A holiday tradition all on its own, hundreds of local and regional artists and makers come together every December to showcase and sell their most recent handcrafted creations, demonstrating the strong entrepreneurial spirit and diverse talents within the community. Whether it’s a multi-vendor fair or a more intimate open house at a private studio, these events provide opportunities to connect directly with the talented makers who help provide the backbone of Athens’ arts community. With over 30 different events scheduled over the next three weeks, opportunities abound for finding one-of-a-kind gifts while supporting local artists so they can keep doing what they do best.
In the spirit of tradition, let Flagpole make shopping locally a little simpler this year with our annual Holiday Market Roundup, a list of artist markets, studio open houses and craft sales happening in Athens and nearby.
The annual UGA Ceramics Sale will happen at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, 270 River Rd., on Nov. 30–Dec. 1 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Created by students and faculty, the works range from decorative pieces and hand-built sculptures to functional pottery like mugs, plates, vases and bowls. Parking is available in the Performing Arts Center deck. Visit art.uga.edu.
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement will present the Athens Black Market, a recurring event designed to support minority entrepreneurs and create a marketplace promoting diversity in downtown Athens. This year, the event will feature a “Shark Tank” competition through which one start-up business idea will win $500. The event will be held at Ciné, 234 W. Hancock Ave., on Nov. 30 from 6–8 p.m. Call 678-949-6887 for more information.
Labels Resale Boutique, a new consignment shop specializing in luxury and contemporary designs, will host a Holiday Sip & Shop with Totally Tailored, Tapped Wine Bar and local pop-up vendors on Dec. 1 from 5–8 p.m. The shop is located in The Bottleworks at 327 Prince Ave. Go to labelsrb.com.
Support women-owned businesses during the Shop Small Crawl on Dec. 2 from 4–8 p.m. Over 20 businesses are participating, such as Community, K.A. Artist Shop, Foxglove Plantbar, STATE the Label, Little Light Co., Willaby and Revival Yarns. Each stop at a shop will count as an entry into a giveaway for gift certificates. Find the event on Facebook for a full list of participants and locations.
The Woodhill Artists Market will host Ansley Williams of SongBird Soaps, Camren Gober of Star Thread Pottery and Greg Krakow of Big Creek Batik in addition to offering sculptures by Barbara Odil, flowers by Jenny Derevere, watercolor by Leigh Ellis, decorative gourds by Michael Pierce, folk art by Peter Loose and hand-dyed accessories by Wini McQueen. An opening reception will be held Dec. 2 from 4–8 p.m., and the sale will run Dec. 3–4 and Dec. 10–11 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Woodhill is located at 4745 Bob Godfrey Road. Call 706-621-0799.
Operating primarily as a wholesale business, Mbare, Ltd. will open its warehouse to the public for the annual Africa in Athens Warehouse Sale Dec. 2 from 5–9 p.m. and Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. The fair-trade company works directly with artisans and craftspeople in Zimbabwe, Senegal, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Mali and Ghana to collect wall decor, textiles, baskets, glassware, stone sculptures, wood carvings, tin art, masks and more. Mbare is located at 118 Commerce Blvd., behind the Athens Habitat ReStore West, and more details can be found at mbare.com.
St. Joseph Catholic Church, located at 958 Epps Bridge Parkway, will host a Christmas Bazaar on Dec. 3 from 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. In addition to breakfast with Santa and children’s activities, the event includes goods both handmade and baked. Visit stjosephathens.com.
Southern Star Studio will present its seventh annual holiday sale of members and friends Dec. 3–4 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Offering an array of pots, ornaments and other gifts, participating potters include Maria Dondero (Marmalade Pottery), Sophie Goode (Sophie Shannon Art), Courtney Howard (5115 Designs), Kate Couch, Caroline Maddox, Kerry Steinberg, Esther Mech and Brandon Bishop. Check out southernstarstudioathens.com to learn more about the collective work space and gallery, which is located at 180 Cleveland Ave. in the Newtown neighborhood.
