‘Tis the Season at the Frank Bette Center

The Frank Bette Center’s wheels of organization and creativity have been spinning for months in preparation for their current annual holiday boutique. Lots of red and green and sparkle have transformed the center into an inviting showplace for gifts galore, ranging in price from $3 to $200. Emmanuel and Amelia Williams’ low wattage lamps light individual tabletops filled with low-cost gifts (pictured). Some cast opaque light through paper mache, others have the quality of a stained glass window.
Leslie Lam Low has employed a fine sensibility in the creation of various paper arts, decorative boxes, ornaments, even the lowly function of post-it notes has been elevated to something of visual delight.
The mother-daughter duo of Charlotte and Janna Lusschen have created showpiece jewelry which includes wire crochet and fresh-water pearls in various hues. The low glow of these pieces enhances the beauty of the wearer.
Nancy Lovelady uses mosaic and mirror pieces in the creation of watering cans, platters and a variety of light-reflecting decorative items.
Karen Wirth is a veritable Santa’s elf generating gifts of fabric, beads, metal, foil and yarn. We see her jewelry, soft baby blankets, mohair hats and small gift bags — something for literally everyone.
Barbara DiSalvo has fused intensely colored glass into myriad small objects including a set of tinkle icicles to hang on a tree or in the air.
If all you need is a card or some package labels, artist-made ones will lend a personal element of care to any offering and make it a true gift. Check out Margaret Fago’s cat and nautical-themed greetings and Susan Hackett’s lushly-colored markers.
If pesky squirrels are burying nuts in your planter boxes and amoral cats using your garden as kitty litter, you can regain a sense of dominion and hope to discourage them by means of handsome, decorative signage in the form of 6x6 hand painted tiles by Karen Braun Malpas.
Holiday guests and entertaining will call for special presentation afforded by the wooden cheeseboards and bowls made by Ros Harper. Even a person who has everything probably lacks a bottle stopper or pen made of the unique tones and textures of nature’s own wood.
There are little wreaths and ornaments, riddles and roses, birdhouses, ceramic ladies in swirling skirts and more. And do not miss the two-person show in the back room featuring the warm, juicy watercolors of Beth Bourland and the clay vehicles Barbara Buhrz has resurrected from our shared memories and infused with whimsy.
The opening reception for the boutique is from 7 to 9 p.m., tomorrow, Friday Dec. 11, with viewing and shopping until Dec. 24. Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. (at Lincoln), is open Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Find out more about the Frank Bette Center for the Arts at www.frankbettecenter.org.