The Hippo


Aug 23, 2019








Mona Lisa pillowcase, available at the Currier Museum of Art gift shop. Courtesy photo.

Where to go art shopping

If the mall’s not your thing, here are some places you can find locally made art without the crazy parking lots, all which have curated shows or items aimed specifically at December gift-giving.
• Currier Museum of Art Shop, 150 Ash St., Manchester, 669-6144,, which contains a curated selection of art gifts and items related to the museum’s latest show
• Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, 236 Hopkinton Road, Concord, 226-2046,, features “Artful Gift Giving” now through Dec. 24, a curated selection of fine art and crafts
Studio 550, 550 Elm St., Manchester, 232-5597,, which features its 4th Annual Cup Show and Sale and its WCA-NH 6x6 Panel Scholarship Fundraiser
The Wild Salamander Arts Center, 30 Ash St., Hollis, 465-WILD,, features “Good Things Come in Small Packages”
Intown Manchester’s Downtown Holiday Market, Brady Sullivan Plaza, 1000 Elm St., Manchester, Thursdays, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Craftworkers’ Guild Holiday Craft Shop, Oliver Kendall House, Meetinghouse Road, Bedford,, which contains Guild gifts now through Dec. 22
The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen has locations in Concord (36 N. Main St., Concord, 228-8171), Hooksett (I-93 rest area, 210-5181) and Nashua (98 Main St., Nashua, 595-8233)

Artsy gifts
What to give the artist or art-lover in your life

By Kelly Sennott

 Most people can’t get the artists in their lives Hamilton tickets or Paris trips to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum — but a Mona Lisa pillowcase? Totally doable.

We reached out to New Hampshire artists for tips to help you with your 2016 holiday shopping, and they produced a variety of unique ideas, from a portable steam inhaler (for actors and singers) to restored typewriters (for writers). 
Buy art
When it comes to art shopping, take into consideration how well you know the person you’re shopping for. One option is to forego surprises and bring your friend or family member into a gallery to pick something out. Another is to go for the gift card.
“If you know the person well, and you know they’d love that painting, then go for it, but you could also give them a gift certificate so they can buy something they like,” said Pam Tarbell, owner of the Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden.
The gift card could also be to a local art supplies shop so your friends or family members can buy the tools and supplies they want and need, or an art supplies subscription (like the one run and tested by local artists Tony and Kim Luongo, for a regular incoming of quality tools. If you have your heart set on getting something physical, Tarbell suggested something like utilitarian pottery, which is beautiful and practical.
Buy art-inspired gifts
If you or your loved one is a regular at the Currier Museum of Art, you could check out its museum shop, which right now contains White Mountain-related merchandise to coincide with its current exhibition, “Mount Washington: The Crown of New England,” on view through Jan. 16. There are catalogues, books, glass quills, art prints reproduced on magnets, birch bark jewelry and a variety of toys and knickknacks you won’t find anywhere else. 
Heidi Norton, manager of guest experiences and retail at the museum, curates the shop to be full of locally-made work, and she’s constantly switching things up to maintain an eclectic selection of metal, glass, fiber, visual and other arts. She pointed to hand-carved pens by Kay and Bill St. Onge and jewelry by Joan Major, who imports her beads from Italy. 
There are art-themed calendars, playing and note cards and coloring books with reproductions of famous works by artists like Maxfield Parrish, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. For some art-themed dreams, go for the Mona Lisa pillowcase, which features her face on the front and the back of her head on the back.
“Lots of people into art found that pretty tongue-in-cheek to give to somebody,” Norton said via phone.
If you’re heading to the bookstore, Gibson’s Bookstore owner Michael Herrmann suggested The Art Book by Phaidon Press, an A-to-Z guide to the world’s greatest painters and sculptors. Younger artists might enjoy art puzzles and trivia games, like BrainBox: Art and the Professor Noggin’s History of Art card game, said Heather Roy, who works in the Gibson’s Bookstore kids’ section.
Buy for theater and film gurus
Local composer and NH Theatre Factor founder Joel Mercier suggested a month’s worth of voice lessons for the thespians in your life — lessons, he said, present a chance for actors to learn more about their voices and add new songs to their audition repertoire. Other ideas, courtesy of Mercier, include erasable highlighters (which come in handy when you’re memorizing lines) or a portable steam inhaler, which you can buy at any pharmacy.
“Breathing steam is the best thing you can do for your voice if it’s tired during a tech week or a long run of a show,” Mercier said in an email.
Herrmann said the bookstore recently got some texts that film fanatics will favor, like The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop by Richard M. Isackes and Karen L. Maness, a coffee table book about painted backdrops and scenic artists in featured films, including The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music. For your Godfather-obsessed friend or relative, get The Godfather Notebook, a never-before-published edition of Francis Ford Coppola’s notes and annotations on The Godfather novel by Mario Puzo.
Buy for writers
The easiest gift for a writer is probably a gift card to a local bookstore, but if you’re looking for something a little more creative and experiential, Rob Greene, chair of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, said to get your loved one a ticket to Writers’ Day 2017, which happens April 1 and features workshops, presentations and noted authors like Ann Hood and Bill Littlefield ( 
For something even more extravagant, you could shoot for the moon with a summer writers’ retreat at Murphy Writing/Stockton University in Sunapee ( 
Other ideas courtesy of Greene include a restored typewriter from RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, a subscription to Journal of the Month (each month you get a different literary journal in the mail, or a copy of The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel by Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, which was published in September. 

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