Forged & Found Pottery’s annual Open Studio & Holiday Sale will take place Dec. 3, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Ceramicist Regina Mandell makes a variety of functional items like plates, bowls, mugs, palettes, lanterns, bird feeders and jewelry characterized by rustic minimalism and neutral tones. Her home studio is located at 1063 W. Hancock Ave. Check out forgedandfound.net for examples of work.
Heirloom Café and Fresh Market, at 815 N. Chase St., will offer an opportunity for seasonal shopping at the Heirloom Holiday Market Dec. 3–4 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Each day features a different lineup of vendors offering handmade wares like jewelry, gourmet foods, woodwork, ceramics, bath and body products, textiles and more. Keep an eye out for Lou Kregel, Moosh, The Garden Party and Rachel Winters Embroidery on Saturday, plus R&R Secret Farm, Studio Pen Pen, Keith P. Rein and Oscar Bites Dog Treats on Sunday. Salvage Sparrow will offer tintype portraits both days. Visit heirloomathens.com.
Steel+Plank will host a Holiday Sidewalk Sale on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Indoors, the shop will show off its own line of minimalist, handcrafted furniture and home goods. The shop is located in Suite 200 at 675 Pulaski St. Visit steelandplank.com to see what’s in store.
For specialty items straight from the garden, visit the UGArden Herbs Holiday Market on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Using organic practices, UGArden offers a selection of medicinal teas, seasoning blends, medicinal salves and other earthy products. UGArden is located at 2500 S. Milledge Ave. Check facebook.com/ugardeners for more information.
Southern Brewing Company will host a two-day Holiday Market with local creatives, artists and makers on Dec. 3–4 from 2–7 p.m. Twenty different vendors are confirmed, such as MEplusTEA, Dirty South Stitches, Ecomaniac Sustainable Jewelry, Clayton Street Clay, From Ashes Designs, The People’s Pantry and Magically Mundane. The brewery is located at 231 Collins Industrial Blvd. Visit sobrewco.com.
A holiday market and reception will follow “Tapestry: A Holiday Concert” at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Dec. 3. The program includes performances by the Meridian Women’s Chorus, Athens Recorder Ensemble, Trinity Lutheran Handbell Choir and Oconee High School Chorus. Music starts at 3 p.m., and the church is located at 800 West Lake Dr. Go to meridianwomenschorus.org.
Treehouse Kid and Craft presents its 12th annual Handmade Hollyday across the street at Starlite Showroom, at 750 W. Broad St., Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The market will feature 20–30 regional artists as well as several youth artists. Look out for A New Seed, Clark Creations, Long Leaf Incense, Love.Craft Athens, Sweet Olive Farm and Down in the Valley. Find details at treehousekidandcraft.com.
UGA undergraduates, graduates and local artists will come together at Puma Yu’s for a Winter Holiday Sale on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Items will range from ceramics, jewelry, prints, vintage clothes, photographs, sculpture and more. Puma Yu’s is located in Suite D400A at 355 Oneta St. Visit art.uga.edu.
An outdoor patio under twinkling lights makes for a festive setting at the juried Athens Holiday Market at Big City Bread Cafe Dec. 8–9 from 5–9 p.m. Peruse the works of over 40 local and regional artists while musicians perform around the bonfire. Artists like René Shoemaker, Susan Staley, Cricket Bancroft, Heidi Hensley, Sam Watson, Frank Saggus, Adrienne Chappell and Jim Norton will sell everything from painting, pottery and jewelry to textiles, birdhouses and stained glass. Big City Bread is located at 393 N. Finley St. and can be reached at 706-353-0029.
Maria Dondero’s 14th annual Marmalade Pottery Holiday Sale will be held at 180 Cleveland Ave. on Dec. 10 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Recently back from teaching in Cortona, Italy, the ceramic artist will share a new collection of mugs, planters, platters, pots and more, all decorated in her one-of-a-kind illustrations of flowers, animals and faces. Visit mariadondero.com for examples of work.
The fourth annual Holi-LADDER-day Market at tiny ATH gallery will make the best use of its small square footage by displaying creations vertically on ladders. Check out artwork by Sebastián Granados, Cal Clements, Anna Marie Ruch Lehman, Tom Hancock, Samuel Clay Benson, Valley StipeMaas, Gary Autry, Rebecca Hampton and others. Located at 174 Cleveland Ave., next door to Southern Star Studio, the outdoor market will be held Dec. 10 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Each day will have a different lineup. Visit tinyathgallery.com.
