The good news is there are some really cool, off-the-wall (literally, sometimes) objects local stores are peddling this gift-giving season.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St., boasts one of Philadelphia’s hidden gems: Portfolio, a less-than-typical gift store offering unique and somewhat kitschy items. The most eye-catching has to be the designer piggy bank ($225), a resin and marble bank cast from a pig that died of natural causes. We’re told the bank holds up to 10,000 in dollar bills, which is an amount of cash we never have handy so we’ll never know.
If you thought pampering your dog was the in style thing, our aquatic friends are about to come up in stature thanks to the fish hotel ($30), a unique glass fishbowl with white geometric outer shell that lets your fish live in the lap of luxury. Another eye-catching piece is the retro alarm clock and iPhone dock ($40), a new-age alarm clock with modern functionality and a vintage look.
For more information, visit www.pafa.org/Shop/31/.
The Vivant Art Collection in Old City, 60 N. Second St., has cultural art on sale for the holidays from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. The gallery specializes in Haitian art, African masks and Island ceramics, as well as works from local artists. Works on display and for sale this season included Cuban and African art and locally produced art celebrating music and famous musicians. These works range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, so make sure you’re properly stocked in the credit department.
For more information, visit www.vivant-artcollection.com.
Art Star Gallery & Boutique, 623 N. Second St., is offering a number of unique and kitschy gifts this holiday season, like the Noosed Kitty holiday ornaments ($38) by artist Jamie Fales, the Folded Pigs skull classic mugs ($20), the PA Love ornaments ($10) by Abbey Christine, the cupcake tea towel ($18) and the argyle coaster set ($29).
For more information, visit www.artstarphilly.com.
Also for the season, Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St. is getting nostalgic, offering images by photographer Bruce Murray of the Philadelphia area from the 1920s and ’30s featuring baseball legends, historical figures, architecture and Americana.
For more information, visit www.twenty-twogallery.com or www.brucemurray.com.
The Snyderman-Works Galleries, 303 Cherry St., has artistic products on sale this season such as jewelry from Ford/Forlano. David Forlano, half of the dynamic art and jewelry-making duo, is a painter originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Tyler School of Art. Forlano and fellow artist Steve Ford create jewelry reflecting their fascination with abstract patterns and three-dimensional structures.
Visit www.snyderman-works.com for more details.
Happy gift hunting.