Where to Buy Art for Christmas

Maybe you’re seeking out locally handmade gifts that are unique and/or one-of-a-kind. Perhaps you’re interested in seizing on a great opportunity to enhance your own personal art collection. Either way this weekend is definitely the best time to be a prospective art-buyer in Baltimore.

Artists are just like all other folks: they’ve got bills to pay and holiday expenses to meet. They’re also no different from other businesses this time of year: they put inventory on sale because they want to move it and they know there’s a giant wave of discretionary consumer spending going on. This weekend five events will pop up around Baltimore which are worthy of note. Besides what’s listed here, any and every artist or art organization will be eager to collect your holiday dollars, so the time to do a bit of bargaining and get a price on a piece of art will never be better. Here’s what to look for this weekend.

Bromo Seltzer Tower Open Studio Tours Sat 12/14 This barely qualifies as a special event because the tower is actually open every Saturday from 11-4. But this weekend they’re calling it a holiday bazaar. Enhance the experience by taking a $5 tour of the clock room and stopping by the Inner Harbor’s German Christmas Market.

Charm City Craft Mafia’s Holiday Heap Sat 12/14 Returning to 2640 Space this Saturday from 10-5, the annual Holiday Heap is always a good bet for craft with a bit of an edge. Vendors include Bmore Papercuts, Bmore Print Studios, Red Prairie Press and more, with some proceeds going to benefit makestudio.org.

Current Space Art Market Sat & Sun 12/14-15 Perhaps not the cute and functional gifts you’d find at some other locations, Current’s offerings are still worth a look. They’ll open their doors at 421 N. Howard St this weekend from 11-6. Of course they’re just a few blocks from the Bromo Seltzer Tower, making it easy to see both.

MICA’s Holiday Art Market Wed-Fri 12/11-13 Taking place in the Brown Center building, MICA’s Holiday Art Market offers a little bit of everything. Whether your tastes run more toward the cute and crafty or highbrow fine art there will be something here for you. With submissions by students, alumni, faculty and staff the quality and prices span a broad spectrum. 11-7 Thursday and Friday, 10-6 Saturday.

MAP’s Under $500 event Fri 12/13 This is perhaps the most interesting event on this list. Unfortunately the Chop’s current budget has us out of the art market at the moment, but if we had been working instead of slacking off all Summer we’d gladly pay the $40 advance admission ($50 at the door) for a chance to buy up some presumably very high quality art at very reasonable prices. $500 sounds like a lot, but do you know what it even costs to frame a normal size painting or photo? About half of that. Sometimes a $500 price tag is a steal.