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Local artists and artisans offer unique gifts for the holidays at three local craft events 

SLO County is overflowing with artistic talent, and nowhere is that more apparent than at annual holiday craft fairs. Nearly every city has one, but here are three worth putting on your radar.

Studios on the Park in Paso Robles is a nonprofit, open-studio art center, and according to Up Front Gift Store Sales Manager Elaina Stangle, the "Handcrafted for the Holidays Exhibition features over 30 local artists and fills the space and allows gallerygoers to buy art at accessible price points. We have so many talented people in our community. I'm always amazed at the art that comes through our doors. It's such a wonderful feeling when I have visitors tell me that they wish they had a place like Studios on the Park where they live."

click to enlarge STUDIOS ON THE PARK Sales Manager Elaina Stangle of the Up Front Gift Store stands among the wares of artists participating in Handcrafted for the Holidays, which runs through Dec. 30, in Paso Robles' Studios on the Park. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ELAINA STANGLE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Elaina Stangle
  • STUDIOS ON THE PARK Sales Manager Elaina Stangle of the Up Front Gift Store stands among the wares of artists participating in Handcrafted for the Holidays, which runs through Dec. 30, in Paso Robles' Studios on the Park.

Check their website for hours, but the holiday craft display runs through Dec. 30.

"This year's exhibition will feature unique handmade creations including jewelry, ceramics, glass, wood items, silk, felt, paper goods, garden items, as well as affordable wall art," Stangle added. "My hope is that Handcrafted for the Holidays will allow people to step away from shopping online and help support local businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

This annual event has been extended into a two-month-long show for the first time, and "a portion of all sales from the exhibition will not only help the local artists but will go back into programming for children, teens, and adults at Studios on the Park, and will allow Paso Robles residents, as well as visitors, plenty of time to shop for that special one-of-a-kind, handmade gift," Stangle explained. "We all need to do our part in helping artists and small businesses get through these difficult times. What better way than to shop for the holidays!"

click to enlarge ART CENTER MORRO BAY Sculptor Larry Le Brane presents Technicolor Blanket Statement Reindeer at the Annual Winter & Juried Craft Show through Jan. 3, at the Art Center Morro Bay. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY LE BRANE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Larry Le Brane
  • ART CENTER MORRO BAY Sculptor Larry Le Brane presents Technicolor Blanket Statement Reindeer at the Annual Winter & Juried Craft Show through Jan. 3, at the Art Center Morro Bay.

The Morro Bay Art Association will host its Annual Winter Faire & Juried Craft Show at the Art Center Morro Bay beginning Thursday, Nov. 5, through Sunday, Jan. 3.

"This very special holiday event offers a collective of exceptional paintings, photography, and fine crafts, spanning a variety of artistic mediums from traditional to contemporary," organizers announced. "Whether you are attending this extraordinary exhibit to observe or to find that perfect holiday gift, you are in for a delight!"

According to Morro Bay Art Association President Patricia Newton, "The Art Center Morro Bay offers a traditional shopping experience in a clean and safe environment. At the beginning of every winter holiday, Art Center Morro Bay makes a sparkling transformation, offering a very special art exhibit. Both galleries are filled with unique, handcrafted works of art by local artisans," she said.

"The Winter Faire & Juried Craft Exhibit offers visitors a large variety of paintings and photography in all media, affordable prints, note cards, wall hung and wearable fiber to include knitted and hand painted silk scarves, jewelry, ceramics, glass, wood, and much more," Newton continued. "Please join us, as we turn Art Center Morro Bay into a special holiday shopping experience."

Meanwhile in Atascadero, mark your calendar for Saturday, Nov. 14, when the Pavilion on Atascadero Lake Park will be transformed into a one-day open-air craft market, the annual Holiday Boutique in the Park, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

click to enlarge ANNUAL HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE IN THE PARK Goat Milk Soap may again be for sale later this month during Atascadero's 15th annual Holiday Boutique at the Pavilion on the Lake. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF ATASCADERO
  • Photo Courtesy Of The City Of Atascadero
  • ANNUAL HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE IN THE PARK Goat Milk Soap may again be for sale later this month during Atascadero's 15th annual Holiday Boutique at the Pavilion on the Lake.

According to Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish, "We are thrilled that we are able to bring Holiday Boutique to everyone again this year! Our boutique has been a hometown tradition going into its 15th year with a great opportunity to support our local crafters and find unique, handmade gifts in time for the holidays," she said.

"It also gets our residents out to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of our city with Atascadero Lake Park, the Charles Paddock Zoo, and just a perfect time to enjoy one of our many restaurants or craft breweries as you work up an appetite with all of that shopping!

"This year you can expect a couple COVID-safe modifications," Banish continued. "First, it will be 100 percent outdoors at Atascadero Lake Park, and each vendor booth will be socially distanced from each other as well as the proper spacing as you wait your turn to shop at each booth—no different than what you find at farmers' market or in the grocery store. Face coverings will be required, and there will be plenty of hand sanitizer available. We anticipate the same number of craft vendors as years past, and we have plenty of free parking available."

One-of-a-kind gifts, shopping local, supporting artists and artisans? It's a triple win! Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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