Art for the heart
Locally made art abounds in locally owned galleries
If Vincent Van Gogh knew that his paintings would become the decorations for coffee mugs and ties, he might have cut off his other ear.
Fortunately, offending future master artists can easily be avoided by buying the real thing. Just head to any of Chico’s numerous art galleries, and you’ll be faced with a selection of objets d’art that could please any taste. Best of all, these wonderful objects are made by local artists, so you’ll be supporting Chico’s art community while giving a beautiful gift.
de Souza gallery on Third Street downtown offers a great assortment of textured ceramics by Brad Perry, colorful fused-glass jewelry by Claudia Schwartz and paintings and photographs by various artists to suit a wide variety of desires. Perry’s ceramics range from wildly textured to simply smooth, and prices are reasonable, too, from $48 for an intricately textured plate that is pre-wired to be hung on a wall to $135 for a deeply textured bowl with a soft blue glaze.
Schwartz’ jewelry commands attention with bright sparkling colors in earrings, pendants and necklaces. The jewelry is sure to please anyone who loves to accessorize with flair and is priced modestly for making such a big statement. Earrings start at $32, pendants start at $39, and a full necklace can be bought for only $165.
The gallery’s sister store, Vagabond Rose, is around the corner and across the street from de Souza and features work by some of the same artists as well as many others.
Sculptor Robert O’Neil’s stone sculpture carved and polished to perfection, along with delightful prints by Garnetta Finnegan, can be found at the sumptuous Dovetail Design Gallery, located on Third Avenue just east of The Esplanade.
For the person on your list who demands function and form in their art collection, Paul Crosbie Art Glass, located in the Garden Walk, is a good place to go. Function and style are combined in beautiful hand-blown glass vessels, large and small, for $200 and up. These vessels are decorated with everything from African animals and swirls to crisscross patterns. Crosbie also makes charming holiday decorations for $17.50, which could easily be hung from tree branches, as well as some captivating mushroom sculptures ($40-$150) that glimmer in the light.
If you just can’t get enough art glass at Crosbie’s, head over at Orient & Flume for a wide selection of paperweights, perfume bottles, vases and sculptures.
You can even give one-of-a-kind art cards by BB Smith, $3, found at cozy Magna Carta. Smith takes care of the colorful exteriors, but be prepared to write your own greeting in the blank-inside cards.—Carla Resnick