Arts Council of Northern Ireland Christmas Gift Guide
Monday 30th November 2020 at 3pm 0 Comments
From music, books, crafts and original art, to vouchers to a great play or concert, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has picked a selection of arts-inspired gifts from local artists to treat a loved one this festive season. It couldn’t be easier to support local this Christmas!
For more gifts by local artists visit www.buyartni.co.uk
Buy a dream art work
Own Art is an interest free loan scheme, supported by the Arts Council, which makes buying a piece of art easier and more affordable by spreading the cost over 10 months. Spoil your loved one and choose from jewellery, ceramics, paintings, original prints and objet d’art. Participating galleries include Gormleys, ArtisAnn Gallery, Craft NI Gallery and Steensons. ArtisAnn Christmas show is now on with all artworks priced £250 or less with a wider range at various prices available in the main gallery space, all available through Own Art. For more information visit www.ownart.org.uk
Golden Thread Gallery is encouraging everyone to buy local art this year and has opened their online platform to artists from Northern Ireland to showcase and sell their work. Visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk/buy-local/?v=79cba1185463 to view the work of a range of artists.
Belfast Print Workshop will open their 2020 Members Christmas Show Exhibition, inspired by ‘Light’, on the 10th December at 7pm for purchase. Works can also be viewed in advance on their website. This exhibition will run until the 19th of December, and will be open for visitors to view safely under our COVID-19 safety guidelines. Booking is essential, find out more details by contacting office@BPW.org.uk
To view the prints on offer visit www.bpw.prg.uk
Buy a new musical instrument
Own that musical instrument of your dreams with Take It Away. Similar to Own Art, the Take It Away scheme, supported by the Arts Council, offers the opportunity to purchase a musical instrument, equipment or software, with an interest free loan repaid over 10 months. See www.artscouncil-ni.org/takeitaway for more information on participating stores in Northern Ireland.
Books always make a great gift at Christmas. Here are some seasonal offerings from Northern Ireland authors:
Underneath the Tree: Twelve Christmas Stories from Writers in Northern Ireland, (Sesheta Press £10), edited by Kelly Creighton and Claire Savage. Available on Amazon Kindle and paperback.
The Art of the Glimpse (Head of Zeus £7.99), edited by Sinéad Gleeson, a selection of 100 Irish stories from the past and present, across a whopping 800 pages, with a good representation of top writers from Northern Ireland. Available in all good book shops and online.
Finally, in honour of the great Sam McBratney, everyone – of any age, but particularly youngsters – should have Guess How Much I Love You (Walker Books, £6.99) by Sam McBratney in their Christmas stocking. Available in all good book shops and online.
Craft NI on Belfast’s Royal Avenue features the Craft NI Gallery, an exhibition space currently showing Pinned, an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths until 2nd January. Craft NI is also a place where you can buy extraordinary gifts by designer-makers from Northern Ireland. Craft NI has launched its own online shop and is adding new work every day. You can also pick up the phone if you see anything on their social media platforms that you want more information on. And for bigger or really special pieces, Craft NI Gallery is now part of the Arts Council’s Own Art scheme, increasing accessibility to beautiful contemporary craft. Visit www.craftnigallery.org
Also visit www.craftniwheretobuy.org where you’ll find a list of Northern Ireland craft retailers by county, as well as links to local craft makers who are selling online. Every day between now and Christmas, Craft NI will profile local craft retailers and makers, so keep an eye on @craftni and @craftnigallery on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and ideas.
Give the gift of a theatre voucher or make a gift donation! Whilst our theatres and performances spaces remain closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. The MAC, Lyric Theatre, Ulster Orchestra, Grand Opera House, Millennium Forum and The Playhouse all have fantastic shows coming up in 2021, including panto, musicals, comedy and family theatre. If you’re unsure what tickets to buy, simply pick up a voucher! Visit
Lyric Theatre Merch
Treat yourself or a loved one to theatre inspired gifts at the Lyric’s brand new merchandise online shop. From elegant Christmas cards designed by Lyric Theatre Costume Supervisor, Gillian Lennox, to kids t-shirts and tote bags, CDs featuring the music from their magical Christmas shows and books, there’s something to suit all. Shop at https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/merchandise/
The crème de la crème of Northern Ireland music
Electronic musician, Ryan Vail and classical contemporary pianist, Ruth McGinley have released a new track, Chrysalism. The track was written and recorded remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown in their homes and is supported by Moving on Music and National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Through this one-off collaboration, Vail and McGinley offer a blend of contemporary and classical composition with the track moving smoothly between minimalist expression and Ryan Vail's trademark sweeping, vibrant electronica. Available to buy now on Spotify and iTunes.
The NI Music Prize, organised by the Oh Yeah Centre, was held in November and was a chance to celebrate and highlight the huge amount of musical talent that released new music in 2020. The overall winner of Best Album of 2020 went to artist, Kitt Philippa, for the album, ‘Human’. Other contenders for this prestigious prize included Malojian, Ciaran Lavery, The Darklin Air, Arvo Party, Arborist, Careerist, Junk Drawer, Joel Harkin, Our Krypton Son, Phil Kieran and The Lost Brothers. To find out more and purchase albums visit www.nimusicprize.com
Why not gift membership of the Friends of Northern Ireland Opera and help support the development of local talent while getting access to exclusive ticket offers and behind-the-scenes events. From £50 per year/£20 for students. Full details here: https://www.niopera.com/support-us/individuals/
Buy a photography course with Belfast Exposed
Belfast Exposed has over 35 years of experience delivering photography courses to the general public. Their training courses enable participants to learn and develop new skills in photography. They provide photography courses in Digital Photography, Film Photography, Post-Production, Printing & Presenting and Traditional Processes. Belfast Exposed gift vouchers can also be purchased for any value of your choice and can be used towards courses, books, journals and magazines as well as photographic prints and postcards. Visit www.belfastexposed.org for details or email email@example.com
For more gifts by local artists visit www.buyartni.co.uk
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