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AdobeAirstream Gift Guide 2011: Stuff-Givers Unite

I’m thinking:  affordable gifts that are also meaningful; gifts produced by talented artists—music that makes you feel alive, films that make you live longer (films can do that, right?), and art that makes you appreciate human beings. In addition to the suggestions below, I’ll make a plea for all the artists out there: FIND A LOCAL ARTIST (I.E. MUSICIAN, VISUAL ARTIST, DESIGNER, FILMMAKER) AND BUY SOMETHING SHE MADE WITH HER OWN HANDS.  Anything an artist poured over is usually worth giving, and is better than its store-bought counterpart.

I’ll start with some of my favorite bands in 2011. Any of these artists’ songs would make the perfect compilation: Austra, Tune-Yards, Little Dragon. Little Dragon came out with a new album this year, Ritual Union, and Austra released their first, Feel it Break—and damn, they are amazing. Tune-Yards also released a second album whokill. All three groups feature strong female vocalists, which I love and they are just thrillingly good. And, yes, bands still sell CDs. A2 writers Groovey and Don Simpson will have more on music in 2011 during our “best of” week.

If you want to support awesome projects, and the people behind them, buy t-shirts, or posters. Here are some options. Everything is a Remix, a film self-produced by Kirby Ferguson, made waves this year, and you can support his project by donations, too. Another favorite this year (in Chinese astrology the year of the metal rabbit, btw), PressPausePlay is out for download and purchase with both interactive and standard versions. Mix green and tech, and you don’t have to give stuff at all—just information.

Non-overtly-techy movies of 2011 that are gift-worthy include: Le Quattro Volte, Sound of My Voice and Hanna.

James Victore, designer, has cool stuff, too—shirts, plates and art. And, if you’ve heard his manifesto, he’s certainly worth supporting. “I love NY More Than Milton Glasser”—c’mon, that’s funny.

James Victore plate

Not your traditional turquoise jewelry from the southwest: Santa Fe has some very talented artists/jewelry makers, like Carol Ware, who works crushed aluminum that’s recycled. For non-local jewelry visit Cargoh.

HuiYi Tan necklace

Lastly, I have to say I love Juxtapoz’s mention of the hamburger wrapping paper. So, if you’re buying all this stuff, definitely make sure the wrapping paper is edible, too. Kidding. This hamburger wrapping paper doesn’t have nutritional value.

A closing thought: (although this will likely never happen), I can imagine a virtual world where even gift giving is relegated to the Internet-only realm—maybe before this happens we still have time to give some stuff, too.

Feature image: long tassel earrings by Sol del Sur

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  1. Hey! Interwebs aside, how about talking about LOCAL artist-made gifts!!!!! It’s Santa Fe, (or Austin, or….????) for xmas sake! There are thousands of local options. Go outside, walk around, maybe meet some neighbors. Connect with where you are!

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  2. Katy Crocker says:

    Yes, Erika! Great idea. I’ll cover more local soon. I have mentioned Ware Jewelry, great local painter/sculptor in Santa Fe, who also makes jewelry. Thanks for the feedback!

    Reply