In Holiday Guide

Garden fish by Jesse Meyer.

Pfister Marketplace returns with new, creative gifts

There is nothing like the holidays in Milwaukee. VISIT Milwaukee is here to share your top shopping destinations, must-see holiday shows, where to meet Kris Kringle and local gifts you can't resist. Tune in all month long and 'tis the season!

For the second year, The Pfister Marketplace popped up inside the former Roger Stevens shop in the opulent lobby of the Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. The marketplace features art of all kinds, including sculpture, jewelry, photos, soap, yarn items, books and more created by 65 Milwaukee-based artists.

"It's important to us that all of our artists are local," says Renee Bebeau, who founded the marketplace last year and is the manager of the event again this year. "Like last year, we're focusing on very unique, handmade gift items."

New items this year include metal fish sculpture by Jesse Meyer, leather bags by Permanent Baggage, Art-ery Inc. T-shirts and cards, horsehair jewelry by Jenny Kilkenny and more.

Horse hair jewelry by Jenny Kilkenny.

"We have a lot of fresh items from new and returning artists," says Bebeau.

The Holiday Marketplace will also host numerous events, including free paper snowflake cutting every Sunday, all day.

Coloring book by Reginald Baylor Studio.

Wisco kitchen towels by Drea Kopan.

On Thursday, Dec. 8, poet and Pfister Narrator emeritus, Anja Notanja, offers "Secret Word Deck Workshop" from 5 to 7 p.m. Attendees of the writing workshop will create a deck of word cards to provide peaceful introspection and inspiration. All supplies are included and the cost is $15. Pre-registration is not necessary.

"Everyone has special associations to particular words. Discovering what words come to you in this meditation art class helps you to better understand where you are and what you have to say," says Notanja. "I use my secret word deck for generating poetry as well as psychoanalysis and even chakra readings."

Sonji Hunt presents a free yarn spinning demo on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. Students will learn to create yarn on a hand spindle. "No need to sign up," says Hunt. "Just pop in!"

Pfister barista Adam Joy will present a free music event – "eerie and dreamy experimental indie sounds" – on Friday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 18, Haimish Gree (who may or may not be an alias of musician and filmmaker Wes Tank) will read stories to children of all ages from 12 to 2 p.m. This is a free, family event.

Thanks to a massive tree and adornments galore, taking a stroll through the hotel's decorated lobby is a festive and visual treat. (And the hot cocoa in the Lobby Lounge rounds out the visit quite deliciously.)

The hours of the Marketplace are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 .p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Marketplace's final day of operation is Saturday, Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for last-minute shopping.

"These local artists are amazing at pumping out really cool gift items," says Bebeau.

Handmade flags by Cortney Heimerl.


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