With 135 vendors spread across the park, Indie South’s 16th annual Holiday Hooray is one of the largest markets of its type in the region and covers virtually everything handmade, from original art in every medium, bath and beauty products, vintage and sustainable fashion to artisanal food and home goods. Keep an eye out for The Humble Hutch, Hells Bells, Tressa Lavinia Linzy, Bohemian Spirit Glass, Black Thistle, Piedmont Provisions, Chris Hubbard, Mary Rugg, Will Eskridge, Tinker Wagon and Very Good Puzzle. If you’ve only got time for one market this season, let this be the one. Food vendors include Speakcheesy, Homie’s Tacos, Hendershot’s, Figment Fermentation and Freezecream. DJs Jurt Wood, Pip and Mahogany will provide the sonic backdrop. The two-day open-air market takes place Dec. 10–11 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. in the athletic field at Bishop Park. To explore the full list of vendors, visit theindiesouth.com.
Michele Dross Ceramics will host an outdoor Holiday Sale at her cozy backyard studio in Normaltown. Dross’ distinctive handmade porcelain pottery is characterized by mystical narrative drawings full of celestial women, plants, rainbows, snakes, goats and roosters. Designs intricately illustrated in deep cobalt blue will also be available. The event takes place Dec. 10 at 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at 515 King Ave. Keep up with the artist at micheledross.com.
The West Broad Farmers Market at 300 Rocksprings St. will round off its season with a Holiday Market and Craft Fair on Dec. 10, 11 a.m–2 p.m. In addition to the market’s fresh produce, seasonal baked goods and other fare from local artisans, the lineup will include a handful of crafters. Visit facebook.com/WestBroadMarketGarden.
The Normaltown Pottery Holiday Sale, slated for Dec. 10 from 4–8 p.m. and Dec. 11 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., will feature handmade, functional pottery by Juana Gnecco and Nancy Green, paintings by Greg Benson and local honey by 3 Kings Honey. Normaltown Pottery is located at 465 Belvoir Heights. For more information, call 762-728-0575.
Artists will come together during the 10th annual Artists Holiday Market to benefit the local nonprofit Campus Cats/Cat Zip Alliance Dec. 10 from 5–10 p.m. at Little Kings Shuffle Club, at 223 W. Hancock Ave. In addition to live music and a silent auction, the event will offer items by Krysia Ara, Songbird Soaps, Camren Gober, Lisa Freeman and more. The nonprofit works to promote humane community cat management through a trap, neuter, return approach. To learn more, visit catzip.org.
Hosted by Indie South, the Abnormal Bazaar offers a last-minute opportunity to pick up everything from vintage and collectibles to vinyl and crafts. Held the third Saturday of every month, the outdoor pop-up flea market is scheduled for Dec. 17 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at 470 Hawthorne Ave. Be sure to venture inside Indie South’s brick and mortar as well for a tastefully curated selection of handcrafted items, crystals, rare house plants, tarot decks and adornments for the body and home. Visit theindiesouth.com for details.
ACE/FRANCISCO Gallery, a new space operated by Jason Thrasher and Beth Hall Thrasher, will host a closing party and holiday print sale on Dec. 18 from 2–5 p.m. The reception serves as the final day to catch “Heaven4theYoung,” a collection of watercolor, oil, sculpture and film by Frances Thrasher. Limited-edition signed prints of works by artists who have previously exhibited in the gallery will be available to purchase, with a portion of sales funding part-time positions and sponsoring art-related student organizations. ACE/FRANCISCO is located in Suite 1500 of the Leathers Building at 675 Pulaski St. Check out acefranciscogallery.com.
