By Valeria Nunziato
We live in a time where holiday gift giving could not be more confusing.
Sometimes it feels like we can’t keep up with the latest gadgets and fast fashion trends, prompting the question – Does gift-giving really need to be this hard?
Patricia Earl of the Olde Mill Art Gallery and Shoppe in Schomberg has an option for folks to consider.
“Local artists are often inspired by the world around them, whether it’s scenery or colours or textures that they see and discover every day,” she said. “Patrons choose the art that resonates with them to be featured in that special place in their home or as a gift for a special friend or family member.”
Gifting artworks by local artists helps our communities thrive and can be a most personal, unforgettable gesture. Patricia reinforced that the success of shops like the ones listed below are dependent on supporting local artists.
“This year, shopping local and supporting local artists is more important than ever,” she said.
With so many talented artists right here in York Region, we’ve put together a holiday gift guide where you can pick up locally made artworks. The opportunity to inspire loved ones with the special gift of art is closer than you may think.
The Link Winter Market
For a one-of-a-kind holiday experience this season, visit the annual The Link Winter Market. The market is known as the place to pick up a myriad of local treasures that make for unique gift ideas. The Link itself stands as a “collaborative, community hub…to deliver programs, services and events focused on arts and culture,” making it the perfect spot to find that special piece for the art lover in your life.
Located at: The Link, 20849 Dalton Rd., Sutton
When: Sunday, November 28 & Sunday, December 19 from 9:00am – 2:00pm
Varley Art Gallery
Conveniently located on Main St. in Unionville, the Varley Art Gallery is a key staple in representing the history of Canadian art and culture, and celebrating the diverse, local and national creators of our country. Named after a member of the Group of Seven, the gallery “is a vital cultural hub for artists and diverse communities,” aimed at supporting artists within York Region. The gallery features rotating exhibits, including the current Elusive Desires by queer Asian creators Ness Lee (she/her) and Florence Yee (they/theirs). Admission is free and the on-site gift shop is a one-stop shop for a powerful, distinct gift this holiday season.
Located at: 216 Main St., Unionville
When: Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays 12:00pm – 4:00pm, Thursdays 12:00pm – 8:00pm and Saturdays 10:00am – 5:00pm
Olde Mill Art Gallery & Shoppe
Nestled in the heart of Schomberg, The Olde Mill Art Gallery & Shoppe is an idyllic haven for local York Region artists. Intertwining the old, historic nature of the Shoppe with the modern creations by the artists cooperative, you are sure to find a spectacular piece of art amongst the many available. And, you may even get to see an artist at work upon your visit! For a list of the currently participating artists, head to the Schomberg Main Street website.
Located at: 357 Main St., Schomberg, ON
When: Wednesdays – Sundays, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Kingscrafts is a local fine art and arts and crafts studio that was founded in 1950 and currently operates as a non-profit, volunteer-run arts studio. Offering workshops and lessons to amateurs and professionals alike, Kingscrafts stands for the strong, historical presence York Region continues to uphold within the arts. With an array of stunning fine art pieces made by local artists, including award-winning artists from York Region, Kingscrafts is the place to pick up a unique piece of work – or maybe even make one yourself.
Located at: 12936 Keele St., King, ON
When: Walk-ins welcome whenever the “Open” sign is up!
Valeria Nunziato recently earned her Masters in English Literature and is a contributor for a number of Toronto-based publications. A long-time resident of York Region, Valeria enjoys immersing herself in the exciting arts and culture scene.