Best foot forward: This droll Caine bootie by Katy Perry is the perfect way to make a holiday entrance. $169, through Katy Perry Collections. (katyperrycollections.com)
The Pop chanteuse cavorts in the Caine bootie at Fa La LAnd in L.A. (Katy Perry via Instagram)
De Petra's jewelry atelier in Montrose is among Houston's most unique boutiques. Stop by for a holiday sale, Saturday, December 22, noon to 4 pm, 4408 Yoakum Blvd #2, info 713.385.7962. The collection has a cult following of influencers from Ashley Longshore to Anna Wintour (who featured a De Petra work in a Vogue 2013 issue). In Houston, designer Lucinda Loya and the Rothko Chapel's Thuy Tran are De Petra collectors.
Lorena Medinilla (shown) and sister Cynthia Sheridan, are the stylish sister duo behind the De Petra brand. A decade old, and influenced by the owners hometown of Colonial-era Guanajuato, Mexico, the works in the collection range from $198 to $1,300. (depetra.com)
Hand-sewn and hand-crafted De Petra Mariposa Abeja Scarabajo earrings. Final shopping salon of the year at the De Petra atelier, 4408 Yoakum Blvd #2, Houston, 713.385.7962. $480, through De Petra. (depetra.com)
Art hearts perfume: Acqua di Parma gets kudos for tapping British artist Clym Evernden to adorn the label and packaging of this delightful classic fragrance, a singular and beloved scent, which was a fave of Audrey Hepburn. Colonia Artist Edition, $200, through Barney's. (barneys.com)
Distroller World headquarters in Houston's Galleria in the Nordstrom Wing is home to an inventive Sci-Fi universe that is light years beyond Build-A-Bear. (Courtesy patch.com)
Out of this world for kids: Distroller Nerlie Lumies are endearing next-generation dolls for the post-Star Trek generation. $36.99, through Distroller World Houston, The Galleria in the Nordstrom Wing. (distrollerusa.com)
Houston-based designer Maria Cadena's cool vegan Ceibo handbags in hot colors are flying off the shelves at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's Asher Gallery. $90, through Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. (crafthouston.org)
Support a breakthrough nanoscience conference abroad and look chic while doing it. Paola Ferrari's Nanos Diamond Collection has just made a bold debut in Milan. (nanosjewelry.com)
Nanos Diamond Collection, Alessandra ring in 18K white gold with white diamonds. Collection from $950, through Nanos Jewelry. (nanosjewelry.com)
Houston-based designer Paola Ferrari's new Nanos Diamond Collection pairs precious metals and diamonds. The Italian-born jeweler's inspiration was found in the Houston Medical Center: in the shapes of nano particles engineered in the lab of her husband, Dr. Mauro Ferrari, who leads nano-medicine at Houston Methodist. (Photo Jenny Antill Clifton, nanosjewelry.com)
At Susan Plum's studio in the Houston Heights, the internationally exhibited artist hosts a final shopping party Saturday, December 22, noon to 4 pm. Candelabra, which represent the Mayan cosmology, are "woven" from glass filaments. $75 to $600, through the artist. Susan Plum Studio, 1827 Arlington, 713.542.6986, firstname.lastname@example.org. (susanplum.com)
A hand-formed, flame-worked glass earring by Pilchuck teacher/artist Susan Plum, whose work is in the collection of the Corning Museum of Glass. $75, through the artist's studio (1827 Arlington, Houston Heights, 713.542.6986, email@example.com, susanplum.com)
Mystical Mayans: Susan Plum earrings mirror the Mayan cosmology, and are wearable, small masterworks in glass. $35 to $200, through Susan Plum Studio, Shopping Party, Saturday, December 22, noon to 4 pm. (1827 Arlington, Houston Heights, 713.542.6986, firstname.lastname@example.org, susanplum.com)
Today's take on Art Nouveau: Museum-worthy ceramic sculpture by Julia Kunin, "Snail Grotto," 2013, which bears an extraordinary glaze. $10,000, through McClain Gallery, Houston.(email@example.com, mcclaingallery.com)
Sharon Engelstein's "Resting Bowl," 2018. The droll bowl is one of the latest creations from the Houston-based MFAH Core Fellow, who was recently featured in a two-person show this fall at McClain Gallery, with husband, painter Aaron Parazette. $5,500, through McClain Gallery, Houston. (info@mcclaingallery, mcclaingallery.com)
Joana P. Cardozo with selections from her photographic sculpture "Plastic Flowers Don't Die," 2018. $850 for each bouquet, through Foto Relevance, Houston. (firstname.lastname@example.org, fotorelevance.com)
Tea-party candidate: Margeaux Walter's "In Bloom," 2015, a captivating digital C print. $7,000 (40 x 40 inches, edition of seven); $11,00 (60 x 60 inches, edition of 5), at Foto Relevance, Houston. (email@example.com, fotorelevance.com)
Houston lensman Martin Holmes' Family Motion portraits, a custom-commissioned gift unique to each family member. $2,000 per subject photographed, through Foto Relevance, Houston. (firstname.lastname@example.org, fotorelevance.com)
Luck of the draw: Patrick McGrath Muñiz's original drawings for his upcoming tarot deck (to be released in 2019). The Houston-based painter, whose work reflects border issues and the fraught American dream, is now on view at Vaughan Mason Fine Art, Houston (through January 12). $150 each 7 x 3 1/2 inch drawing, through Vaughan Mason Fine Art, Houston. (Heidi Vaughan, email@example.com, vaughanmasonfineart.com)
John Hovig's "Mandala - Hindrance," 2017 and ongoing. Among the stars of Houston Sawyer Yards complex, the artist's digital drawings mirror his background as a software developer with degrees in AI and electrical engineering. Limited-edition digital prints on aluminum, $180 (12-inch diameter); $1,740 (40-inch diameter); through the artist's studio. (The Silos at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer Street #106, Houston. 281.755.8127, firstname.lastname@example.org, johnhovig.com)
