At Lexington galleries and studios, holiday shopping becomes an art form

rcopley@herald-leader.comNovember 27, 2013 

Good morning. As you read this, statistics say you might be plotting or in the midst of an assault on local retailers for cheap-o Christmas gifts (or presents for yourself).

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is often the biggest or one of the biggest shopping days of the year, a day loved by bargain hunters and loathed by those who don't like crowds and long lines.

Local artists are more than happy to let you know that they rarely experience long lines or crowds, and they would be more than happy to get some of that action. The trade-off for customers is they get unique, made-in-Kentucky products to give, and they won't have to worry about those awkward moments when a relative opens a duplicate sweater or Crock-Pot.

Local art is sold through a variety of establishments, from the single-artist gallery to collective artists' studios to retail establishments. Many do not keep regular gallery hours, and quite a few might not be open on Black Friday. On the flip side, there are many open houses and holiday bazaars on tap.

We wanted to put together a sampler of local art options, so we reached out to groups such as LexArts and the Kentucky Arts Council and did come Googling and Facebooking. This is by no means an exhaustive list of area galleries and shops that sell local art, but it should give you an idea of where to start if you want to be an artsy giver this year.


The Breadbox Studio. Holiday market 1-9 p.m. Dec. 14 at 501 W. Sixth St. Curated market representing a collective of Lexington artists who regularly work at the Breadbox Studio. Visit for information about the studio and market.

Clark Art & Antiques. Holiday open house during regular hours Dec. 6-8 at 801 Winchester Rd. Currently featuring Foose Retrospective, the Works of the Late Robert James Foose (1938-2013) spanning the Lexington artist's career from the 1960s to 2000s, through Dec. 29. The gallery also has an extensive selection of fine to folk art and antiques. Regular hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (859) 361-2147,

The Collective. "Jingle and Mingle" open house, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 3 at 314 S. Ashland Ave. The relatively new gallery/retailer for wares handmade by more than 20 local artists and artisans will host a holiday open house, with some products getting a surprise 50 percent discount at the register. Regular hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Thu.; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri., Sat.; 1-5 p.m. Sun. (859) 368-0830,,

Lexington Art League. Black Friday Art Sale, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 6 and 6-11 p.m. Dec. 7 at Loudoun House Gallery, 209 Castlewood Dr. Hundreds of works by local artists for $50 or less.

The Maxwell House Studio. Small Business Saturday open house 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 30 at 471 E. Maxwell St. Resident artist Cynthia Scott Flora shows works in watercolors, oils and drawings in a variety of subject matter.

Tribeca Trunk. Holiday open house 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 16 at 116 Old Lafayette Ave. Currently featuring new figurative drawings by James Shambhu. Regular hours: 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri. and by appointment. (859) 317-8793.


Lexington is lucky to have a robust number of art galleries. This list in particular is far from exhaustive, but rather a sampling of some of the major players. If your favorite gallery isn't listed, contact it for details.

Ann Tower Gallery. 141 E. Main St. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun. Currently featuring Tended Earth: New Paintings by Chris Segre-Lewis., (859) 425-1188.

Artists' Attic. Fourth floor of Victorian Square, Main St. and Broadway. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat. The tucked-above space is occupied by the studios of 22 artists working in a variety of mediums, from painting to ceramics to cinema and other forms.

Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. 200 Artisan Way, Berea. Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Current exhibit is Capturing the Art of Sport: Works by Kentucky Artisans, plus works by a wide variety of Kentucky artists and artisans., (859) 985-5448.

Main Cross Gallery. First floor, Victorian Square, Main St. at Broadway. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Current exhibit features landscapes by Doug Mellor, plus work by more than 50 artists in a wide variety of mediums and subject matter. (859) 258-9863,

M.S. Rezny Studio/Gallery. 903 Manchester St. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Fri., noon-3 p.m. Sat.; open only by appointment Nov. 29. Current exhibit is Layered, a Fantasy Memoir by Laverne Zabielski. Holiday Revels, featuring works by the gallery's featured artists this year, opens Dec. 3 with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m.; 40 percent of the proceeds from any artwork sold during the reception will be donated to Hospice of the Bluegrass's fund for art.

New Editions Gallery. 807 Euclid Ave. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Exhibiting Another Night in the Ruins, oil paintings by Laurie Doctor, through Dec. 8., (859) 266-2766.


The Kentucky Arts Council has a website dedicated to highlighting Kentucky art for the holidays:

Rich Copley: (859) 231-3217. Twitter: @copiousnotes.

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