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Fuller Lodge Art Center: The Affordable Arts Sales offers a variety of gifts

It’s an Indoor Holiday Bazaar at the Art Center
’Tis the season to go shopping. At many stores, one can expect to see the same kinds of things year after year, increasing the challenge of finding the perfect gift. Things are different at Fuller Lodge Art Center’s Affordable Arts sale, where there are always new artists joining the mix of regional artists, who share their artistic manifestations of what they believe makes the perfect gift.
This year, 33 new artists join the 98 regular Gallery Shop artists, to offer gifts for everyone, with all prices at $250 or less. There are many things for sale at less than $100. These artists are driven to produce and nothing makes them happier than knowing their art will be shared and loved by others.
For the Affordable Arts sale, the artists search their creativity to come up with work that will fit well into others’ lives.  When preparing for Affordable Arts, Gallery Manager Amy Bjarke specifically looks for things that will make good gifts — from the functional to the quirky. Functional items include things like  pottery and hand-tooled pens, cards and clothing. Quirky means whatever will tickle one’s fancy and make them smile. Melted record mirror anyone?
This year, potter Barbara Yarnell has designed a new line of pottery with a blue-flower motif reminiscent of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Yarnell’s iris designs and mesa designs have long been favorites of visitors and locals alike. Her new work might be appealing can  brighten up anyone’s cupboard.
The functional sometimes also falls in the quirky category. Deborah Stone-Richards who is living in Los Alamos for only a few months, produces a line of clothing called Revamp, which recycles old clothing into new designs. Her long jackets may be cobbled together from an assortment of other well-loved pieces, but the resulting look is brand new. She also has a series of cloth scarves, which can provide a fresh look on a cold winter day.
Wearable can be a fine investment, since it’s shared and appreciated every time it’s worn. A mother-daughter duo have both entered the show, with a variety of knitted wraps, scarves and shawls. Jeanne Robinson shared her love of yarn arts with her daughter Elise Koskelo, and now the two enter crafts shows together. Although Koskelo is still in high school, her pieces reflect the quality of a person with years of experience.
Konecki also knits, offering a variety of “texting” gloves. These gloves are more like mittens that leave fingertips free to type or do other work, while still providing warmth. These can be a solution for those cold evenings when you wrap up in a blanket but keep your hands out to hold a book.
To top off any outfit, pick up one of Menolda Bakker’s finely crafted hats. Bakker is a professional milliner and offers hats year ’round. For the winter season, find faux-fur trimmed hats among the collection.
For the holidays, Bakker has also created a series of cards this year, which feature fabric from the Santa Fe Opera. Having volunteered at the opera for many years sewing costumes, Bakker has had the opportunity to collect scraps of many fabrics, which she makes into collages on the front of the cards.
Artist Elizabeth Faust shares her “paper lights” for the first time in Los Alamos. Faust molds handmade paper into a variety of forms. Faust uses glass candleholders with leaves pressed against the inside surface, so that when not lit, they show just a hint of the leaf, but when the candle burns, the leaf shows in full silhouette. Faust also shapes paper into lampshades in unusual forms, from seashell waveforms to paper lanterns stitched with twigs.
Bill Hamilton, Also new to the Los Alamos art scene, offers cutting boards and wood items. After pursuing woodwork as a hobby for 40 years,
Hamilton is now retired and enjoying many more hours in his wood shop. Hamilton carefully selects woods for his New Mexico shaped cutting boards, each featuring an inset piece to mark Los Alamos location in the state.
Of course, every seasonal show needs holiday ornaments, and the Art center’s Affordable Arts has a selection. Arlene Mansfield’s stained glass angels with cornhusk wings capture the enchantment of New Mexico, and her hand painted ornaments feature Southwestern motifs.
Doris Jackson has again created a variety of ornaments, including decorative suede hearts, folded paper bulbs and angels.
Kathryn Blackmun’s ceramic ornaments are whimsical, with smiling cats (and a few dogs) wearing colorful seasonal hats.
These, as well as other ornaments, and all the Affordable Art offerings are displayed throughout the gallery.
Fuller Lodge Arts Center is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, but often keeps the doors open later and will open on Sundays through December.
Some of the artwork can be seen at fullerlodgeartcenter.com/Affordable2012. For more information, call 662-1635.