On the twelfth day of Christmas…my true love gave to me…12 works from my favourite local artists!
Forget the bath salts and handkerchiefs! This year, I’m wishing for beautiful and original art as a Christmas gift
Personal and original art is such a lovely thing and this year I’m looking at some of the great artists and artisans I know for some inspiring gifts for Christmas. Here’s my 12 days of Christmas wish list.
The very lovely Carol Ramsay from Arena Studios has set up her own design company. Selling beautiful hand-crafted artisan jewellery and accessories made using vintage maps, books and music scores, this is top of my list for something gorgeous.
Check out Jackdaw & Jay’s Facebook page for pictures and details of workshops to make your own Christmas decorations.
Original art fromThe Art Gallery, Bootle
Alice Rhenna’s community-based gallery has gone from strength to strength since it opened earlier this year and now you can buy many of the original works of art that have been exhibited there. Even better, if you can’t afford the prices straight off, Alice is offering a pay monthly scheme.
There’s also beautiful handmade gifts for saleand a selection of prints for sale that have recently come in by local and national artists. Works are for sale by Bernie Howden, Chrissie Howden, George Lund, Peter, Barker, Ross, Gibson, Phil Garrett.
Katie Greer is selling beautiful presents for Christmas. Her cinammon decorated candles are a must for a wonderful Christmassy smell. Yum!
Check out Katie’s shop at Etsy
Louise makes personalised cards for any occasion, with a donation from each going to a charity very close to my heart, SANDS – the Stillbirth and Neo-natal Death carity. She also makes lovely framed pictures with words of your choice.
Check out Louise’s Facebook page for more
Val at Cloverbrooks has some fab retro style crochet bags; ideal for storage, as well as pot holder, fruit bowls and cutesy owl doorstops.
Check out Cloverbrooks on Etsy
Whoever said ‘money can’t buy me love’ never met Jay from LoveartUk. Jay produces original, thought provoking art on the theme of love. Every piece is personal and unique and you can snap one up from as little as £30.
Contact Jay through the LoveartUK Facebook page
Michael is one of the most exciting photographers in Liverpool. His works are done in an über-realistic style and include the gorgeous ‘Queen’, which you could stare at for hours on end.
Check out Michael’s work at Michael Kirkham Potography’s Facebook page
Multi-disciplnary artist Jazamin’s stream-of-consciousness paintings are witty and vital. As well as producing some of the best art at this year’s Threshold Festival, Jazamin has had a solo exhibition “I’ve been using art as therapy all my life, honey” at the dot-art gallery off Castle Street and now you can buy her original work.
You can see more of Jazamin’s work and contact her through her website jazamin.co.uk
Nikki Simpkin’s Project Art has taken off into the stratosphere in 2013. So much so, I may be too late for Christmas. Oops! But there’s always my birthday next year. Nikki specialises in iconic art from famous films (I already have her ‘Audrey’) and she’ll also make a picture personal to you – your kids, your family, your crush, even!
If you order now Nikki will donate £10 from every sale to the Supporting Daniel charity.
Get in touch with Nikki on the Project Art Facebook page
Update! Nikki tells me it’s not too late and she’s taking orders up to 8th December
The Ragamuffins are the most exciting local band we’ve seen all year. Smashing it at Threshold 2013 and doing it big with wit, verve and a banging brass section, you can buy the band’s EP through their website theragamuffins.bandcamp.com
This year’s Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Gary Millar, may be just about the busiest man in the whole city, but he’s still found time to produce his second charity CD of the year with the proceeds set to go to some way to tackle homelessness. A great cause and the CD features some fantastic local talent – including Gary himself!
You can buy Voices of Angels at Parr Street Studios. Check out Gary’s Twitter for details @garymillar
Liverpool’s winter-wonderland-tastic Winter Arts Market returns to St George’s Hall for its fift year on 7th and 8th December. Featuring a bewildering array of local artists, the Winter Arts Market offers the chance to buy original and unusual art as well as workshops where you can make your very own work of art!
Not to be missed! Check out the Winter Arts Market Facebook page for details
How good was Light Night? Bloody good, is the answer.
LightNight is Liverpool’s one-night arts and culture festival, which took place on Friday night. Over 50 city centre organisations kept their galleries, museums and venues open until late, staging around 100 special cultural events for visitors of all ages.
This year, visitors were able to enjoy the launch of LOOK/13 Liverpool International Photography Festival, the public reopening of Central Library as part of the In Other Words festival, spectacular light projections, street theatre, and a vibrant myriad of walking tours, open studios, live music, hands-on workshops and much more.
