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The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

Clockwise from left: Andy Li, Sam Kim, Crystalle Lacouture, Te Spa, Freaque House, ICA x Virgil, Porsha Olayiwola, Madeline Donahue, Kit Collins, Boston Art Review.

Supply chain backups got your holiday shopping in a jam? Keep your gift search local and you won’t have to worry about your presents getting trapped in the Suez Canal (no promises there). More importantly, you’ll be supporting an ecosystem of artists, makers, and small business owners that help make Boston the vibrant city we love.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend out on the town at a local marketplace or the perfect present for the hardest person on your list, we’ve got you covered. Check out our non-exhaustive list of pop-up shops, holiday sales, funky objects, and artist-run projects to keep on your radar this holiday season. Check back in on this list throughout the month of December for more additions.

Give the gift of BAR

The BAR totes are back! Sleek, stylish, and large enough to comfortably fit a laptop, make the BAR tote your everyday bag. If you’re looking for a seal of approval, we’re convinced it’s the only bag our editor-in-chief owns. Seriously… she lives out of that tote bag. So few have been made, if you wear it around town, someone might even ask if you’re part of the team! $20.00, available at bostonartreview.com

What’s a tote without some reading material? Order a subscription before December 15th and we’ll send our latest issue along with a note about your recipient’s new subscription. $36.00, available at bostonartreview.com  

Issues 01 — 07, Boston Art Review

Special objects for special friends

The Tea Drinker: The Blue Hills Dream was custom blended for Boston tea lovers by The Té Spa and features artwork by Zahirah Nur Truth. Gorgeous on the shelf, even better in the cup! $20.00, available at Dorchester Art Project

The Glam Friend: Madeline Donahue’s one-of-a-kind ceramic lipsticks are so precious you might be tempted to snag the whole collection. $85.00, available at Praise Shadows

The Baller: Maria Molteni’s court-sized murals have been shrunk down to fit stickers and basketballs. AND if you missed receiving a siren call / shell divination session from Maria at our virtual party earlier this year, appointments for you or a sea-loving friend one are currently available for purchase. $30 — 170, available at mariamolteni.com

Your Pious, But Edgy Friend: Kyra Gregory’s woodblock relief prints blend antiquated imagery and practices with abstracted illustrations of the mundane to create tiny worlds on a cotton page. $95.00, available at LaiSun Keane

The Jewelry-Obsessed Teen at Heart: Cute and colorful earrings by Freaque House are perfect for your quirkiest of pals. $10.00 — $32.00, available at freaquehouse.com

The Poet: Boston poet laureate Porsha Olayiwola’s i shimmer sometimes too brings all the emotions to the surface and lays them on the page. Moments of resiliency, determination, and tenderness shine throughout each piece. $20.00, available at buttonpoetry.com

The Youth at Heart: Don’t miss 826 Boston’s collection of poems, stories, and narratives from youth writers across Boston in How We May Appear. This anthology features a foreword by Amanda Gorman and was edited by Issue 06 editor, Nakia Hill. $25.00, available at bigfootresearchinstitute.com

The Pick Me Up: Andy Li’s banners, keychains, and beanies offer unconventional words of affirmation, motivation, and sometimes hilarious exasperation. $24.00 – $150.00, available at radandyli.com

The Virgil Fan: Remember the visionary work of Virgil Abloh and the mark he left on Boston with specially designed merch for the ICA/Boston. Prices variable, available at ICA Store

The Mug Enthusiast: One-half of Slow Hands Studio, the Lowell-based ceramicist, Sam Kim creates pottery wares for those that take their morning brew a little off-kilter. Snag a double-handle mug or lopsided cup at the upcoming sale on December 11. $40.00 — $110.00, available at slowhandsstudio.com

The Art Book Enthusiast: Issue 01 (throwback time) artists, Chantal Zakari and Mike Mandel have books available for purchase at the Kingston Gallery’s pop-up book shop! Check it out through January 16 at Kingston Gallery.

Lunar Lover: Get lost in the colors, layers, and details of Crystalle Lacouture’s Moon Calendar series and “score” some points with the lucky recipient of this generous gift. $200.00, available via Drive-by Projects

Direction Seekers: Book a session with High Tarot Vibrations (Paloma & Tamia) for your friend who’s asking all the right questions and seeking growth. $25.00 — $75.00 (remote), available via hightarotvibrations.com

Stickers on everything person: Stuff some stockings with Kit Collins’s adorable assortment of whimsical and comedic die-cut stickers, calendars, and prints. (P.S. Kit is soon-to-be a Medford City Councilor member!) $3.50 — $36.00, available at kitchcollins

Clockwise from left: Black Market Nubian Square, SoWA, Cambridge Arts, Connexion, Boston Hassle, Central Square BID.

Local Holiday Markets

Couldn’t find what you’re looking for on our gift guide? Head to local markets all across Boston for goodies by local makers and creators. (Listed in order of event date)  

2021 SoWa Winter Festival: December 3—12, 202, various times 540 Harrison Avenue (*indoors – masks required)  

Black Legacy Holiday Marketplace: Every Saturday through December 18, 1PM — 6PM Black Market Nubian Square, 2136 Washington Street, Roxbury MA 02119  

Cambridge Art Association Holiday Small Works Sale: December 8 — 20, Charles River Speedway, 525 Western Ave, Brighton, MA 02135  

Indigo Fire Studio Pottery Sale:  Friday December 10 from 5:00 —8:30PM and Saturday December 11 from 1:00—6:00pm, 79R Grove Street, Watertown, MA 02476,

Roxbury Open Studios Collaborative’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop @ The Dewitt: December 11, 11AM — 6PM The Dewitt Center: 122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury, MA  

East Somerville Pop-Up Holiday Market: December 11, 11AM — 2PM Connexion: 149 Broadway, Somerville  

Boston Hassle Xmas Flea: December 12, 12PM —5PM The Middle East, 472-480 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139  

Popportunity Pop-Up shops @ Starlight Square: Saturdays and Sundays, 12PM— 5PM 84 Bishop Allen Dr, Central Square, Cambridge    


Did we miss something? Let us know! editorial@bostonartreview.com