While it is always enjoyable to create, look at and purchase crafts, the holiday season offers added pleasure toward engaging in the tradition — in a fashion similar to attending the annual outpouring of “Nutcracker,” “Messiah” and “A Christmas Carol” performances.
Among the biggest and most notable art displays and sales are the de Young Holiday Artisan Fair, running this weekend at the museum, and The Women’s Building’s 32nd annual Celebration of Craftswomen on Nov. 27 and 28 and Dec. 4 and 5.
Curator Lynn Federle Orr of the de Young compares aspects of the museum’s current exhibit — “Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay” — to certain works of the period, calling attention to “artists of the late 19th century who took unprecedented interest in the design arts, and prompted them to create large-scale domestic environments.”
The Musée d’Orsay exhibit, for example, contains Edouard Vuillard’s “Public Gardens” (1894) and Pierre Bonnard’s “Decorative Panels” (1906-10).
While at the de Young, visit the free-admission Piazzoni Murals Room where the Holiday Artisan Fair offers unique pieces, including tabletop items and textiles made by local artists.
Participants include Ellen Hauptli, with ready-to-wear clothing using fabrics of her signature thread-bound seams and edges; Philippa Roberts, who specializes in silver necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings; and Lyn Swan, who creates unique ceramic mugs.
Jewelry makers selling art at the fair include Connie Anthon, Susan Kinzig, Kristina Kada-Madden, Denise Peacock, Alice Roche, Tuareg and Pam Wiston. Income from sales is used to support the museum.
The Celebration of Craftswomen, which includes exhibits by more than 200 artists at the Fort Mason Center, is The City’s biggest holiday crafts retail fair. And it is the largest event in the country exclusively celebrating craftswomen.
The fair benefits the programs of The Women’s Building, a nonprofit community center serving women and girls in San Francisco.
Thousands of handcrafted items include ceramics and glass, sculpted wood, and works of metal, clay, beaded, stone and precious-metal jewelry; painted silk, leather clothing and other wearable pieces; home furniture and accessories; and sculpture and photography.
Part of the Celebration of Craftswomen is the Emerging Artist Program, which encourages those selling their works to the public for less than two years to apply to participate at a reduced fee.
Among other Bay Area crafts-related fairs is Creativity Explored’s Holiday Art Sale, running weekends from Dec. 3 to 22 and featuring prints, paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, textiles and other gift items made by some 130 artists with developmental disabilities.
Crafts-making activities for families are slated for Dec. 4 both at the Randall Museum in San Francisco and the San Mateo County Historical Association in Redwood City.
At San Francisco’s Exploratorium, also Dec. 4, the Bayanihan Community Center leads a workshop to create parol-star lanterns, like the ones on display in Philippine villages during the holidays.
IF YOU GO
De Young Holiday Artisan Fair
Where: de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
When: 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Contact: (415) 750-3642, firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebration of Craftswomen
Where: Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 4-5
Tickets: $7 to $9
Contact: (650) 615-6838, www.celebrationofcraftswomen.org