Arts preview: Holiday Hop offers plenty to see and/or do

Jesse Tigges, Columbus Alive

It's time for Holiday Hop, which means you're going to have to deal with more people who're just wandering around the Short North without a clue and/or just straight screwing around. So for those of you actually looking for something cool, here's a quick rundown of some good exhibit openings and fun things to do.

Member's Small Works Exhibition

This annual exhibit at ROY G BIV Gallery is one of the most popular of the year. With 56 member artists participating, nearly 100 pieces will be available, all priced less than $500.

The exhibit is designed to feature as many ROY G BIV artists as possible in one exhibit, thus requiring the small works to fit in the space. And the small works are also great holiday gifts.

"We think it's a great fit because the holidays are coming up and a lot of people are looking for small gifts," said gallery director Ken Aschliman.

While all pieces are $500 or less, there's even more accessible artwork also available. The gallery will premiere a $10 art table (during the exhibit's run) with even smaller works. They're perfect for stocking stuffer-type gifts.

While this exhibit is great for finding gifts, it's only because the works - a variety of mediums are represented - offer big creativity, despite their small stature.

Aschliman said he's partial to Ian Cross' "The Lost Cartographer" (pictured) because "[Cross' work] is always really interesting with the different layers and techniques he uses to create a lot of depth."

"Canaries and Coal Dust"

Local artist Sonya Lucas relishes in her West Virginia (i.e. coal-mining) roots with her latest works by incorporating coal dust pigment mixed with acrylic paint in each of her paintings. That's just f---ing cool, but when you add in the exhibit's haunting celebration of totemic life and death narratives, you've got must-see on your hands.

Paul Volker

Quirky local artist Paul Volker will present his latest paintings in the perfect environment. Volker's work is at times playful and darkly retrospective, which should play well in a toy store that'll also be occupied by "a couple of elves" for Holiday Hop. Let's get weird, Columbus!

Three (other) Holiday Hop things to do:

Holiday Hop Pop-up Shop & Craft Fair

Starting at noon, the Garden Theatre will host a jam-packed shopping event with more than 40 vendors, kids' activities with Santa (in the afternoon), craft workshops and locally made holiday brews and spirits (in the evening).

Window Displays

The Short North's holiday window displays are one of those things that let you know it's the holiday season - in a good way. Keep an eye out for Tigertree's moving installation, but Flower Child and Surly Girl Saloon are also great ones every year. Cast your vote for the top three by filling out a ballot at any participating location.

Instagram contest

The Short North Alliance is holding an Instagram photo contest running until Dec. 20. All that's required to enter - and potentially win - is to take a photo in the district and post with #shortnorthpole2013. Three winners from three categories will be announced at 5 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Garden Theatre, and receive a prize pack valued at $500 from Short North retailers.

ROY G BIV Gallery

Reception: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Through Dec. 28

997 N. High St., Short North


The Garden Theatre

1187 N. High St., Short North


Big Fun

672 N. High St., Short North


Stone Village Church

5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Through Dec. 31

139 E. Second Ave., Short North