; 291 2nd Ave., Niwot; openstudios.org.
Jamestown Area Artists and Musicians (JAM) will hold their annual Holiday Craft Fair on Dec. 3- Dec. 4. Shop the work of a number of artists. Enjoy a bake sale on Saturday and a raffle on Sunday; Jamestown Town Hall, 118 Main St., Jamestown.
While Black Friday still draws folks to the mall and big-box stores, shoppers should make note of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26. With so many independent shops featuring local gifts throughout the Front Range, such as Bricks in Longmont, you are sure to score a deal or two.
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