Depot Art Center’s holiday exhibit opens Friday, continues throughout the month of December |

Depot Art Center’s holiday exhibit opens Friday, continues throughout the month of December

A handcrafted ornament by Karen Lindeman will be one of the items for sale during a benefit for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council this weekend. The ornaments are part of a show at the Depot Art Center
John F. Russell

If You Go...

What: Steamboat Springs Arts Council's "Gift" exhibit

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

If You Go...

What: Artists' Happy Hour

When: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

— Garlands of origami, folded with care, snowflakes glistening amongst the light and ornaments speckled with gold — each take their place upon a tree decorated with care.

Created with intention, this handiwork of Steamboat’s local artists is simplistic, handcrafted and genuine, and it arrives just in time for the holidays.

“Having this very tangible community of things that are handmade is bringing it back to what’s real about Christmas,” said Gregory Block, a local artist featured in the exhibit. “It’s putting the Christmas back in Christmas.”

This Friday, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council will unveil its holiday Christmas tree, standing tall in the middle of the main gallery room at the Depot Art Center. From 5 to 8 p.m. during the First Friday Artwalk, the new exhibit, “Gift,” featuring a variety of ornaments created by community members and 44 local artists, will be open to the public.

Miniature journals, stained glass, beads, festively transformed pine cones, detailed cranes and Christmas trees are a few of the ornaments found on the accented tree, and many exemplify the creative range of the artists who created them.

Smaller, easily gifted and affordable items can be found in the Depot’s platform gallery. These include handmade cards, smaller ornaments, scarves and more presented in a boutique-style exhibit.

“All of these items are one-of-a-kind; none of them are exactly the same,” said Mary Kay Ghiglia, a local artist who has a crane ornament and handmade cards in the exhibit. “I think it reiterates the sense of community we have here, and it’s wonderful to give a homemade gift. That’s what the season is all about, supporting the local community and the love that went into making these items.”

The work of community members who attended an ornament workshop last month are also displayed on the tree, in addition to festive stars created by Strawberry Park Elementary School students that are hung on the doors within the Depot.

“We wanted to do a show for the holidays that’s not just crafts, but fine arts,” said Cindy Wither, SSAC visual arts committee member and local exhibiting artist. “It’s a whole community effort. It’s great, because artists have done this kind of work forever for the holidays, but it’s the first time we’ve had a show like this.”

All the ornaments and small handmade gift items are for sale, with proceeds to benefit the SSAC. As items are purchased, artists will add new ones, creating a perpetual exhibit.

“It’s like leaving cookies for Santa,” Block said. “There’s the big organization, the SSAC — who has done so much for artists and the arts community and is continually giving throughout the year — and then there is this small, modest fundraiser. It’s like a chocolate chip cookie left on the hearth for Santa Claus to take.”

Throughout the month, a few of the featured artists will be hosting workshops in which participants can walk away with handmade gifts for friends and family. These include a glass ornament workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 11, a creative iPhoneography workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 12 and a jewelry making workshop from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

An artist happy hour will also be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Depot.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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