|Fort Thomas residents Joe Drury (left) and Jerry Warner (right), along with Pat Olding (middle), are just some of the artists that make up the cooperative 5th Street Gallery.|
A Macy's storefront window on 5th Street in downtown Cincinnati holds a special surprise this holiday season – three historic Shillito elves. The little elves, so beloved by those who remember their presence in the windows of John Schillito & Co. department store, are busy painting, and for good reason. For behind the elves is 5th Street Gallery, a collaborative of local artists (including two from Fort Thomas) who sell works made of fine art glass, wood, paint, clay, porcelain and mixed media. The gallery's upcoming "Home for the Holidays" art show is the perfect compliment to downtown Cincinnati's holiday activities.
|Call Rob Hassman. 859-655-4430.|
|5th Street Gallery recently moved across the street, and is now located inside Macy's, Fountain Square.|
|The gallery offers original pieces for sale from 15 different local artists.|
5th Street Gallery popped up in 2005 and recently relocated inside Macy's, Fountain Square. The co-op provides Macy shoppers and those seeking handmade, original art the opportunity to browse works from 15 different local artists, almost all of whom work in the co-op four hours a week, four times a month.
|A sampling of Jerry Warner's work, available at 5th Street Gallery.|
|Joe Drury's art glass (front) is also available.|
Fort Thomas artists include wood turner Jerry Warner (featured here) and glass sculpture artist Joe Drury (look for a feature on him, soon).
Additional artists include Crystal Arnold, Bill Dirkes, Mary Beth Dowlin, Bill Feinberg, Tim Gold, Margie Lakeberg, Gail Lundgren, Pat Olding, Barbara Smucker and Deborah Thornberry. Associate members include David Day, Chris De Serna and Glenda Suttman.
|A tree at 5th Street Gallery is filled with small, original pieces of local art, including ornaments made by Fort Thomas residents Jerry Warner and Joe Drury. Each ornament is available for purchase.|
On December 15, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., ice skaters, carriage riders and Santa visitors can pop in and purchase handmade works of art for holiday gifting. Because the gallery is run as a co-op, the artists are able to offer their works for less money than they would at a traditional gallery. And many artists have made ornaments, allowing shoppers to purchase small pieces of original art for their – or their loved ones' – trees. At the art show visitors will be able to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments. Children will be able to make a paper elf ornament. And each art piece purchased comes with a free ticket to Mariemont's Santa's Workshop, where you can see all the other Shillito elves busy at work.
While it may be near impossible to get through a holiday without "packages, boxes or bags," 5th Street Gallery offers a step back from the commercialization. It offers the chance to gift beauty while supporting our neighbors who spend hours in their basements, garages, studios and classrooms creating. It offers a way to give loved ones something original and handmade. And the "Home for the Holidays" art show allows parents to share a different side of giving this holiday season, one that stems from objects made not out of a desire for great profit, but rather out of a desire to put more beauty in a world that, in this holiday season in particular, so desperately needs some.
So mark your calendars, bundle up the kids and make an evening out of it. Ice skate, drink some hot chocolate, visit Santa. And then stop by 5th Street Gallery to see what your neighbors are up to, all the while marking gifts needed off your list. Can't make it December 15? No worries. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can find it on 5th Street, inside Macy's, Fountain Square.