Holiday Escape 

click to enlarge art_in_a_bag.jpg

She seemed distracted. Her hat and scarf matched, naturally, but her countenance reflected the post-Thanksgiving daze I'd worn myself a time or two. She pushed through the revolving door, intent, and you could hear her exhale a mile away.

This was the place where she could be herself. She was good at finding the sale, saving money. She got satisfaction from it, self-approval.

Not like what she was feeling from her new mother-in-law. She'd wanted so much to make her happy. Had the woman approved of the turkey? She'd said she did, but there was a certain tone in her voice. Maybe she'd gone overboard with the walnuts in the stuffing, after all. The walnuts haunted her, but she pressed forward.

Then she stopped, midsigh, right next to the red-tagged sweaters.

Art. That's what she needed: art, and to be around people who loved art. Her family could do without her for a while. She left the discount department store, sales and all, and headed for the Day After Thanksgiving Art Affair.

It would make her forget. It would distract her in a good way.

Item N§ 05

Day After Thanksgiving Art Affair.

Specs: Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Special exhibits, refreshments and live music at 7 p.m. Art Works Studio and Galleries, 320 Hull St.

Sizes unavailable: Mondays.

Price: Free.

Special deals: At the 50 and Below Gallery, art for $50 or less.

To order: www.artworksrichmond.com.

Item N§ 06

Fourth Annual Ginter Park

Fine Arts and Crafts Show.

Specs: Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 20 artisans, including knitwear, jewelry and photography. Lewis Ginter Recreation Association, 3421 Hawthorne Ave.

Price: Free.

To order: 353-5462.

Item N§ 07

The Back Alley Art Show.

Featuring: Local artists Kim Young, Danny Finney and more.

Specs: Dec. 7 and 14, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Alley parking behind 15 S. Sheppard St.

Price: Free.

To order: 359-9521.

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