Do you have a hard-to-impress person on your Christmas list who needs an absolutely original gift under the tree? The object of your quest may be waiting for you at the WinterArts showcase 2014.

Many of your favorite local artisans are at the WinterArts 2014 showcase, produced by the ArtWorks Foundation of Memphis. Yes, this is one of the South’s premier holiday artists’ markets, but Greg Belz, executive director of ArtWorks, explains that this  extravaganza touches on much more than simply shopping. It is decidedly Southern, with an emphasis on supporting local artisans. Join us today as we share more about ArtWorks and its biggest event of the year, plus enjoy a sampling of the wonderful wares available at this year’s event.

Brigette Lang knitted, felted handbags | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Brigette Lang knitted, felted handbags, $145, with a range of other textile works starting at $45 | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Dorothy Northern necklace | Image courtesy of WinterArts

This necklace, $725, is by Memphis jewelry designer Dorothy Northern. She also has a range of other jewelry pieces starting at $35. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

What is ArtWorks?

The ArtWorks Foundation is a Memphis-based nonprofit focused on helping artists grow in their business. This foundation achieves its goals through programs, including exhibitions and public education. The WinterArts show is this organization’s longest running project, now in its sixth year! ArtWorks awards scholarships to area artists for advanced study workshops at schools for fine craft, such as the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and is working toward establishing an endowment to fund emergency relief grants designed to help area artists.

Dennis Paullus turned wood | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Woodturner Dennis Paullus of Arlington, Tenn., created this turned-wood bowl. $650 | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Bryan Blankenship decorative tile |  Image courtesy of WinterArts

Ceramic artist Bryan Blankenship of Memphis has tiles of many patterns and sizes. A small tile, like the one pictured here, is $25. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Cheryl Hazelton, walnut quilted table | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Cheryl Hazelton is a Memphis-based artisan who specializes in woodwork and marquetry. This walnut quilted wine table is $345. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

The 6th Annual WinterArts Showcase

Find handcrafted holiday gift ideas, all created by some of the region’s finest artists. See work crafted in glass, metal, wood, fiber and clay, plus jewelry and much more. WinterArts has functional art, as well as purely decorative pieces. Belz says the artists invited to participate in the show represent the highest level of skill and design ability in their medium, and the event favors local artists, as well as a few artists from other cities. “Artists from other Southern cities are invited in cases where a discipline is simply not practiced here (such as blown glass), or an artist of unapproachable accomplishment is willing to make the effort to join us,” he explains. WinterArts has welcomed up to 30 artisans in recent years, and this year they have grown to include 39!

Nancie Roark Brooch |  Image courtesy of WinterArts

This brooch, $320, designed by Nashville-based jeweler Nancie Roark, is one of her many jeweled items at the WinterArts event. Her pieces start at $35. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Becky Ziemer chicken lamp | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Becky Ziemer, a talented Memphis-based ceramics artist, has a fun assortment of decorative and functional accessories to choose from, such as this whimsical chicken lamp for $165. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Ridgewalker Glass by Teri Walker and Chad Rideway |  Image courtesy of WinterArts

These Ridgewalker Glass wine goblets by Teri Walker and Chad Ridgeway of New Orleans are $70 each. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Lisa Mergen painted silk and velvet clothing | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Nashville fiber artist Lisa Mergen creates one-of-a-kind painted silk and velvet clothing and accessories ranging from $29 to $325. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

WinterArts 2014 hours and location

Open daily through Christmas Eve, the show’s hours are Monday through Wednesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Besides offering later shopping hours on Friday evenings, WinterArts also uses the occasion to stage weekly receptions that provide an opportunity to meet and raise a toast to the artists who participate in the monthlong show.

WinterArts is located in The Shops of Saddle Creek (on the center’s north side, next door to J.Crew and facing the Apple Store).

Ben Caldwell NutBowl with Antler Stand | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Coppersmith Ben Caldwell, also based in Nashville, is at this year’s WinterArts show, but you can also shop the Ben Caldwell collection locally and year round at Memphis’ Social. This nut bowl with antler stand is $590. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Helene Fielder teapot | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Helene Fielder is a ceramics artist based in Booneville, Miss. This exquisite teapot, $450, is but one example of her work. Her ceramic masterpieces emphasize variety in function and design, and are available in several sizes and price points starting at $12. | Image courtesy of WinterArts

Coming this spring, art2wear by ArtWorks

Stay tuned … Another of ArtWorks’ annual projects is art2wear! This is an expo of wearable art: handcrafted jewelry, apparel and accessories, featuring everything wearable from artisan-made hats to handcrafted hosiery, from tiaras to toe rings! Fine craft and fashion come together at art2wear, and these events will amp up again in spring 2015. Its schedule includes expo events in Memphis, as well as in neighboring Southern cities.

Watch StyleBlueprint Memphis Happenings for the local times and places of art2wear 2015, as well as innumerable other happenings you won’t want to miss!