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Gift Gallery, new exhibit open at Depot

Gifts that reflect a personal touch -- all are hand made -- will be featured at the Red Wing Arts Association's annual Gift Gallery, which opens Nov. 28 at the Depot on Levee Street.

A new exhibit opens the same day -- "A New Artistic Creation." The spotlight is on new works by member artists.

Arts Director Dan Guida said there will be an especially wide selection of the items that have been most popular in recent months -- jewelry and cards.

"With the economy like it is," he said, many people are looking for gifts that are affordable yet creative.

"We have had many jewelry artists join the RWAA this year," he said. They have brought in earrings, rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and cufflinks. Gemstones, natural stones and handmade glass beads are favored.

Cards have been a hit, Guida noted, including cards that feature local artwork - photographs of local scenes, Santa and Christmas decorations, plus paintings and drawings. Some of those scenes also are available on magnets and bookmarks.

To mail those cards, Guida suggested Herb Fritzke's "art stamps." He combined replicas of some of his original prints with authorized U.S. stamps, which can be used to send mail. An art stamp, including a first-class forever stamp, is $1.

Betsy Bowen, popular illustrator of children's books, is offering both cards and a 2009 calendar filled with her woodcuts.

Books also are featured this year, including the new Marcy Doyle book on Red Wing. Guida expects the children's books by member artists to be popular:

• "Magic Dragonsoruses" by Kathy and Shanna Klein of Ellsworth.

• "The Four of Us," which is both a storybook and a coloring book, by Monica Foley of Red Wing.

• "Dugan Peckles Through the Manhole" and "Dugan Peckles and the Keeper of the Crystal Flame" by Sly Pepper of Cottage Grove, Minn.

• "Family Vacations May Be Hazardous to Your Health" and "Barefoot, Shoefoot" by Mary Clare Lockman of Roseville, Minn.

The member art show, "A New Artistic Creation," will be in the Vogel Gallery. According to Guida, all member artists were invited to submit two items that "reflect what they currently are doing, artistically."

For some, that means new works in a familiar style; for others, it means branching out into new directions.

The association has more than 100 artist members. He expects 25 to 30 to bring in new works.

A public reception for the artists will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 4.

The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.