The original, much shorter/ edited version of this piece appeared in the Sunday, November 25 Baltimore Sun A&E Art Gift Guide. Since they chopped my list in half, I thought I would share it, in it’s entirety, with Bmoreart’s readers.

Holiday gifts are a challenge for even the most experienced shopper. Everyone wants to choose an item that is thoughtful, original, and inspired, but it’s rare to find that special something in the usual shopping places. This year, more than ever, there is a growing emphasis placed on goods which are locally sourced and produced, items which actually help to grow the local economy and create employment for your friends and neighbors. If you’re already feeling confounded reading this, don’t worry. The perfect holiday solution is buying artwork by local artists.

Baltimore is literally bursting at the seams with a growing number of arts centers, studios, and communities, as well as a burgeoning indie craft scene, so there are numerous options for all styles and price points. This vast array is terrific, but can make your search overwhelming. Where to get started? To narrow it down, I have compiled a list of several of my favorite local artists who create inspiring, amazing, and rather inexpensive work. Purchasing high quality, local art will not only endear you to your friends and family for one day of the year – it’s a gift that continues to keep giving, a special memory that lasts year after year.

“Big Foot” Painting on Hand-cut Masonite Panel by Andrew Liang. Andrew Liang’s colorful, whimsical creatures are intricately beautiful, and hilarious. My son loves the blue and orange tiger in his bedroom. Liang’s creations typically range from ten to twenty inches and are priced so low, his shows usually sell out. The paintings are available in a wide variety of subjects, from cowboys to mice driving racecars to big fat cats. $50 – $75. Contact the artist at andrewbilly@gmail.com / Artist Website: http://www.andrew-liang.com.

“Untitled” Screenprinted Monoprints by Jordan Bernier. Bernier’s bold, graphic prints are based on traditional quilting patterns and will smarten up any room. Each highly detailed abstraction is one of a kind because the artist combines screen printing with monoprinting, to create highly ordered hierarchies of color. $180 each, 30×22 inches, unframed. Nudashank Gallery. 405 W. Franklin Street 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201. 443-415-2139. www.nudashank.com. / Artist website: jordanbernier.com.

“Atrayente” (Attractive) Collage on Paper by Emily C-D. This artist is the consummate recycler – she collects images and objects in her travels from Baltimore to Mexico, and transforms them into highly memorable pieces of art. In her recent exhibition at Loyola College, C-D exhibited huge three-dimensional assemblages and tiny paper collages, like this one. $280, 19×24 inches, unframed. For purchasing, contact the artist directly at shout@emilycd.com / Artist Website: www.emilycd.com.

“Jacob’s Ladder” Intaglio Monoprint by Oletha DeVane. The artist creates one of a kind prints at local print atelier Sol Print Studios. Each image incorporates a variety of symbolic imagery from Greek Mythology, The Bible, and Yoruba Religions to create mythical narratives that link the physical and spiritual worlds. $500 each, unframed. For purchasing, contact the artist at oletha@olethadevane.com or 443-538-6221./ Artist website: www.olethadevane.com.

“White Lines” Mixed Media Painting by Alex Ebstein. This abstract painting combines yarn, paint, and colored pencil into a subtly colored swirling pattern. The three-dimensionality of the surface creates a unique optical sensation and Ebstein’s recent solo exhibition at sophiajacob, a local gallery, featured a variety of her intimate-sized designs in sophisticated, earthy tones. $200. 12×8 inches. sophiajacob (gallery). 510 W. Franklin Street. Baltimore, MD 21201. www.sophiajacob.com (no phone listed) Artist website: www.alexebstein.com

“Untitled” Paper Collage by Steven Riddle. This neon-bright, floral still life is guaranteed to brighten any space. Riddle’s collages of hand-painted paper manage to combine Matisse-inspired compositions with the cut and paste techniques of beloved children’s illustrator, Eric Carle. Nudashank gallery has a number of Riddle’s original works in a range of sizes. $125, 7×5 inches with frame. Nudashank Gallery. 405 W. Franklin Street 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201. 443-415-2139. www.nudashank.com / Artist Website: http://steven-riddle.com.

“Amitabha” Gouache Painting on Paper by Jack Livingston. This painting is warm and lively, with yellow and orange emanating from a mysterious, blue core. Although it is abstract, this energetic work references cellular structures and cosmic energy. $200, unframed, 15×11 inches. Works available at Fleckenstein Gallery. 3316 Keswick Road. Baltimore, MD 21211. 410-366-3669. www.fleckensteingallery.com

“Talking Head 1” Giclee Print on Canvas by Vin Grabill. This digital composition turned my head at LUX, the new exhibit at Maryland Art Place. In this optical illusion, geometric shapes advance and recede in competing ribbons of warm and cool shades. $500. 24×36 inches. Available at Maryland Art Place through December 15. Power Plant Live! 8 Market Place, Suite 100, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. 410-962-8565. www.mdartplace.org / Artist Website: http://www.vingrabill.com

“White Rabbit I and II” Paintings on Mylar by Reñe Treviño. Although they appear to be printed, Treviño’s bunnies, on graphic pink and red wallpaper, were meticulously painted by hand. These attractive images, which sport twinkling rhinestones, could work well singly, but a pair would be ideal. $700 each. 8×10 inches. Available through the C. Grimaldis Gallery. 523 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201.
410 539 1080. www.cgrimaldisgallery.com / Artist Website: www.renetrevino.net

“Tell it to go away” Painting by Jim Condron. Condron’s luscious, thick abstractions feature cake-icing-thick impastos of muted, natural color. His paintings are currently on exhibit at School 33 Art Center through December 29 in Stroke: Gesture, Mark, Muscle. In this particular piece, the artist layers oil paint onto a surface of drafting vellum on linen. $600. 9×9 inches. Available at School 33 Art Center. 1427 Light Street. Baltimore, MD 21230. 443- 263- 4350. www.school33.org. Artist Website: http://www.jcondron.com.