Durango holiday art markets: Get creative with your holiday shopping and leave Walmart, Amazon out of it

by Patty Templeton

OH CRAP. Tis the season of finding gifts that don’t suck and don’t break the bank. Sure, you could feed the ever-growing beast that is Amazon, OR! you could shop local. There are a plethora of art markets upcoming in Durangolandia to snatch up stocking stuffers and heavy-hitter, hell-yeah presents.

“If someone says, ‘Eh, I can get a better deal on Amazon,’” said Tim Kapustka, co-owner of Studio & Gallery, “Well, that might be true but that gift certainly won’t be made by someone’s hands who you got to look in the eye. One of the things I love about (Studio &’s) Bizarre Bazaar, and I think is also true of the Winter Solstice Artisans Market and most of Durango’s art markets, is that you get to interact with the people who made the thing … You have a bond, even though it is a brand new one, and that puts a weight behind the gift. You give your mom some jewelry that a new friend of yours made and it’s already special to her because it is a nice piece of jewelry and it came from you, but then you get to add to the experience by saying, ‘Oh my gosh, my friend Carol made this,’ and then there is a story behind it. There is still value to connection and story.”

With local art markets, you aren’t giving a bullshit, last minute, Walgreens gift someone doesn’t really want. “If you ‘have to buy’ six gifts,” said Kapustka, “you can go to Walmart or Amazon and buy crap that could be in the landfill in six months. Or you can say, ‘I have to buy six gifts, and there’s six artists I really admire in this town … At the holidays, sometimes people are giving each other things with the attitude of, ‘Hey, YOU throw this away.’ Whether it’s our mother, sibling, or friend. That sucks. That is consumerism and stuffism.” Instead of giving a random lavender-scented soap set or re-gifting that boxed set of Arizona truckstop hot sauces, you can use that 10 bucks to support a local creator. “Why not use it not for ‘that thing that the internet is telling me to get,’ but as an excuse to buy art from someone that you might not have bought art from before but always admired,” said Kapustka.

Another bonus of buying local: your money stays in Durango. Sales tax does everything from fund the library to making sure all those alleys eventually get paved.

Buying local is also about having a physical experience. “In the time that we’re talking,” said Kapustka, “I could do all of my Christmas shopping on my phone and have it here in two days. That’s a fact, but I don’t want to do that. I want to grab a basket and wander through the Bizarre Bazaar and find three things that I didn’t know existed and talk to the people who made them.”

Here’s the upcoming holiday art markets that can next-level your holiday gifts and shopping experience. Many open on Noel Night, Friday, Dec. 1. For deets, hit up www.facebook.com/LocalFirstLaPlata.

One day onlyHoliday Cheer Open Studio with No-Wow and Colors of the Earth5-8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1., 862 Main Ave., Suite 219

Open studio with hand-dyed wearables and affordable, handmade couture.

Artisan Market4:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1., Leland House & Rochester Hotel, 726 East 2nd Ave.

Eight artists display jewelry, photography, and more.

St. Columba Christmas Bazaar8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2., St. Columba Parish, 1801 East 3rd Ave.

Over 35 vendors sell handcrafted goods, like stained glass, quilts, and wreaths.

Holiday Craft Bazaar10-3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2., Senior Center, 2424 Main Ave.

Crafters take over the Senior Center.

St. Mark’s Christmas Bazaar9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2., St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 910 East 3rd Ave.

A gaggle of local crafters and artisans display their wares.

Holiday Farmers Market 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9., La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave.

Local artisans with handmade foods and gifts

Weekend to extended runOld Fashioned Christmas Bazaar 5-7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1 and 9-3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1., Animas Museum, 3065 West 2nd Ave.

Crafters aplenty at the Animas Museum

Fifth Annual Bizarre BazaarOpen from (most days) 10-6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 9., Studio & Gallery, 1027 Main Ave.

Everything from low-cost, quirky coloring books to fine art oil paintings by 25 local artists.

43rd Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 3., La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave.

Four Corners’ crafters and artists’ showcase.

Winter Solstice Artisans Market 10 a.m.-5p.m., through Saturday, Dec. 23., Durango Arts Center, 802 East Second Ave.

DAC features 40 high-quality, regional artists. Open from

Patty Templeton


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