- I’m not someone who enjoys the shopping frenzy of the Christmas season—the madding crowd freaks me out, to be honest. You can keep your doorbusters sales; give me a fast Internet connection and half an hour of undisturbed time. I’d much prefer to do my gift-buying online, in my PJs while sipping a cup of coffee.
That said, every year I defy my homebody inclinations and head out to brave the crowds at the No Coast Craft-O-Rama. This wonderfully eclectic, whimsical craft festival is only in its fourth year, but already it feels like a holiday tradition in our house. Every year No Coast’s organizers—a cohort of DIY-minded folks from the Crafters Local 612—pull together a satisfying assortment of irresistible handmade jewelry, hip baby and kids’ stuff, one-of-a-kind apparel from local designers, cheeky greeting cards, cool posters from some of the area’s best printmakers, fine craft glasswork, ingenious handbags and artwork. It’s a local wares wonderland—the selection of vendors is tight and smartly curated, and the mix of things to purchase is unfailingly appealing. Trust me, you can check off everyone on your gift list and get something extra special from a local artist, all without breaking the bank. And after you’re done shopping, you can grab a snack from one of the many options at Midtown Global Market. Even if you prefer to avoid the usual consumer crush, it’s a lovely way to gin up some holiday cheer.
Here are the details: No Coast Craft-O-Rama, Friday, December 5 (3 pm-8 pm) & Saturday, December 6 (9 am-5 pm), admission is FREE and open to the public
There are a host of other holiday art sales and craft fairs going on in the coming days. Below are the ones I’ve put in my own calendar (you can check the mnartists.org calendar to browse through a bunch more going on across the state):
The Handmaidens present Craftsmas: This craft show will feature wares from more than 50 local artists; if you can’t make No Coast Craft-O-Rama, you’ll find a number of the same artists and crafters have work for sale here, too. When/Where: December 7 @ Uptown Minneapolis VFW, Minneapolis, MN
Ruby3 Progressive Holiday Trunk Show: Anna Lee’s outlandish, gorgeous cocktail hats and a selection of new cold-weather accessories, as well as screenprinted legwear by Calpurnia Peach and holiday cards by Maybe You Should Die. When/Where: 7 pm-10 pm @ Miyagi Salon, Minneapolis, MN; 10pm-midnight @ The Red Stag Supper Club, Late Night Happy Hour featuring live music by Faux Jean and his Fake Friends, Minneapolis, MN
College of Visual Arts Holiday Art Sale: Paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and more by students, alumni, faculty and staff are all available. Select art from the CVA archives are also included in the silent auction, and all proceeds benefit the CVA Scholarship Fund. When/Where: Preview December 5, Holiday Art Sale December 6, 10 am-3:30 pm @ CVA, St. Paul, MN
SSCA Annual Holiday Art and Bake Sale: Fundraiser for the gallery with artwork and baked goods by local artists for sale, proceeds go to Stevens Square Center for the Arts. When/Where: December 6, noon-5 pm @ Stevens Square Center for the Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Irresistible: A Local Arts and Crafts Sale at SooVAC: Wares include a variety of jewelry, bags, accessories, and other crafts. Including work by Soo Too artists Jennifer Davis, Joe Sinness, Bethany Kalk, Liseli Polivka, and Amy Rice. Other artists with work in the sale: Brittany Foster, Glamoramapuss, Emily Johnson, Margaret Nimocks, Sisbro, Collaboration Thursday with Swank Dollar, Drive by Bags, Zeichen Press. When/Where: Sale runs from December 17-24, special sale event on December 20th, Saturday, 10-4pm @ Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN