Festival of Ornaments Shows Tis the Season to Shop Local

by Robin Boland

Nestled amongst all the options for holiday shopping in our end of town is the Columbia City Gallery’s Annual Festival of Ornaments.

Featuring a wide array of both traditional and modern work from local artists in materials such as fused glass, wood, leather, felted wool, ceramics and a variety of paper arts (from large, colorful paper stars to an exquisite waxed paper technique that resembles etching) the Festival of Ornaments displays unique styles and techniques reflective of our community’s goals of diversity and representation.

Photo courtesy of Columbia City Gallery

The ornaments we use to decorate our homes, regardless of our holiday traditions, often bring with them stories of travels or family memories. Some have been passed down through generations while others represent new traditions being created this season in a family’s first home or a first holiday with a new addition.

My home’s ornaments are a collection of childhood memories and travels as an adult, travels that led to my family’s own creation, and I find that the dark days of winter are often brightened by their annual revelation.

The ornaments on display at the Columbia City Gallery are spread throughout the space so it’s well worth a trip inside to experience the broad range of creativity offered by the 20+ artists featured.

Photo courtesy of Columbia City Gallery

The gallery’s holiday hours are 11am-7pm daily through the 24rd. Prices for the pieces vary and while you may fall for a more expensive piece there are many lovely ornaments to choose from that are priced under $10, either for your home or as a gift. There is a series of felted wool animal ornaments for the penguin/cat/bird lover in your life as well as exquisite blown glass globes for the traditionalists.

I was personally enamored with the dowel-like wooden birdhouse ornament as well as the ceramic and wire bird ornaments (sensing a theme here?) but managed to resist, for now, as I’m currently decorating our bamboo plant which takes a light touch. Perhaps you have room on your tree for a new holiday memory?

 Robin Boland is a Hillman City resident and known as “little bird” to friends and family.