Houston artist Liz Conces Spencer's "At the Still Point of the Turning World," 2018. Spencer's intimate, Kandinsky-esque abstract pastel on paper comes straight from her solo at Archway Gallery, Houston. "The Drift of Stars" (through January 3), conjures the cosmos. $175, framed, through Archway Gallery, Houston. (archwaygallery.com)
Still life reconsidered: Stephen D'Onofrio's "Still Life with Oranges," 2018. The Philadelphia painter has developed a collector following for his canvases that skewer our obsession with objects and Instagrammable design moments. $7,200 (68 x 68 inch, acrylic on canvas), through Galleri Urbane, Dallas. (Ree Willaford, email@example.com, galleriurbane.com)
Liss LaFleur's "Apple (fist)," 2018. More than a mere piece of glass, this Dallas-area artist's sculpture filled with colored gelatin speaks to the complicated and ongoing battle for LGBT rights in America. The artist is featured in her first solo in 2019 at Galleri Urbane, Dallas in "Tutti Frutti" (January 12 – February 16). $2,800, through Galleri Urbane, Dallas. (Ree Willaford, firstname.lastname@example.org, galleriurbane.com)
Juicy Read for 2019: Pete Gershon's "Collision" spills insider secrets and brings back the raucous scene of the '70s and '80s that birthed Houston's art world as we know it. $65, through Texas A&M University Press and area booksellers. (tamupress.com)
Underknown visionaries: "Outsider Art in Texas: Lone Stars," is written by Jay Wehnert, a collector as singular and single-minded as the talents he profiles. $40, through Texas A&M University Press and area booksellers. (tamupress.com)
Time Travel: "People Kissing" by Project B's Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey amounts to a Valentine to the past. The duo of Houston- and San Miguel-based artists used as source material much of their own archive plumbed from 19th- and 20th-century found vernacular photography. $16.95, through Princeton Architectural Press and area booksellers. (papress.com)
Yule-time lucite: An ode to '50s and '60s glamour, American brand Edie Parker has revived this lost look, with sculptural acrylic handbags that are both polished and precise. Triangle bag in emerald, $1,495, through Edie Parker. (edie-parker.com)
Deck the halls: Edie Parker oval bag in poppy makes a merry statement. You're also ahead of the game for Valentine's. $1,295, through Edie Parker. (edie-parker.com)
Rockin' 19: Shelter Serra's "Homemade Hermès Birkin Bag (Gold)," 2018. $3,500 through The Public Trust, Dallas. (email@example.com)
New Year's Day approved: Stride confidently into 2019 wearing a Texas original. Gallerist and fashion designer Franny Koelsch's Ears of Buddha shirts are hand-sewn in Houston, bearing charming idiosyncratic details that will take its wearer from Marfa to bright city lights. Ava in pink satin, with white-lace collar and cuffs, $360, through Ears of Buddha and Koelsch Haus, Houston. (1.888.757.1982, earsofbuddha.com)
Groove into the New Year: Katy Perry's The Whitnee bootie. $139, through Katy Perry Collections. (katyperrycollections.com)
Editor’s note: PaperCity’s counting down to the holidays with ultra-curated and distinctive gift guides.
My personal approach to holiday gifting begins and ends with Art — yes, capital A — with an emphasis on Texas talents.
There’s always a nod to Pop too, being from Warhol’s hometown, especially canvases or sculpture depicting foodstuffs.
Pop imagery often makes it onto articles of clothing on my wish and gift lists — threads recommended for standing out in a crowd at the Dallas Art Fair.
Roadside Americana and vernacular images are perennial gifting (or getting) inspirations, especially in the photo realm.
Plus, a proclivity for purses is reflected in the round-up that follows.
And, an important caveat: This scribe comes from Pittsburgh, where much of the town observed and embraced the 12th Night — consequently merry-making, caroling, feasting, and gifting extended well into January 6, King’s Day.
Carrying that tradition forward, procuring presents for friends and family has always gone on way beyond December 25 in my Texas life. For those pals that I don’t get to convene with until January, the luxury of having extra time to select a mindful — and artful — New Year offering restores serenity to the process of curating an apropos gift for a discerning person.
So let this guide, arranged by category, be your sherpa to promising artists and their gallerists, books to get cozy with penned by Texas authors, and three jewelers who interject science, mysticism and elegance into the term “shop local.” Plus a few more discoveries, which are either defined and selected for their wit or beauty (or both), while this giver revels in the bonus of knowing their makers.
I’m also hopeful to introduce the new owner to their gift’s creator, foster friendship, and further future acquisitions.
Parting thought: do make time to support nonprofits before year end. May you be Santa to worthy charities. My favorites this year are artist’s Emily Sloan‘s Mystic Lyon, an exhibition space and communal gathering spot in the heart of the Fifth Ward and Space HL in the East End.
And Space HL’s founder Paul Middendorf’ has just launched Flak magazine. For those in the Texas art world, it is already a must-read. The gallerist/nonprofit director shares his art-smart literary endeavor with fellow creatives, Michael McFadden and Elizabeth Rhodes.
Donate to Mystic Lyon through Fresh Arts, here.
Pick up your copy of the limited-edition, inaugural issue of Flak magazine at The Menil Collection Bookstore or Brazos Bookstore for $ 10.
Finally, don’t let the finale of the season dim your impulse to do commerce among the finds that follow in the coming year. Refer back to this slide show to creatively gift for future occasions: birthdays, Valentine’s, anniversaries, hostess presents, and house-warmings — you get the picture.
Scroll through all the best art gifts in the photo gallery above or below this story.