I set off on Friday night with Johny, my favourite plus one, Vickie, and him indoors to see what was on offer.
We started with one of the most amazing things this city has witnessed for a long time. The opening of our magnificent new central Library. A glory of the age, the library celebrated its opening on LightNight. I’d been shown around as part of the press launch, but seeing it with people thronged around it was something else altogether. From the moment I saw one of my eldest child’s school chums doing her biology revision in a little corner, I knew that this place is going to be well-loved and well-used as a place of learning.
From there we pootled over to see Izzy Major from Hope Street Ltd performing the Open Culture commissioned “Bookworm.” Izzy was surrounded by books and positively encouraged audience participation, even getting Johny up to read from The Wizard of Oz to the delight of everyone who watched, if not Johny himself.
We headed over to the Baltic Creative to see Made Here, a pop-up shop selling locally made artwork and spent a lovely bit of time talking to Andrew Beattie of Give Me Soul Ltd about the upcoming Liverpool Craft Beer festival (more to follow on that one!) and Doctor Who. Always good to meet a fellow fan.
We then headed to cafe 51 just in time to see the wonderful Kaya Hersted Carney of the Science of the Lamps performing a fantastic acoustic set. With time running out to see more, we headed round the corner to Arena Studios, where Paul Bywater’s Sergio Leone inspired exhibition was on show. Pencil drawings of spaghetti western-style characters adorned the gallery’s walls, but were well out of our budget!
Arena always embrace Light Night and we’ve never left empty handed, and this year was no different. Johny won a trophy playing the rather existentially titled “Mystical Duck Portal of Fate” game, or “Duck Chuck” as my young Arena chum, Flynn calls it. then we had a blind portrait done by Arena artist Carol Ramsay, where I ended up with a rather fetching goatee, which Carol insists was my scarf!
We set off to Camp & Furnace and saw images from the LOOK/13 photography exhibition, including images form my Threshold chum, Michael Kirkham, who is the second most Googled Michael Kirkham on the planet, fact fans.
Edging our way past Camp & Furnace’s enormous bouncers, we sat down for a well earned rest and a little tipple while we listened to some good, old-school dance tunes. It was most definitely a night to remember.
Enormous thanks and congratulations go to everyone who pulled their guts out to make this year’s Light Night so, so good. You are all heroes in our eyes.
With apologies for the quality, here’s some pictures of the night. Can’t wait for next year.
Art Auction provides a unique opportunity to invest in Liverpool’s Artists and their work.
This Friday, 3rd May, Arena Studios and Gallery will host its 11th Annual Auction in association with Liverpool Art Month. Both established and newly emerging artists from a diverse range of disciplines have submitted work which will be sold at the auction in Elevator Café Bar, Parliament Street. And I for one will be there, paddle in hand!
Although it is officially stated as the 11th Annual Auction it is thought amongst many that throughout Arena’s 31 year history there have been many, many auctions and this could possibly be around the 26th. Auctioneer Paul O’Keeffe remembers that during one of the first Auctions in Arena’s old home in Duke Street, he was asked to sell and opened packet of digestive biscuits… and sell he did, thus beginning a long and illustrious career as Arena’s much loved Auctioneer.
The night is always exciting and the atmosphere electric as the bids rise higher and higher. So why not go along for a fantastic night’s entertainment, free bubbly and the chance to win some great art work from the finest artists living and working in Liverpool today?
Registration for the evening starts at 5pm and I’ll be looking forward to a free glass of bubbly when I register. The lovely Arena people also tell me that there’s curry and a drink on offer for £8.00.
There will be pieces from Tabitha Moses, 2013 Liverpool Art prize nominee, and from Tomo, Liverpool Art Peoples prize winner 2012. There’s also work from newly emerging as well as established artists, including a unique selection of 2D & 3D work, found objects and ceramics, traditional media, oil and acrylic paints, watercolours and pastels through to digital images and screen prints. There are not many places you will find such an incredible mix of art work all for sale.
So get down there, soak up the atmosphere, support local artists and hopefully go home with some brilliant original art. If you’re down there, do come over and say hello.
The 11th Arena Art Auction artwork will be on view in the Elevator Café Bar, 27 Parliament Street, Liverpool, L8 5RN, from Monday 29th April. The Auction opens Friday 3rd May at 5pm for registrations with a 7pm start to the bidding.