Have you ever wanted to give someone an original work of art for Christmas but couldn't afford the steep prices? You may be in luck this year, as many of Raleigh's galleries are keeping holiday shoppers in mind by offering shows with affordable artwork. In addition to that, many have holiday-themed subject matter (such as ArtSource's on-going Santa show), so it will be impossible to ignore Christmas in the coming weeks.
Opening at Rebus Works is Stacey Kirby's A Salt Revenue II and the group exhibit Via Penland, both running through Jan. 15. Kirby, a UNC-CH graduate, explores the borders and boundaries with which we limit ourselves with this dioramic installation. Representing the Berlin Wall and war in Iraq using three-dimensional space and photographs, Kirby makes us question whether walls are used to keep things in or keep them out, and shows how borders obstruct our view and thought. Kirby is known for her intricate, handmade books, ranging from pincushion books to self-stitched paper journals. She is also the residential artist at BLAM! Studios, next door to Rebus Works.
Simultaneously paying tribute to Penland School of Crafts ( www.penland.org ) and celebrating Rebus Works' one-year anniversary, Via Penland features works by many Penland artists. Teachers, students and area residents ranging from Lisa Colby, Ipso Facto and many, many others exhibit various media from books, ceramics, glass, metals and iron to photography, printmaking, textiles and wood.
Rebus Works is located at 301-2 Kinsey St., off of South Boylan. 754-8452 or www.rebusworks.net .
Firefly presents The Small Show, a group exhibit of impressive artists featuring "reasonably priced pieces." The show includes ceramics, photography, prints, paintings and mixed media from artists such as Ben Bridgers, Dani Deeg, Annette Gates and Firefly owner Ashley Worley. Whether your taste lies in pop-culture printmaking or hand-painted plates, the show is worth checking out. Running through Dec. 31 at 605 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 821-4536 or www.fireflync.com .
Lee Hansley Gallery presents another affordable option with One Hundred Under 500, running through Dec. 31. Browse through this annual holiday exhibition featuring over 100 works of art priced under $500. The exhibit includes ceramics by artists like Rae Dunn of San Francisco; work by narrative photographic collaborators Lisa Morton and Diane Amato of Durham; fiber work by Dee Blackerby of Raleigh; and photographic light boxes by Jonathan Courtland of Durham. Many other genres such as paintings, wax sculptures, photographs, drawings, mixed media, sculpture, prints and jewelry are also featured. For more detailed information and a complete list of the artists, visit www.leehansleygallery.com . 225 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 828-7557.
At Lump Gallery is Shacked Up: Breadwinners, Homewreckers, and the Myth of the American Dream, featuring new work from Brooklyn's Cannonball Press ( www.cannonballpress.com ), founded by Martin Mazorra and Mike Houston in 2000. Cannonball offers high-quality printmaking at affordable prices and produces black and white relief cuts, letterpress prints, silk-screens and occasional lithographs--some delightfully vulgar and entertaining. Shacked Up displays prints, the all-new "Box O' Chicken print portfolio," large scale woodcuts on banners, hand-printed and hand-painted signs, furniture, jewelry boxes, apparel and novelties. Running through Dec. 26 at 505 S. Blount St., Raleigh. 821-9999 or www.lumpgallery.com . (Note: Lump Gallery will close throughout January, so check out their last show before hibernation!)
If you like Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Animation and Fine Art Galleries is presenting original production cels and drawings from the 1966 cartoon in The Grinch! The show runs through Dec. 31 at University Mall, 201 S Estes Drive, Chapel Hill. 968-8008 or www.animationandfineart.com .
Also in Chapel Hill, Somerhill Gallery will host holiday art through January 2005 in its Holiday Art Exhibition. 1800 E. Franklin St. 968-8868 or www.somerhill.com .
In Carrboro, Branch Gallery presents an affordable holiday art show entitled Coloring Book from Dec. 10-22, with black and white line drawings by 55 artists from across the country. The book release party features live music by Fan Modine and will be held Saturday, Dec.18 from 6-9 p.m. 205 W. Weaver St. 918-1116 or www.branchgallery.com .
And finally, the Durham Arts Council will hold its ArtsAlive! reception on Thursday, Dec. 16, from 5-7 p.m. The event celebrates DAC's 50th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the Emerging Artists Program, which provides financial support to unestablished artists or artists wishing to move into a new direction. The Emerging Artists Retrospective will feature a collection of previous grant winners in the Allenton and Semans Galleries and Pavilion; the Emerging Artists Annual Awards Ceremony will be held Jan. 14, 2005, at 6 p.m. 120 Morris St., Durham. 560-2713 or www.durhamarts.org .