The Ohio Craft Museum's annual holiday exhibition will offer both familiar and new gift ideas for shoppers who want to avoid the mall.

The Ohio Craft Museum's annual holiday exhibition will offer both familiar and new gift ideas for shoppers who want to avoid the mall.

"Of course, we have many returning favorite artists, but we're really excited to have the opportunity this year to introduce people to so many new fresh faces," museum Director Betty Talbott said.

The museum's 17th annual Gifts of the Craftsmen exhibition opens Sunday, Nov. 6, and will feature a variety of handcrafted items created by more than 100 fine-craft artists. The exhibition runs through Dec. 23 at the museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave.

Each item on display will be available for purchase.

"We'll regularly replenish the exhibition as items are sold, so anytime you stop by, there will be a nice selection of one-of-a-kind gifts," Talbott said.

The holiday exhibition will feature variety both in the type of handcrafted pieces and in their prices, she said.

"There'll be something for every budget," Talbott said. "You can find exquisite glass vases by Michael Hric that cost $200 to $400, but also find delightful holiday gifts and stocking stuffers for $10 or $12."

Many visitors to the annual holiday exhibition look forward to buying the latest pieces by familiar artists, she said.

"People are excited to see the ceramic tableware created by Mark Nafziger or the glass vases and bowls handmade by Sebastian Coleman," Talbott said.

The talented group of artists new to the craft museum will include ceramist Lindsay Scypta, who makes ice-cream bowls; Jesse Luketic who specializes in glass ornaments, vases and tumblers; and Deanna Guerrieri and Sarah Moynihan of My Beverly Jewelry, who use pressed flowers in their work.

"It's so heartening to see so many talented young artists who find value in using traditional handmade techniques to create their pieces," Talbott said.

The returning artists will include Evangelia Philippidis, a Grove City-area mixed-media artist who creates black-and-white drawings using a scratchboard technique, then adds color with Photoshop.

Philippidis was an editorial illustrator for 22 years with The Columbus Dispatch.

The daily task of providing a visual representation of the text stories told by journalists helped shape her artwork, Philippidis said.

"What I am, in essence, is a storyteller," she said. "Doing that work for 20-plus years taught me how to convey a story through a single image."

Her work often focuses on themes of Greek mythology -- Philippidis is a native of Greece -- and ecological conservation.

Pieces from her "Predator and Prey" series will be featured at the Gifts of the Craftsmen exhibition.

The works show nature's predators and their usual prey -- a lion and lamb, a polar bear and seal cub -- in peaceful and harmonious scenes.

"It's a way of commenting on social issues without hitting you over the head with it," she said.

An opening reception for Gifts of the Craftsmen will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 6.

Along with the exhibit, the museum again will offer gift-making workshops for children in grades 1-6. The workshops will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m Dec. 21 and 22.

"Children will be creating two projects they can give as gifts," Talbott said. "We're keeping the projects a secret until the workshops so they can surprise their family and friends."

The fee is $25 per student. To register, call 614-486-4402.

The museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday during the holiday exhibition.

Admission and parking are free.

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