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.
For the sports fan
Jenifer Wofford, 73+ Playoffs Book, 2016
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
For the person who wears shoes
Ken Kagami shoelaces
THE THING Quarterly
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.)