Five Awesome Artists Who Deserve Your Money Way More than Walmart
Pittsburgh Edition 2015
It’s time once again to celebrate the winter holiday of your choice! While it’s easy to head out to the nearest one-stop-store to look for last-minute gifts, I’m here to tell you not to.
Don’t give any more of your money to some giant-ass corporation. Give your money to support talented local artists who create awesome things.
Here’s my favorites this year. Shop local. Stay cool.
I met Kim Fox of Worker Bird at the In Bed by Ten dance party (which you should totally go to, by the way). That night, I knew she was cool. When I saw her art, I knew she was super cool. Kim creates amazing, organic pieces from salvaged tin and wood. Each piece is unique, careful, and beautiful. Oh, and she’s kinda famous. And, oh, she drew this for a damn skateboard deck, people. Kim’s work is awesome, and it belongs in your home.
I’m prouder than proud to have Frost Finery’s gorgeous art in my jewelry collection. Each Frost Finery piece is delicate, yet durable; classic, yet edgy; and designed and created with care by the lovely Melissa Frost. Skip the home parties and give your money to Frost Finery instead. That way, when you get compliments (which I guarantee will happen), tell ’em where you got your gorgeous necklace. Or earrings. Or cuff. Or all three.
One of my favorite things about Pittsburgh artists is that they embody the spirit of our city’s history. Every local artist I know is hard-working, handy, and determined, and it’s these qualities that have kept our city strong for centuries. Amy Garbark of Garbella is no exception. Amy’s a screen-printing bad-ass, and her locally themed shirts, scarves, pins, pillows, and onesies make me squeal with delight. I think you’ll feel the same way.
To count the many talents of Rachel Sager, I may need your entire day. Rachel paints, sketches, draws, screen-prints, builds, and sews. She’s a designer. She’s an illustrator. She’s an awesome person. Rachel’s 5″x5″ pieces of artwork created for The Hundred Days Project blew me away. I’m in awe of her talent and in love with her themes (think everything from space to skulls to animals to color). Buy her work and smile. I did, and I do.
I’m lucky to know a lot of talented people. But one of the talented people I’m honored to know is painter, artist, and podcaster-extraordinaire Genevieve Barbee. Her art practice, the AP Collection, is visual art, painting, and sound. I had the pleasure of talking into her mic for the podcast earlier this year, and I’m loving her “That’s What You’re Good At” (#TWYGA) series. You can own her art and become her Patreon supporter. I recommend both.
Yeah, it’s two days before Xmas. Yeah, no one’s guaranteeing delivery tomorrow. So, if there’s something you totally need for under the tree or Festivus pole (my experience has proven that people are flexible — I’d rather give an awesome gift on December 30 than a sub-awesome on the “right” day), the cool thing about supporting these folks is that might be able to send ’em a note and meet up at a local coffee shop and have a great conversation and go home with something special, totally saving on shipping costs and making a friend in the process. (Some local independent stores carry their wares, too.)
Support local artists. You’ll be glad you did.
Happy holidays, y’all!