Shopping local for holiday gifts is worth every cent.
Especially with so many of the area’s talented artisans offering unique wares at the VISAC gallery in downtown Trail.
Small Treasures Fine Art & Crafts for Christmas opens today and runs four days a week until Dec. 19.
There’s plenty of one-of-a-kind gift ideas including knitwear and crochet, ceramic flatware, decorative knick knacks, Christmas decor, paintings and photography prints.
The newest VISAC member, Renee Kyle, is a multi media artist who recently landed in Trail after years of living on Canada’s east and west coasts before she crossed the pond to Europe for eight years.
She found her place in the Kootenays by settling in Creston for a few years. But a job with Trail Association for Community Living, had Kyle moving to the city and bringing her remarkable talent for three dimensional sculpture, ceramics and painting to the local art scene.
Kyle says she’s just beginning to find herself in Trail art community, because at first she wasn’t even sure there was one.
“I was involved in the art community in Creston and like Trail, you had to look for it,” she explained. “But once you find it, you realize it is very much alive and vibrant.”
Her paintings, which are done in acrylics and acrylic mediums for texture and depth, are included in the Small Treasures show.
However, her usual medium is a composition of found objects that are formed into eclectic doll sculpture.
“Sometimes I have to stop whatever I am doing and create a doll,” said Kyle. “I use whatever material I have at hand because they don’t seem to want to wait.”
Her first formal training was an Intuitive Doll Making workshop in Calgary, although she refers to her pieces as figures or mixed media sculpture.
The dolls are deeply personal and not for sale, explained Kyle, though she has given them away and donated one to the Art Trot fundraiser in Creston.
“My paintings are also full of meaning, but not quite so intimate,” she said, adding that the pieces in VISAC’s Christmas show were produced since moving to Trail. “I will be putting the paintings in the Small Treasures show to see what people think and to share what I do. If they sell, I will be happy to be helping VISAC.”
The art studio is located in the basement of the Greater Trail Community Centre with direct entrance on Helena Street.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and to 6 p.m. Thursdays.
For more information, call 364.1181 or visit visacgallery.com.