December 10, 2014

Artistically Gifted – A Last-Minute Guide

As usual, here you are scouring the interweb for some magical solution for the holiday shopping season, well look no further than AAC’s guide to last-minute (yet awesome) arts gifts! Whether you prefer to give handmade gifts or discover unforgettable, one-of-a-kind items, we have some great tips on choosing the right gift, a list of savvy and sophisticated DIY gifts, and we’ll put you on the trail to hunt down some great gifts this weekend!

Choosing Gifts

Having trouble thinking of the perfect holiday gift? Here are three tips to consider when trying to think of a great gift for someone:

1) Tailor the gift to the receiver’s interests. — Giving something of interest to the receiver demonstrates how well you know their personality.

Searching for a gift for an activist, environmentalist, artist, or other charitable champion? Giving a donation in honor of them is a great way to support a cause they care about.

2) Choose a gift that they will use. — Give something useful that the person will come back to often, remembering you each time they use it.

If you’re shopping for an artist, a membership to AAC will afford them discounts on classes all year long!

3) Get an item they would never get for themselves. — Give the gift of luxury.

happy gift-getterIt doesn’t have to be expensive, just something you know they love, but rarely buy.

Consider these tips while making your list, and your gifts will be received with joy and excitement!


Making Gifts

Gift-giving isn’t all about money! At AAC we love to share the joy of making and giving a handmade gift, so consider bringing the kids to our annual Gift Mania! Holiday Workshop to make a secret holiday gift for a loved one! Each year our awesome instructors come up with new projects to engage and inspire every student.

If you can’t make it to AAC this Saturday, we wanted to gift you with some great DIY ideas for anyone in your life. Check out these five fast projects:


Hand-Stenciled-Tea-Towel-Project-by-Lovely-IndeedHand-Stenciled Tea Towels — Make one-of-a-kind tea towels for the foodie in your family!

Make Time: one hour

Why we love it: Creative, simple, inexpensive, and useful! Plus, after parents do the cutting, kids can do the rest on their own, even design the stencils!

Great for: moms, grandparents, colleagues, tea-towel collectors


DIY Style: Monogrammed TotePersonalized Tote Bags — Plastic bags are bad for the environment, but this custom bag will keep your loved one shopping in style while looking out for the planet.

Make time: one hour

Why we love it: A truly impressive and genius way to use doilies!

Great for: moms, sisters, BFFs, people who love monogrammed items


Another-Kitchen-Tablet-Holder-Project-by-Mamie-JaneKitchen Tablet Holder — Learn recipes while watching classic episodes of Julia Child on PBS with this cute and clever tablet prop.

Make Time: 20 minutes (not counting time spent rummaging through your kids’ toy box)

Why we love it: This clever and creative person took simple, every day items and whipped up a functional and charming kitchen accessory!

Great for: burgeoning sous chefs


DIY paper clip earrings by With One Hand Waving FreePaperclip Earrings — For the fashion-forward girl in your life. This fun, and always different, earring set will have everyone asking who made them.

Make Time: 20 minutes

Why we love it: So much variety and freedom – plan the design before you begin, or freehand it!

Great for: accessory-lovers, daughters, cousins, sisters, teens, BFFs


DIY Watercolor Mug Caitlin of The MerrythoughtWatercolor Mug — Mugs are a great go-to gift, but why stop there? Personalize a set of mugs with patterns that evoke watercolored thoughts.

Make Time: 15 minutes

Why we love it: A simple technique creates unexpected designs. Make a set to give and to keep!

Great for: couples, dorm-mates, colleagues


Discover Unforgettable Gifts

ceramic vaseNo time to make gifts during this busy season? Love to give unique and meaningful gifts? Consider purchasing an item made by someone else’s hands!

The majority of the work on display at AAC is for sale, along with works made by our current Resident Artists. Prices vary but you’ll find original pieces by local and regional artists. Stop by the galleries and see what’s on view (hint: 2014 Fall SOLOS)!

For the adventurer-shopper in you, here are a few upcoming events that feature local artists and organizations. This year, we hope that you’ll consider purchasing handmade works from local artists and artisans. These makers are your neighbors, your friends, your colleagues and classmates – support them and give an unforgettable gift in this season!

DEC 11 Paper Ornament Workshop at Brentwood Arts Exchange

DEC 12  Under $500 Affordable Art Sale at Maryland Art Place

Dec 12 – 14, 19 – 21 Del Ray Artisans Market

DEC 13 Gift Mania! at Arlington Arts Center

DEC 14 GRUMP at Artisphere

DEC 14 KZ Sample Sale at Hamiltonian Gallery

DEC 15 DC9 Holiday Market Extravaganza


P.S. If you’re a firm believer that it’s better to give than to receive, please consider a giving a gift of any size to AAC today! Thank you for your generosity! This season and every season, we are truly grateful for individuals who choose to help us meet AAC’s mission of supporting emerging artists in Arlington, DC, and the Mid-Atlantic.
P.P.S. If you’re doing your holiday shopping at Amazon, consider using AmazonSmile instead. For every purchase you make, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to AAC. Support AAC every time you shopYou Shop. Amazon Gives to AAC!

An Adventure of Being

Extended to February 11, 2024

Smith & Meyer Galleries
Featured Artists: Vincent Cy Chen, Nicki Cherry, Jeremy Olson, and Stephanie J. Williams

An Adventure of Being explores blurred boundaries, physical breakdown, and states of in-between-ness. The painting, sculpture, and installations included in the exhibition incorporate materials and forms that bring to mind living beings.

2024 Art Classes for Kids, Teens, and Adults!

Register now! Classes begin January 21!

Whether you are giving the gift of creativity this year to a friend or family member, or you plan to set a new year’s resolution to get back into creating, sign up today to secure your spot in one of MoCA’s wonderful programs! From drawing and painting to ceramics and mixed media, you are sure to find an inspiring art class.

Zaq Landsberg: Reclining Liberty

August 5, 2023 - July 28, 2024

Front Lawn
MoCA Arlington and Arlington Public Art are thrilled to co-sponsor the installation of Zaq Landsberg’s celebrated Reclining Liberty on the Museum’s front lawn.

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