Stunningly Unique Art Gifts: 33 Presents Perfect for the Most Creative People in Your Life

BY // 12.23.18

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.

Diane Gelman’s “Shipley’s” canvas.” $500, through the artist. (The Silos at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St., Studio 209, Houston;

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.

Don’t you want to receive this under the tree: a cheeky little baseball jacket by CAMH-exhibited Texas artist Thedra Cullar-Ledford. $115, through Vaughan Mason Fine Art, Houston. (Heidi Vaughan,,

Roadside Americana and vernacular images are perennial gifting (or getting) inspirations, especially in the photo realm.

Road Trip: Patty Carroll’s “Dee’s Pitt Stop,” 1998. $1,000, through PDNB Gallery, Dallas. (, 

Plus, a proclivity for purses is reflected in the round-up that follows.

Introducing Pêche

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Shelter Serra’s “Homemade Hermès Birkin Bag (Aqua),” 2018. The color reminds us of Miami Beach, as in Art Basel. $3,500 through The Public Trust, Dallas. (

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.

The Mystic Lyon is a promising new art and community space in the Fifth Ward founded by Houston artist Emily Sloan.

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.

One of the Mystic Lyon’s signature art afternoons featuring works by Fifth Ward (often undiscovered) talents, a great opportunity to sleuth out visionary art and support neighborhood creatives.

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.

Buy artful.

Scroll through all the best art gifts in the photo gallery above or below this story.

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