The Art Gift So what do you want for Christmas? The perennial lament of those bereft of guidance from a creative thought is answered here; a menu of possibilities which have hash tags of unique, made by hand, bespoke, individual and highly desireable. All those featured have honed their stock, presenting artefacts that should solve a wide array of Christmas dilemmas, with works that would fit ina nursery, a teenage bedroom, a new house, anold house, or be for the singular, or coupled, quite young or gently aged. Starting at age zero, a gift of anartist-signed limited edition original print can fall into a broad affordable price range. You can find well known names, working on wood block or lino, giving bold, graphic iconic imagery, striking on the eye for a child and which is likely to be kept beyond a generation. (Note that some galleries will ask artists to personally inscribe messages and attributions on prints if appropriate). Images for individuals are constant reminders of the giver and the sentiment, here the choice is entirely personal too; from gender specific to abstract or figurative (most galleries will do anafter seasonswap or like for like if you are uncertain). New houses are ripe for the decorative impact of a signature painting which again gives great scope for the reinforcement of known peccadillos of the style and outlook of the intended recipients; while larger works canstretch a budget, that budget canbe stretched further by credit. Many galleries are part of the art money service Own Art, which enables a significant purchase to be afforded. If not ondisplay ask if there are ‘terms’ available, that is if you want to be carried away with largesse. ‘ All those featured here have honed their stock, presenting work that should solve a wide array of Christma s dilemmas ’ on the COVER Jim Malone Footed Bottle squared, brushed slip with iron painting, £825. Goldmark Gallery Paintings imbued with life can lift spirits and confinement, locale will give galleries a knowledge of local artists’ work (living or dead) making them, the gallery, anally inthe search for a work that will provide a different window on holidays remembered or lifetime’s view from a former home. Everyone here has websites listed and will arrange carriage of pictures – email and the telephone could liberate a gift from one part of the country and help it land in another. And don’t forget the third dimension – the unique pot, the original sculpture, the book, the hand made applied art objects, portable and versatile in presence. The gallery experience is invariably styled with the inclusion of these smaller works inthe round, sited on furniture and shelves. If not a speciality of the gallerist, when they will otherwise be stocked specifically with more thanone example of anartist’s work to enjoy, do look at and buy. Similarly there are galleries that become more like emporia at Christmas and emporia that become more like galleries – here included are framers and art material suppliers, the latter present themselves as wonderful places to indulge in colour and paper fantasies for your artist friends and perhaps introduce or rekindle a talent in the very young or the very old and not forgetting ‘Mr In Between’. So you have it, the picture or the object – don’t forget the frame or the plinth, commission it yourself or arrange a line of credit with a framer (a voucher) and give it as or with the gift. The grand finale for us all is the wrap; chaps, a picture or an object ina box or voucher inan envelope is a doddle. Ladies canadd the ribbon. . . Paul Hooper 6 GALLERIES CHRISTMAS 2016