Smile Politely

Shop these local holiday art markets this season

If you are the kind of shopper that likes to know where your money goes, and who and what it supports, this list is for you. By shopping at Champaign-Urbana holiday art markets, you’re supporting local artists and makers during their last big push before winter. By boosting the shop local signal, you’re also introducing friends and families to a wide variety of local talent. And that’s a gift that keeps on giving. From annual Downtown favorites, to maker open houses, this list offers plenty of opportunities to make your gift giving artful and locally sourced.

Champaign-Urbana Winter Farmers Market

Fall and winter florals. Photo from the C-U Winter Farmers Market Facebook page.

Photo from the C-U Winter Farmers Market Facebook page.

Flowers, wreaths, desserts, jams and jellies all make great gifts for your holiday hosts. Plus there’ll be fine art, blown glass, and more for friends, family, and of course, yourself. 

Champaign-Urbana Winter Farmers Market 
Lincoln Square Mall
November 26th to April 23rd, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Fire Doll Holiday Open House 

Three stacks of candles resembling stacks of pancakes. Photo by V Mullen Media.

Photo by V Mullen Media.

When a local artist or maker holds an open house, it’s not just a chance to shop their goods, it’s a chance to see them in their natural habitat, to see how they work, and to ask questions about process and product. A holiday open house at Fire Doll Studio is bound to feel like a delicious smelling hug from the Fire Doll herself, the multitalented Kayla Brown. Candles always make great gifts and how can you go wrong with one that smells like lemon pound cake?

Fire Doll Holiday Open House
110 S Neil St
November 26th, 5 to 9 p.m.

Small Biz Saturday + 1 Year Anniversary Holiday Party

Holidays gifts in cloth covered leather hamper with berries and garland and red ribbons. Photo from the Facebook event page.

Photo from the Facebook event page.

Hosted by the beekeepers at The HIVE by Maple Street Garden in honor of their first anniversary, the residents of local arts and makers at Sagamon + Main are planning a Small Business Saturday celebration. Honey filled cupcakes and soap from the Beekeeper’s Wife? Please and thank you. 

Small Biz Sat & 1 Year Anniversary Holiday Party
Sagamon + Main
601 E Main St
November 26th, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mistletoe Market 

Two ceramic v-shaped cups with dainty red and teal flowers.

Photo from ceramic artist Liza Wynette’s Facebook page.

Since its start almost eight years ago, The Mistletoe Market has continued to grow. This year it features two dates, two locations, and 40+ of C-U’s finest artists and makers. The Mistletoe Market is organized by NORDEN German Design Studio with support for collaborators Champaign Center Partnership and 40 North. If you’re only going to shop one market, make sure it’s this one. 

Mistletoe Market

Lincoln Square Mall
December 3rd, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Venue CU
15 E Main St
December 18th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lisa Kesler Holiday Color Studio Sale 

An abstract painting with organic and geometric shapes in warm earthy hues. Photo from the Lisa Kesler Studio Facebook page.

Photo from the Lisa Kesler Studio Facebook page.

If you haven’t been inside printmaker Lisa Kesler’s new studio you’re in for a treat. Kesler will be hosting guest artists Jenny Elkins, Sarah Shoot, and Staci Sterenberg. Shop from a variety of potholders, prints, jewelry, and paintings. Stay tuned to the Facebook event page for updated photos.  

Lisa Kesler Holiday Color Studio Sale
408 N Carson Ave
December 10th + 11th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Station Theatre Holiday Pop-Up Market

A caterpillar shaped glass ornament. Photo from Glassology's Instagram.

Photo from Glassology’s Instagram.

Now in its second year, the Station Theatre’s holiday market pop-up features work by Funtime Bootleg Toys, Glassology, Slowphase Clay, Chic Babe Creations — Defense Keychains, Jess Hogan, and Kate Gruenberg. Enjoy raffle prizes, ornament making, music, and food from Watson’s Food Truck. Hang out with the local theatre nerds and pick up gifts from this unique group of artists and makers. 

Station Theatre Holiday Pop-Up Market
Station Theatre
223 N Broadway Ave
December 17th, 5 to 7 p.m.

Top photo from ceramic artist Liza Wynette’s Facebook page.

Arts Editor

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