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Shop 'til you drop: Fresh Arts WHAM spenders get original with locally crafted goods

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8, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Rachel Schipul, Jenni Rebecca Stephenson
Rachel Schipul, Jenni Rebecca Stephenson Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
0, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Jeff Shell, Karina Barbieri, Carlos Barbieri
Jeff Shell, Karina Barbieri, Carlos Barbieri Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
11, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Matt Adams, Tina Lara, Vincent Fink
Matt Adams, Tina Lara, Vincent Fink Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
19, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Mark Meldrum, Brooke Sinclair, Karen Meldrum
Mark Meldrum, Brooke Sinclair, Karen Meldrum Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
22, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Roxanne Paiva, Julie Lambert
Roxanne Paiva, Julie Lambert Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
17, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Nancy Rohr, Angus McCorquodale, Teresa Perez, Wendy Thiessen
Nancy Rohr, Angus McCorquodale, Teresa Perez, Wendy Thiessen Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
16, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Michael Crowder, Melanie Loew
Michael Crowder, Melanie Loew Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
15, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Trish Babcock, Carol Havens
Trish Babcock, Carol Havens Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
10, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Lizy Fernandez, Nadia Baily, Erika Moreno
Lizy Fernandez, Nadia Baily, Erika Moreno Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
9, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Jim Austin, Summer Austin
Jim Austin, Summer Austin Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
5, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Lauren Ditta, Lee Ditta
Lauren Ditta, Lee Ditta Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
4, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Alex Doyle, London Alexander
Alex Doyle, London Alexander Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
3, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Karen Dow, Brian Kelly
Karen Dow, Brian Kelly Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
1, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Carlos Barbieri, Karina Barbieri
Carlos Barbieri, Karina Barbieri Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
8, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Rachel Schipul, Jenni Rebecca Stephenson
0, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Jeff Shell, Karina Barbieri, Carlos Barbieri
11, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Matt Adams, Tina Lara, Vincent Fink
19, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Mark Meldrum, Brooke Sinclair, Karen Meldrum
22, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Roxanne Paiva, Julie Lambert
17, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Nancy Rohr, Angus McCorquodale, Teresa Perez, Wendy Thiessen
16, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Michael Crowder, Melanie Loew
15, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Trish Babcock, Carol Havens
10, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Lizy Fernandez, Nadia Baily, Erika Moreno
9, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Jim Austin, Summer Austin
5, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Lauren Ditta, Lee Ditta
4, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Alex Doyle, London Alexander
3, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Karen Dow, Brian Kelly
1, WHAM preview party, November 2012, Carlos Barbieri, Karina Barbieri

When the holiday shopping gets tough, tough holiday shoppers go for WHAM.

The Fresh Arts, formerly Spacetaker, Winter Holiday Art Market has bloomed year after year in revenue directly supporting the artsy ventures of local creatives. The event has morphed into a sought after three-day shopping spree for savvy consumers looking to cross off items from their gift-giving season to-do list.

With 60 artists, a third of them brand new to the affair, the preview fete Friday night at Winter Street Studios drew record crowds. Last year's $20 tariff was reduced to $10, Fresh Arts members were offered complimentary entry, and that was motivation for more than 550 spenders to meander to and fro through the well-organized network of hallways where vendors offered a colorful bounty of art, objects, personal items, jewelry and accessories — all one-of-a-kind and handmade in Houston.

 With all that merry stimulation, cash tendered swelled 10 percent from last year's numbers — with many $1,000 high-ticket items sold.

Among them were Lee Wright's quaint and quirky framed portraits on Post-it notes, Piyali Sen Dasgupta's exquisite hand-printed silk scarves and sarongs, Ann Westby's contemporary earrings and necklaces, Taft McWhorter's large-scale canvasses and Carlos Pozo's avant-garde two-dimensional designs.

DJ Dave Wrangler and video artist Bryan Lozano enlivened the mood while flowing hearty beverages from Dripping Springs Vodka and Silver Eagle Distributors rendered guests chatty. Spread generously through the event were nibbles by Delectable P.I.E.S., Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Jenni's Noodle House, Whole Foods Market, Oh My! Pocket Pies and Kitchen Incubator.

With all that merry stimulation, cash tendered swelled 10 percent from last year's numbers — with many $1,000 high-ticket items sold.

That's why executive director Jenni Rebecca Stephenson and program director Sarah Schellenberg were as jovial as a Tracy Carlson photograph.

Shopping until dropping were Rachel and Ed Schipul, Houston Arts Alliance's Kenneth Franco, American Festival of the Arts Michael Remson with partner Glen Hilton, Jerry Ochoa, Mandy Graessle, Culture Pilot's Tim DeSilva and Grace Rodriguez, Mandy Trichell, Teya Sparks, Amy Tanner, Marita and JB Fairbanks, Kim-Kay and Tom Randt, Hagit and Patrick Prather of Prather Kalgan Accountants and Consultants, Arielle and Harry McMahan and Bayou City Art Festival's Kelly Kindred.

Fresh Arts' WHAM continues with free admission on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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