Handmade gifts add spice to holidays

Unique items are offered by artists, craftsmen

In the Depot Art Gallery’s baggage room, an array of handmade gifts are available. Photo courtesy of Dustin Ellingboe
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Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, shoppers might consider some close-to-home locations that sell items created by local artists and craftsmen. No two pieces of art are exactly alike, but all are created with great pride and skill.

And these colorful, inviting places are relaxed, casual and fun to visit. We cite a few ongoing, year-round shops and galleries, rather than short-term artisan markets (which we also recommend.)

In Littleton:

• Depot Art Gallery, 2069 W. Powers Ave., is housed in a historic 1881 Santa Fe Railroad depot that served Littleton when early rail lines came to town. During the U.S. bicentennial celebration, the depot was turned into an art gallery through a major effort by the Littleton Fine Arts Guild, with community support. It is owned and maintained by the City of Littleton and operated by members of the Littleton Fine Art Guild, who volunteer. For the holidays each year, it schedules “The Holiday Express,” a show/sale of crafts and small fine arts by members and invited artists. Here one will find whimsical rotund ceramic critters, glass art, tree decorations, note cards, angels, animal wall plaques for a child’s room, scarves, jewelry, photographs (I especially liked an egret) and inexpensive matted paintings and prints. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. 303-795-0781.

• The Pottery Gallery Studio, 5739 S. Curtice St., is operated by potter Kim Louise Glidden in a former Buick dealership garage in historic downtown Littleton. She represents more than 50 artists, including potters, sculptors, metal workers, jewelry makers and painters. 303-738-2275.

• Willow — an Artisans Market, 2400 W. Main St. in downtown Littleton, is operated by Helen Rice. It represents more than 200 artists — most from Colorado — who create jewelry, pottery, garden art, greeting cards, clothing, accessories, glassware, paintings and prints. 303-730-8521.

In Castle Rock:

• Art on the Edge, 314 Wilcox St., is run by the Greater Castle Rock Art Guild, open Tuesdays through Sundays, which has a range of paintings, artwork called “Small Packages” (not larger than 12”x12”) and other gift items made by members. Also on exhibit: “Everything Watercolor” with works by Paul Valdez and Marcia Ames. 303-814-3300.

We will be interested in learning from readers about more locations in our south suburbs that feature original, locally created arts and crafts such as these.