upper waypoint
East Bay Print Sale, Dec. 10-11. Courtesy of Tiny Splendor
East Bay Print Sale, Dec. 10-11. (Courtesy of Tiny Splendor)

How to Force More Art on Everyone in Your Life, One Gift at a Time

How to Force More Art on Everyone in Your Life, One Gift at a Time

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

You probably have a few people in your life who already appreciate handmade, bespoke, artisanal gifts. They love ceramics and succulents. They get excited about lining their shelves with colorful objects d’art. You can easily check them off your holiday shopping list with one trip to a local craft fair.


Then there are those who are a bit harder to pin down. They don’t seem the type to want watercolor sets over this year’s hottest electronic gadget. But the art world is vast and varied, and I’m here to argue there’s something out there under $100 for everyone, you just have to get a little creative in your creative gift-giving.

Spread from Jenifer Wofford's '73+,' 2016.
Spread from Jenifer Wofford’s ’73+,’ 2016. (Courtesy of the artist)

For the sports fan

Jenifer Wofford, 73+ Playoffs Book, 2016
Price: $30

For so many Bay Area denizens, the Golden State Warriors’ April 13 record-breaking 73rd regular-season victory was an unforgettable moment. Instead of letting that excitement dissipate into fist pumps, San Francisco-based artist Jenifer Wofford channeled her enthusiasm into illustrations of key moments (and players’ facial expressions) from each postseason game. Originally shared on Facebook, this full-color book collects the 25 images in one gift-worthy volume. From a glowing rendering of Steph Curry’s “mouthguard of destiny” to Steve Kerr holding a battered clipboard, 73+ charts the Dubs’ ill-fated but valiant run at the 2016 NBA championships. Even more heartwarming: 20 percent of the sales from these books go to nonprofits “working towards protecting the people and environments most imminently at risk in our present situation,” the artist says.

BUZZ: A New Year's Eve Party for The Lab
BUZZ: A New Year’s Eve Party for The Lab (Courtesy of The Lab)

For the disconsolate party animal

BUZZ: A New Year’s Eve Party for The Lab
Dec. 31, 9pm – Jan. 1, 3am
The Lab, San Francisco
Tickets: $85

While we’re on the topic of killing two birds with one stone — that is, supporting worthy nonprofits while gifting great gifts — San Francisco’s The Lab hosts a well-timed dystopian New Year’s Eve celebration that’s perfect for the fatalist in your midst. With an open bar, performances and dancing till 3am, BUZZ promises to be “like partying in a nuclear fallout shelter while watching a Jerry Lewis-style Telethon on LSD… with Peaches Christ.” Don your best end-of-the-world flamboyant party attire. As long as radical, experimental and truly all-inclusive spaces like The Lab continue to exist, all is not lost.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2016; Aerial view from the UC Berkeley Campus.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2016; Aerial view from the UC Berkeley Campus. (Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

For the homebody who needs to get out more

Tried and true methods for getting people out of their comfort zones: a) gentle, insistent persuasion; b) trickery; and c) guilt tripping. Provide someone with the gift that keeps giving (for a year, at least) with added bonus of gaining an art viewing partner in crime. That’s right, I’m talking about a museum membership! Individual membership levels at all the local institutions grant members free admission for themselves and a guest, discounts on museum shops and cafes and other special perks — like early admission and first dibs at event tickets. Membership prices range from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which has a “pay what you can” level ($40 suggested), to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s $100.

Tiny Splendor’s Zine Habitat at Giant Robot’s 'Silent Wonderment Exhibition' at the Vincent Price Art Museum.
Tiny Splendor’s Zine Habitat at Giant Robot’s ‘Silent Wonderment Exhibition’ at the Vincent Price Art Museum. (Courtesy of Tiny Splendor)

For the interior decorating-challenged

East Bay Print Sale
1006 Pardee Street, Berkeley
Dec. 10-11, 10am-4pm

If you know someone lucky enough to have walls in the Bay Area, but unlucky enough to have terrible taste regarding the covering of said walls, the East Bay Print Sale is a one-stop shop for affordable, responsible print purchases. Organized by Max’s Garage Press, the two-day event sports enough lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, screenprints and risograph prints to suit any future home. Buy directly from over 80 artists instead of the companies that rip them off (the organizer takes a 25 percent cut to fund its community print shop), mill about to old-timey live music from the Rhythm Rangellers and get your purchases gift-wrapped in one feel swoop.

Ken Kagami shoelaces.
Ken Kagami shoelaces. (Courtesy of THE THING Quarterly)

For the person who wears shoes

Ken Kagami shoelaces
THE THING Quarterly
Price: $12

A holiday truism: No one can ever have enough socks. This also means everyone’s go-to for last resort gifts are socks. Break from convention with another foot-focused wearable art object — artist-designed shoelaces. Irreverent Japanese artist Ken Kagami deconstructs and scrambles the features of Charlie Brown’s lovable dog Snoopy in these snappy white laces that’ll knock the socks off anyone who wears shoes. (Please note: Wearing shoes without socks is not recommended, for basic olfactory reasons.)


lower waypoint
next waypoint
Too Short Is Playing a Free Show Tuesday at the LakeThe Return of East Oakland’s Menudo KingSan Jose’s Most Creative Paleta Cart Is Leveling Up the Mexican Ice PopMill Valley’s Sequoia Theatre Reopens With a Week of $1 Movies20 New Books Hitting Shelves This Summer That NPR Critics Can’t Wait to ReadKehlani, E-40, P-Lo to Celebrate Golden State Valkyries at SF Block PartyMistah F.A.B. Drops ‘N.E.W. Oakland’ Music Video, Nearly 20 Years Later10 Collections that Stunned at Bay Area Student Fashion Shows10 Free Concerts Not to Miss in the Bay Area This SummerFounding Member of Train Dies Unexpectedly at 58