Gift giving from the HART

Column by John Akal
Posted 11/12/19

In the last 150 years or so things have been changing at an increasingly faster pace. I was thinking about all the things my grandmother witnessed while she was alive and it’s almost unfathomable. …

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Gift giving from the HART


In the last 150 years or so things have been changing at an increasingly faster pace. I was thinking about all the things my grandmother witnessed while she was alive and it’s almost unfathomable. She was born in the 1890’s so she saw the first household electrical systems and electric appliances, cars, airplanes, telephones, movies, recorded music, radios and televisions. When she was born there weren’t any gas stations, chain restaurants, or big box stores. You bought groceries at the corner market that was owned by someone in the neighborhood and mass production was just getting started. By the time she passed away in 1979 her whole world had changed dramatically. Can you imaging reading about the Wright Bothers first flight and then watching things progress to the point of landing people on the moon and seeing live coverage on it on a screen in your living room? All in one lifetime? No other generation has seen that kind of lifestyle change in history.

Nowadays things change too, but they are mostly less dramatic changes. But, they come on an almost daily basis. Things like smart phones. Buy the time you finish getting yours programmed the way you want, a new model has come out with a couple of upgraded features. My Father spent the last few years of his life trying to decide on which large screen television to buy. He’d research it to death and then make a decision only to go to the store and find that the model he was looking at was discontinued. I finally had to drag him the store myself and tell him to just buy the stupid thing. That one. The one that’s the newer model of the other one you wanted. Just buy it. He finally bought one and enjoyed it. But there wasn’t anything as awesome as people landing on the moon in the programming. The best we could do was land a tiny remote controlled toy car on Mars that malfunctioned a couple of days after it got there. Yeah, my Grandma got to see all the cool stuff develop.

But there is one thing that hasn’t changed as much since people learned that they could create something. That’s art. Sure, the mediums and materials have changed, but the one thing that stays consistent is that someone has to create it from nothing. Even if it becomes mass produced, somebody designed the original and put it’s production into motion. And in this age of computer aided design, the one constant factor is that fine art is that which is unique and produced by the artist.

This why I am so fond of the annual Holiday Art Market that is hosted by the Foothills Art Center. Everything for sale there is a unique creation by some of the best artists in the area. If you buy something there, you have an original. If you give it as a gift, no one else is going to give them the same thing. One phrase the staff at Foothills never hears is “I’m returning this because I got three of them for Christmas.”

This years Holiday Art Market (HART) will be running from November 18 through December 29. It’s going to be featuring the creations of more than 100 local Colorado artists working in the highest standards of handcraft including fine ceramics, fiber, glass work, jewelry, paintings, woodworking, photography, holiday items, and more. They even have unique greeting cards. As they say, “HART is a hip and cool holiday art market and an ideal shopping destination for unique gifts.” That pretty much sums it all up.

This is going to be the 45th year that this show has been running and that makes it one of the oldest holiday markets around. It’s longevity is mostly due the high quality of the items offered. If an art market can be dressed to impress, will this one is dressed to the nines. You don’t just get a gift, you get an heirloom there.

Another wonderful quality about the HART is that it’s not just filled with Christmas stuff. Most of it is universal so it’s the perfect place to shop for gifts to give no matter what occasion you celebrate during the holiday season.

The HART will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday
and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information you can visit their
website at or call them at (303)279-3922.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at


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