AIGA Pittsburgh Holiday Gift Guide 2018

As the creative community in Pittsburgh continues to grow and thrive, there are endless reasons for steering clear of the big box stores and online mega-retailers over the holidays. Our friends and neighbors are making amazing art, and crafting great products and experiences that will bring warmth and joy to just about everyone on your “nice” list. We asked our AIGA PGH board of directors to suggest a handful of local gift recommendations for this holiday season, so whether shopping for yourself, or someone else, make sure to shop local!

$ – $25 and under
$$ – $50 and under
$$$ – 75 and under
$$$$ – above $100

Workshop PGH
Workshop PGH
Gift a class, a plant, a blouse, a handmade card, handmade jewelry, etc.
Price: $-$$$$

“When trying to think of a clever gift that is native to Pittsburgh, I tend to think of print making or hand crafted gifts. What better way to gift someone with handcrafted then having them learn the craft themselves? Its the gift that keeps on giving.”
Sydney Bennett

WYEP Gift Membership
Price: $$

As a designer, music plays a big role in my creativity. WYEP is the go-to radio station to inspire new ideas and be up-to-date with current events in the Pittsburgh community.”
David Leal

Lovett Sundries Deodorant
Lovett Sundries 606 South Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15221
Price: $

Let’s face it, your friends and family stink! Okay, I’m kidding, but if you’re sweating the perfect gift, this should help. “Our gentle but effective deodorant will leave you fresh as a daisy all day long. The arrowroot powder and baking soda absorb wetness and odor, and the coconut oil and beeswax condition your sensitive underarm skin. Choose from lavender, lemongrass, pine, or unscented. Check out Lovett Sundries entire line of old fashioned, finely crafted apothecary products including soaps, shampoos, lip balms and lotions, shaving kits, laundry and dishwashing soaps, insect repellents and cast iron conditioner. Something for everyone!
Nick Caruso


Mr. Rogers CMYK  Print
Commonwealth Press – Multiple locations
Price: $$

Do you remember those episodes of Mr Rogers that you would go to the factory and learn how something is made? I think if he was still around today, he’d love showing us all how printing and color works with this beautifully hand-drawn and printed piece from Dan Rugh. Nothing says “You are my friend, and you are special” quite like Mr Rogers. And while we may never get that episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood @ CWP, this print is a great reminder that everything is possible if we just use our imaginations.”
Jon Brentzel


Voyagers by Melissa Catanese
Spaces Corners – 1721 Lowrie Street
Price: $

Voyagers is a collection of found snapshots of people in various postures of reading, edited by Melissa Catanese, a local artist and owner of Spaces Corners, a beautiful bookshop in Troy Hill specializing in contemporary photography. The wordless book is a lovely rumination on reading and the places it can take us to, and a perfect gift for any book maker or book lover on your list.
Elana Schlenker


Original Works of Art from Local Artists
Tom Estlack + Rosalie Haizelett

Price: $-$$$$

“Why not gift health and good cheer for the Holidays? Art is great for your mental and physical well-being. It helps you relax, relieves stress, and stimulates the imagination. You’ll be supporting local artists and making the world a more beautiful (and healthy) place to live! Prints and original paintings vary in style, media, and size, and are available at almost any price range. Please contact the artist with interest in a specific work if the price is not visible.
Sarah Davis


STAK Phone Dock Valet, Teal
STAK Ceramics  7800 Susquehanna Street, Pittsburgh PA, 15208
Price: $$

“The Stak Phone Dock Valet is perfect for charging & displaying your phone while storing important items such as keys, wallet and jewelry. The Valet is designed for use with most iPhones and a wide variety of other smartphone models.  Use your phone’s existing charging cord through the convenient opening located on the lower front of the dock. Made from a white stoneware clay body and finished with a gloss teal glaze. I chose this item because its practical, high quality, and really love the color.
Laurel Strongosky


A519 Chocolates Winter Caramel Collection
A519 Chocolate

Price: $$

“Individually handcrafted truffles made from locally sourced ingredients presented with bold stylings and intriguing flavors.
Lindsay Quinter


Original Watercolor maps by Bear Left Bear
Bear Left Bear / Wildcard, 4209 Butler Street
Price: $-$$$$

“I selected this item because it is a classy and beautiful way to show off Pittsburgh and our awesome little neighborhoods! Currently they have Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, and Garfield maps, soon they will also have Morningside and Stanton Heights. Prints are available in a variety of sizes. I think it could be a great unique present to anyone from a coworker to a family member.
Emily Conti


Reiko Yamamoto Housewares
Price: $$

Reiko Yamamoto makes modern, versatile and functional pottery for everyday use. Each and every piece is designed, made and fired in her studio in Pittsburgh. Having grown up in Japan, Reiko ate meals everyday using handmade pottery. In her family (and true in most Japanese homes), there was no concept of a complete dinnerware set and instead, the table was a vivid array of dishes of various sizes, colors, shapes and patterns. This contributed for her love of mix and match sensibility as well as her appreciation for well designed functional objects. Reiko hopes that her work gets handled daily and meal and conversations are shared in its presence. She is dedicated to creating quality work that celebrates the handmade and continues the long tradition of ceramics.
Elana Schlenker 


City Theatre Holiday Flex Vouchers
City Theatre
Price: $$$

City Theatre is Pittsburgh’s best kept secret. City produces powerful new plays, and are doing an increasingly great job of tapping into our local talent for their cast and crew. With this pack of 4 flex vouchers, you can share a single performance with three friends, or stuff them all in your own stocking and see 4 different performances yourself. My wife and I have been going to City Theatre for a few years now and we love the roller coaster of emotion we experience during a ~90 minute performance. You’ll laugh and cry, feel uncomfortable and uplifted, and most importantly, challenged. Its so refreshing to get away from screens for a few hours, and make shared, artful experiences.
Michael Artman 


Hannah Grace Clark Fireflies
Price: $$

This archival print of an original painting is available in 3 different sizes, and comes signed by the artist. Hannah Grace Clark’s work is whimsical and fun. It’s a great gift for a child’s nursery.
Jason Horne 


La Prima Coffee
La Prima
Price: $

“Locally roasted (and recently rebranded), La Prima coffee is a great gift for everyone on your list. La Prima has been a part of Pittsburgh and The Strip District for 30 years, and they’re looking and tasting better than ever. Heading to a party? Everyone brings wine. Be the guest your friends really remember the next morning when they’re thanking you over their morning cup of coffee. Send a taste of home to your friend who foolishly moved away or pick up a bag of pick-me-ups for your favorite coworker. There’s something so comforting and yet, motivating about that perfect cup of coffee. Grab a friend and have a cup at the Strip Dist shop for a really authentic moment. My favorite? The Rachel Carson blend.”  
Jon Brentzel 


Upcoming Holiday Markets
People’s Gas Holiday Market in Market Square
Daily through Dec 23 | Market Square

Holiday mART
Now – December 9 | Sweetwater Center for the Arts

I Made It! for the Holidays 2018
December 1-2,  | former Macy’s Waterfront
December 15 | The Block at Northway

Holiday Glass Sale at Pittsburgh Glass Center
December 7-9, | Pittsburgh Glass Center

Handmade Arcade- Sunday
December 8 | David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Holiday Crafts and Drafts
December 10-11 | East End Brewing

The Wintermarket at the Hotel Monaco
December 10-11 | Hotel Monaco, Downtown

Babyland Holiday Sale
December 15 | Babyland

Made + Found Holiday Market
December 16 | Ace Hotel Pittsburgh