(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Although Denver is not typically thought of as an art mecca, our city is rising on the arts scene. In the past year alone, two exhibits have shown exclusively at the Denver Art Museum, and First Friday art walks are extremely popular in the Santa Fe art district and the Golden Triangle. Artisanal gifts are unique, crafted with care and are a great way to support artists in the community. Do something different this holiday season and buy from a local artist.

Artisan Center
2757 E. 3rd Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 333-1201

This Cherry Creek shop offers a variety of handmade gifts from paper to bath and body products to jewelry. With items ranging in price from less than $10 to more than $100, it is friendly for all budgets. Offering a space in which to gather and interact, your shopping experience is more like a craft fair or farmers market than a typical retail shop. A varied, yet creative selection of gifts make this a good place to go if you need a lot of options.

Related: Top Places for Antiquing in Denver

Fast Industries
1644 Platte St.
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 207-4493

Artist and furniture designer Steve Fast is passionate and dedicated to his craft. His available work includes functional furniture and sculptural pieces, all handcrafted with a variety of wood and other materials. Whether you would like to commission a special piece or choose from a selection of furniture, you are guaranteed a sturdy, elegant piece of furniture. With sculptural and home accent pieces available for less than $100, you can find the perfect functional but elegant gift.

Fifth Avenue Designs
150 Steele St.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 394-2020

For loose diamonds and custom-crafted fine jewelry, Fifth Avenue Designs is a Denver favorite. Owner Larry Blauweiss is a third-generation jeweler and expert diamond cutter who comes to Denver by way of the New York City Diamond District. Known for creating brilliant and chic pieces, along with personalized customer service, you will be sure to find the perfect gift for that special someone. Staff at Fifth Avenue will make you feel at home and comfortable while you choose your gift. They will also help you design a custom piece if you want something personalized.

Related: Top Jewelry Stores in Denver

Show of Hands
210 Clayton St.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 399-0201

A gallery and shop that features pieces from various media from a variety of artists, Show of Hands offers something for everyone. From blown glass and ceramics to fiber and metals, people of all style preferences are represented. Gifts range in price from less than $50 to more than $250, depending on the medium. With such an expansive representation of artists and so much to choose from, stopping in to support an artist is incredibly easy and enjoyable.

Related: Top Places to Buy Handmade Gifts in Denver

Open Press Ltd.
40 W. Bayaud Ave.
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 778-1116

A Colorado artist who works in oils, pastels, monotypes and collages, Ken Elliott knows how to capture landscapes that make our state famous. While original pieces range in price from $300 to more than $1,000, Ken also offers posters for $30, a coffee table book for $120 and post cards for less than $5. Anyone who appreciates expertly crafted pictures featuring the bold, bright colors of our state will love an original piece or poster reprint from Ken Elliott. His work can be purchased at the Open Press Ltd. gallery or online.

For more holiday gift ideas, visit YourHolidayHints.com.

Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.