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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A piece of Davis for the holiday

Get ready folks, the holiday season is near. You can hear the jolly bells ringing and smell the inviting scent of peppermint sprigs and cinnamon in the air.

This week, continue this joyful spirit with Davis Art Center’s annual holiday sale featuring handcrafted art and food by local artists and residents in the Davis-Sacramento area.

Like most holidays, the true meaning of being in holiday spirit can often get lost in the overly commercialized shopping malls and corporate mass production. Instead, Davis Art Center is localizing their event with familiar faces and prominent figures of the Davis and Sacramento art community, of which all artwork is handcrafted and organically made by the artists themselves. This year features 70 artisan booths, including 14 new vendors.

“There are a lot of local artists, small business owners and people from the Bay Area,” said Melanie Glover, administrative and publicity assistant of Davis Art Center and a UC Davis alumna. “This is the epitome of Davis – small-town, local and small-business orientated.”

Among notable figures in the Davis art community, Tony Natsoulas will be present at one of the booths. He will sell his wall art and fish ceramic sculptures of his distinguished funk art style.

“Natsoulas makes funk art which is satirical and out-there with bright colors, which is really prominent to the art history of Davis” Glover said. “You know you’ll be buying someone something you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a piece of Davis.”

Another prominent artist of the Davis art community is Heidi Bekebrede, who has been a Davis resident for the past 30 years and teaches ceramic classes at Davis Art Center. Bekebrede said Cuteware, her brand of ceramics, creates cheerful, bright ceramic sculptures that embody the whimsical and humorous work of the 1930s merry melodies era. Bekebrede is a regular vendor and participator of Davis Art Center annual holiday sale.

“This is best sale because of the atmosphere,” Bekebrede said. “It’s very cozy because of the volunteer effort to put the event on. The same people that have put it on for years and years [have] got it right.”

Other artisan booths include a variety of sentimental treasures that vary from hand-knitted sweaters, socks and cardigans by Nancy England to hand-weaved scarves made by Verena Borton (both of whom teach at Davis Art Center). Paintings, pottery and jewelry such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets will also be sold.

According to Mayumi Keilman, Operations Manager of the Davis Art Center, all vendors and artwork had to go through a selective screening process.

“We want art, high-quality stuff,” Keilman said. “We try to have a balance and that’s why we have a screening to balance everything.”

Still, a lot of the artwork and items sold will be affordable to students. Adding to the festivities and fun of the holiday spirit, Bekebrede will offer discounts of up to 15 percent if someone can sing a verse of her original song, “The Davis Song,” to her.

As a private and non-profit organization, the holiday sale is Davis Art Center’s primary fundraiser of the year. It is intended to fuel their music and art programs. So come and begin your holiday season and enjoy home-made soups, espresso and plenty of great artwork made by your local community.

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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