Thinking Outside The Gift Wrapped Box

By Darien Davies

There’s no getting around it. The holidays will be here before we know it and you know you’ll have to get creative with gifts to make it a memorable holiday season. But, what if I told you that you didn’t have to step into a mall to get gifts, and that these gifts would be more memorable for you to give? I know, it’s a Christmas miracle!

The Arts Warehouse in downtown Delray Beach is here to provide you with all the gifts you need for this gift-giving season, coupled with the opportunity to actually enjoy creating and purchasing the gifts.

The party kicks off with the Warehouse Winter Market where you’re invited to sip, snack, shop and support your local creative makers. Held Friday, December 7 from 6-9pm during Delray’s Art Walk (donations accepted and includes arts, beats and eats) and Saturday, December 8 from 10am-3pm, the event boasts 14 vendors (with more added daily) including The House of Perna, Marie Donze Fine Art, Idalia Baudo Jewelry, and Elaine Designs.  You’re encouraged to shop local and find gifts that are not only handmade, but also help local artists to keep creating their craft.

“Growing up as a kid, it used to be nice to go to the mall,” said Jill Brown, Director at the Arts Warehouse. “Now people order online. But we’re in the spirit of the times and the market is a good medium. It gives a smaller scale that is very curated where you can find specialty items.”

If you’d like to get hands on, make sure to roll up your sleeves and check out the Holiday Workshop Series. Locally gifted artists and makers created each event and will teach each class, and you’ll be able to not only learn a new skill, but you’ll leave with a gift to give or keep. Workshops include It’s a Wrap for Families where you’ll create wrapping paper and gift tags; Contemporary Holiday Wreaths where you’ll add fresh greenery and water-colored paper elements to create a contemporary wreath; and A Gift For You | A Gift For Me class, where you’ll learn how to make two signature-style Amanda Perna earrings from the designer herself. Classes start at $35 and registration is required.

If you want to enjoy art without creating it, the Arts Warehouse has you covered, too. Their new exhibition, Coping, showcases industrial materials, liquids and movement in 2D/3D form from artist Russell Bellamy and the opening reception is during the Art Walk on Friday, December 7.

With all the local makers and artists’ collaborations, Brown and her team are ensuring a bright future for everyone at the Arts Warehouse.

“We’re the only arts incubator in Palm Beach County,” Brown said. “We hope to continue to grow and expand and help these artists become independent business people. There’s a lot happening. Within the arts realm, we know we need to get outside of that box.”

What a win, win. Artists and makers get to hustle their craft, and locals get to directly benefit from filling their stocking with handmade goods, as well as learn new skills. Three cheers to that.

For more information on the Arts Warehouse Preview Night Event, click here


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