Kick off the official beginning of the winter season with candlelit shopping at the R. Wood Studio Solstice Sale on Dec. 21 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. In addition to handmade pottery in a variety of rich glazes, the event will offer locally-crafted stocking stuffers, linens, beeswax candles, home goods, curated gift boxes and gourmet Southern pantry items. Guests are also invited to tour Rebecca Wood’s studio, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, and see her team of potters in action. R. Wood Studio is located at 450 Georgia Dr. Visit rwoodstudio.com to see examples of items.
Friends of Oglethorpe Co. Library will host a Christmas Bazaar and Book Sale at No. 3 Railroad Street on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. In addition to a selection of books, the event offers themed gift baskets, handcrafted ornaments and fresh greenery wreaths. Proceeds benefit the library. No. 3 Railroad is located at 3 Railroad St. in Arnoldsville. Go to oglethorpeFOL.org.
The family-run studio Bendzunas Glass, at 89 W. South Ave. in Comer, will host holiday hours Dec. 3–Jan. 2 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Operating primarily as a wholesale business that distributes to galleries countrywide, a public gallery displays some of the family’s best functional and decorative glass works, including cups, paperweights, bowls, ornaments and vases. Demonstrations are available by appointment. For more information, check out bendzunasglass.net.
The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s 28th annual juried Holiday Market presents the works of 100 regional artists and crafters, including paintings, pottery, stained and fused glass, jewelry, photography, woodwork, sculpture, fiber art and more. The market is open Dec. 2 from 5–8 p.m., Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission for all three days is $5. The Golden Pear Bakery will additionally offer baked goods for sale. OCAF’s Artists Shoppe, which features handmade items created by the gallery’s members, opens in conjunction with the Holiday Market and will remain open Tuesdays through Saturdays Dec. 2–22 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. OCAF is located at 34 School St. in Watkinsville. For more details, visit ocaf.com.
Venture over to Farmington Pottery’s December Open House Pottery Sale Dec. 3–4 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. to view the latest creations of Geoff and Lisa Pickett. A wide variety of Geoff’s wood- and gas-fired dinnerware, kitchen and tableware, and various pots for the home and garden will be spaciously displayed outdoors. Lisa, meanwhile, will offer a variety of handmade soaps and botanical skincare products incorporating fresh herbs grown in the garden. Farmington Pottery is located at 1171 Freeman Creek Road in Farmington. For more information, visit pickettpottery.com and farmingtonherbals.com.
Farmview Market, at 2610 Eatonton Highway in Madison, will host its Holiday Market Dec. 3 from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. In addition to locally sourced meat, pickles, honey, baked goods and preserves, you’ll find handcrafted items like cutting boards, pottery, soaps, knitted accessories and jewelry. The family-friendly event also includes Christmas carols and an appearance by Santa Claus. Check out farmviewmarket.com for what’s in store.
This year’s lineup at the Nancy Green Ceramics Group Holiday Sale promises a diverse array of traditional and contemporary ceramic pieces, with participating potters including Kyle Carpenter, Juana Gnecco, Nancy Green, Minsoo Yuh and Sunkoo Yuh. Located at 1500 Tappan Spur Road in Watkinsville, the studio’s annual event is Dec. 3–4 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. For more details, call 706-410-5200.
See a new collection of work by Lori Breedlove at the Rose Creek Pottery Holiday Sale Dec. 3–4 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. An assortment of gas- and wood-fired functional ware like pots, cups, vases, bowls and other vessels will be available. Rose Creek Pottery is located on a grass-fed cattle farm at 1051 Rose Creek Drive in Watkinsville. Visit rosecreekpottery.com.
Pineywoods Artisans will host a Studio Open House featuring hand-dyed silk and fiber art by Margaret Agner, watercolors and art quilts by Elizabeth Barton; ceramics by Alice Harris and Dale Goodhue; oil paintings and greeting cards by Dortha Jacobson; and stained glass by Marianne Parr. The sale at Pineywoods, located at 205 Athens Road in Winterville, will be held Dec. 10 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Dec. 11 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Call 215-534-4608.
The weekly Marigold Market in Winterville will close out its season on Dec. 17 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. In addition to locally grown produce, baked goods, hot foods and flowers, the market will offer handcrafted items. The market takes place at Pittard Park, 115 Parkview Road. Go to marigoldmarketwinterville.com
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.