Artists suggest you think of original art for gifts

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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) We hear a lot about parents fighting to get their kids this year’s top toy, or people lining up for the newest gizmo. But area artists would like you to consider original art as a holiday gift.

“It seems like there’s a lot of people that come to downtown Lexington just to do their Christmas shopping," says Daniel Caruthers, of the Lexington gallery Earth, Fire & Spirit Pottery. "And some people know we’re here, and some people find us and weren’t expecting it.”

But what he – like a lot of artists in the area -- hopes is that, when they see his artwork, they know who needs it under their tree.

“I think we’re really lucky here because we have so many talented artists that live around here that we have their work in our gallery and in the other galleries on the street here,” Caruthers says.

In Clifton Forge, the Alleghany Highland Arts & Crafts Center offers work by 250 of those artists.

“It’s been a very good season so far this year," says the center's Executive Director, Nancy Newhard, "Knock wood.”

This gallery has a wide range of arts, from jewelry and pottery to quilts and sculpture. And of course paintings, including works by the executive director herself.

“It’s been interesting," Newhard says. "Particularly this Christmas season, I have seen more people coming in looking for something special, and rather than looking at the cases and the counters, they’re looking at the walls.”

Leaving the occasional blank spot on the walls that she’s happy to say is there.

“Nobody else can give that same painting that you give, or that same – even a card or a calendar or something like that that’s got original artwork in it,” she says.

“I feel like a lot of people prefer to get something that’s handmade," according to Caruthers. "Something that’s locally made as opposed to something that’s made in China that’s not going to last very long.”

Supporting local artists, and giving that one-of-a-kind gift that doesn’t need batteries.