Holiday Art Market offers unique gifts from local artists

In our product-driven world, it's easy to get to get swept away with the latest pantookas, pantoonas, and floofloovers (wink and nod to Dr. Seuss). But for those looking for something more personal, more abiding, and perhaps even an investment, the Holiday Art Market provides an incredible range of artistic gifts for any price point and recipient.

Held through Dec. 13 at The Studio Door in North Park , the market features all of the local artists who have worked with the gallery over the past year. Included in the mix will be art, crafts, and home decor from their exhibitions The Crow Show, 50 To Watch, and Open Studios San Diego. PACIFIC got the inside scoop on Holiday Art Market Owner and Director Patric Stillman.

PACIFIC: What year did the Holiday Art Market start? How has it grown?

Patric Stillman: We had a holiday event in 2014, but it wasn't until last year that it hit its stride. It started off as a way for The Studio Door to thank all of the local artists who participated in the gallery's exhibits and workshops over the past year. It was such a huge success that the public has been asking about it all year in hopes that it would return.

Who are a few veteran artists people can look for?

In addition to the 10 studio artists who work at The Studio Door, we have several veteran artists who are making a splash nationally, including abstract painter Victoria Estacio Huckins and encaustic artist Linda Freuh. Both were juried in as part of our cornerstone exhibition 50 To Watch.

Who is a new must-see artist this year?

I'm excited to include two artists that I think we will be hearing a lot more from over the next few years.  South Korean artist, Sukhyun Esther Min is just beginning to make a name for herself in the U.S. She brought us some really special works made of Korean Paper collage that are sublime.  Local artist Kenda Francis mashes up graffiti with animal rights in paintings that seem almost musical.

Favorite gift ideas for the holidays?

We've definitely seen an uptick in interest for glassworks, pottery and small sculptures. I think the reason is they are immediately personal and uniquely one of a kind. 

What's something you'd like people to know about shopping at small businesses?

When you shop in the neighborhood, you are supporting local businesses and in our case, local artists. It's the small businesses that engage in innovation and help to give local neighborhood's a stronger sense of livability.  The Studio Door is a proud member of North Park Main Street, who help to keep our streets clean, safe and friendly.  We are proud to be a part of the fabric of the greater community.  We hope that our neighbors will stop by to shop or just see what's in the gallery and to say hello.

The Studio Door is located at 3750 30th St. in North Park (619-255-4920). Gallery hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. The gallery is closed to the public on Mondays. For more information, visit thestudiodoor.com

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