Just two weekends left to shop holiday craft fairs

A bag from Loom Industries. The local craft business will be at the Holiday Craft Bazaar at One Stop Saturday, Dec. 19.

Looking to wrap up your holiday shopping while keeping your dollars local? Craft fairs offer unique gifts from area craftspeople — along with plenty of fun, festive spirit (and not a Black Friday stampede in sight). All events are free to attend unless otherwise noted.

• The annual Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center showcase the work of nearly 70 artists. Find the list of participating artists here. “The sale provides artists a market in which they can cycle out remaining 2015 product to begin the new year with a fresh start. This allows many creatives to try out new techniques, and begin their annual production process,” says a press release. “For the customer, the sale means great deals for holiday shopping and a chance to connect with the craftsperson. It also provides an exciting, festive alternative to mall and big box import shopping.” The sale is held Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• “Our four day holiday pop-up shop features unique handmade goods from local makers, artists, and crafters in a variety of categories,” says an invite to the East West Holiday Pop-Up Shop, held at east West Vintage Rental. “From ceramics, jewelry, leather goods, bath & body, kidsware, sweet treats and more, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list.” Grand opening with drinks, shopping and the Belly Up food truck Friday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. More shopping Saturday, Dec. 12, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Visit with Santa Sunday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. See website for schedule.

• Sure, there’s a juried fair with the work of local artisans, music, food, homemade concessions, crafts, door prizes and raffle, But the Owen Middle Holiday Craft Fair, Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., has a special guest, too: Santa Claus.

• What’s better than an entire floor of craft items? Try three floors! The Madison County Arts Council holds its annual Holiday Sale in the historic former Belk’s Department Store building in Marshall. Visit vendors on all three levels and shop for paintings, pottery, jewelry, botanicals, books, fiber arts, prints, food and more. The fair runs concurrent with the Marshall Christmas parade Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• The Holiday pARTy runs all day at The Wedge Studios Saturday, Dec. 12. “Meet the artists, enjoy snacks, holiday spirits and participate in a drawing to win art,” says a press release. Original works and high quality prints from by Wedge artists such as Angela Alexander, Sandra Bottinelli, Kristen Foley, Mark Bettis, Joyce Thornburg and Phil DeAngelo will be donated to that drawing. Visit 15 studios in the 129 Roberts St. building between noon and 6 p.m.

• If you’re already in the River Arts District, head over to the Holiday Market at Riverview Station. “We are the largest building with the most artists in the whole of the River Arts District,” boasts a press release. “Our markets are very festive and great fun for the whole family, with demos, food, dining gallery at 310 ART, huge raffle with lots of prizes, gift shopping, refreshments everywhere and Santa, too!” The festivities run from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.

• And one more stop in the RAD neighborhood: Riverside Studios will be hosting a Small Works Show and Holiday Sale, featuring the works of David Berry, Deanna Chilian, Patricia Cotterill, Nat Dickinson, Kenn Kotara, Julie Miles, Britt Small-Oie and Lucretia Speas. Homebrew beer and appetizers are also part of the event, which takes place Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

• What’s better than browsing handmade arts and crafts? Shopping while imbibing a glass of wine or cider and snacking on gingerbread cookies. The Grovewood Gallery offers that wining combination at its Holiday Sip & Shop, scheduled for two weekends — Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 11 and 12, and 18 and 19. Demonstrations include still life drawing and painting by Tess Darling (Dec. 11 and 12, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.), doll making by Charlie Patricolo (Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.), pierced silhouettes by Audrey Laine Sawyer (Dec. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.) and enamaling by Kathleen Doyle (Dec. 18 and 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.).

• Billed as an art and craft fair for the people, Mr. Fred’s Fair Out West, offers up “a friendly portion of prints, paintings, pottery and plants, glass and mirror, vintage clothing, soaps and other things, all offered at a direct rate with proceeds going entirely to the hands that made (or presented) them.” Presented by local artist Nathanael Roney and The Mothlight, the fair promises “drinks, spinning records and general jolliness” along with work from Roney, Lauren Adams, Julie Armbruster, Mary Claire Becker, Bella & Oliver Soap Co., Clare Beumer, Gus Cutty, Hannah Dansie, Maxx Feist, Andy Herod, Kimberly Masters, Priya Ray, The Schmidts, Dennis Smith, Joshua Spiceland, Chris Topher, Madalyn Wofford and more. Held at The Mothlight Sunday, Dec. 13, noon-5 p.m.

• Local vendors HoneyCreekPottery, LOOM Imports, NeedlePointFluff, Fox and Beaux, Tim Archer Glass, Rhythm Threads, Kathryn Crawford Art, NiQue’s Batiks and Fryer on the Mountain all join forces for a Holiday Craft Bazaar at One Stop. Shop while being serenaded by the Bald Mountain Porch Pickers. One Stop also promises a Bloody Mary bar, and Mojo Kitchen will be open, too. Saturday, Dec. 19, noon-6 p.m.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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