Regional pride gift guide




Photo/Kris Vagner

I have a thing about the mall. I steer clear of it anyway, but when holiday time rolls around—no way. It’s not just the traffic, the noise and the aggressive materialism. It’s the way my artist/maker/DIY sanctimony just can’t thrive there. Plan A—I make my own gifts, just about anything from fleece PJs and pillows for the kids to framed photos and graphics to chocolate-dipped candied orange slices. Plan B—I rely on the region’s hundreds of hardworking artists, designers, crafters and other creative folks to help me further regale my loved ones with cool, imaginative gifts.

You already know that Reno has a great range of boutiques, both longstanding and new, and a growing list of craft beers, spirits and food items that make for creative gifts. Here are a few gift ideas you may not have thought of. And keep your eyes open once you start shopping. This is just a sampling of the many creative things made in Reno and Tahoe.

Colors of Tahoe

As soon as backpacking enthusiast and comic-book lover Jared Manninen graduated from Lake Tahoe Community College a couple of years ago, he thru-hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail. He’d already penned an illustrated memoir of the Appalachian Trail. After his Tahoe hike, he rendered the rim trail’s flora, fauna and scenery in 79 line drawings and assembled them into the Tahoe Rim Trail Coloring Book ($9.99).

Available from or on Amazon.

Craft beer in craft vessels

Hmm, beer or art? How about both? Potter Joe Winter has been making wheel-thrown beer growlers for regional breweries for a few years now. One of his newest developments has been partnering with Under The Rose’s Growler Club. For $100-200, you can buy your friends a handmade 64-oz. growler and somewhere between one and 15 fill-ups from the tap. A related mug club ($100) includes a 16-oz. beer mug—handmade by potter Casey Clark—five mug fill-ups and discounts all year.

Available at Under The Rose Brewing Company, 559 E. Fourth. St.


Details at

Fresh deck

Reno artist Ron Rash is prolific. His drawings are tattooed on skin all over town, his paintings are hanging at Hub University, and a line of cards and print reproductions of drunken animals trapped in bottles is in stock at Never Ender. Any of the above make for great holiday gifts, but it you really want to flaunt your street cred, proceed directly to Plan B Skateboards. Rash’s painting of a roaring bear being attacked by arrows and going up in flames is printed on the Pudwill Aces skateboard ($65.)

Find online at

Home means an enviable end table

Before I send you to a charming gift store full of creative housewares for a beautiful piece of Nevada-shaped furniture, let me remind you that the trade in Nevada-themed wares is absolutely booming. Fortunately, just about any shop in town that sells handmade jewelry or locally designed t-shirts offers Nevada-shaped, Nevada-themed or Nevada-pride versions. One standout is the hardwood Nevada-shaped end table ($235) with an elegantly unobtrusive steel base by Hammer and Saw Wood and Metal Work. There are Lake-Tahoe-shaped versions of the table, too.

Available at Larkellen, 606 W. Plumb Lane, or on Instagram at

More ways to shop local

’Tis the season for crafters of all kinds. The full roster of arts and craft holiday fairs in town is too long to list, but here are a few favorites that have become their own institutions over the years.

Christmas 50!


Artists Co-op of Reno, 627 Mill St., hosts a holiday show and sale through Dec. 28. The wide a range of handmade items includes jewelry, paintings, cards and ornaments. And yes, the “50” means this hub for painters and crafters has been around for half a century now.

Rouge Art & Craft Market

Holland Project, 140 Vesta St., holds its annual curated arts market on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year's event promises paintings, patches, food and beverage vendors and a “succulent bar,” where you can pair a cactus with the right vessel.

Cash & Carry

Each December, Never Ender, 25 St. Lawrence Ave., fills its back-room gallery with 2-D and 3-D work by its favorite artists. You don't have to wait until the exhibit ends to pick up your purchase. You can buy a piece right off the wall or shelf and take it home to wrap right then and there.

Chilly Cash and Carry

The Wedge Ceramics Studio, 2095 Dickerson Road, teams up with next-door-neighbor Infinity Forge and fills the studio with gifts made of metal and clay, both the expected (cups, bowls, jewelry) and the surprising (birdhouses, belt buckles, steak hooks). The highlight is a $35 combo that includes a handmade bowl filled with chili and a handmade spoon to eat it with. The event takes place 4-8 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11.

Holiday Faire

St. Mary's Art Center, 55 N. R St., Virginia City, is worth a field trip any day of the year—as long as steep, windy Geiger Grade isn't too icy. During the venue's annual Holiday Art Faire it's even more so. Expect artwork and handcrafted items by artists from Reno, Virginia City and environs. This year's event is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Ω