By Bonny Zanardi

The holiday season is in full swing. There are numerous opportunities to enjoy the creativity that abounds throughout the Peninsula.

Small treasures

The Portola Art Gallery is showing the group exhibition Small Works – Mini Treasures throughout the month of December. The gallery’s artists are showcasing works, both paintings and fine art photographs, which may be smaller in size but express a bounty of creativity.

A reception for the show will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 2, in conjunction with the Allied Arts Christmas Market.

The gallery is at 75 Arbor Road in Menlo Park. Normal hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 650-321-0220 or visit

Free Friday and beyond

On December 1 the San Mateo County History Museum will hold its Free First Fridays program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For preschool children, the program includes an opportunity to create door wreaths, which they can take home. At 2 p.m. adults can enjoy tours of the museum led by docents.

The museum also will offer two free holiday activities in Tree Treasures on Saturday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children can meet Santa Claus and enjoy craft activities, such as making old-fashioned tree ornaments. The San Francisco State University Handbell Choir will perform holiday tunes at 1 p.m.

The museum is at 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. Call 650-299-0104 or visit

Holiday Open Studios

ARTS RWC is holding its second annual Artists’ Holiday Open Studios from noon to 5 p.m. December 2 and 3. More than 100 artists at 11 locations are participating, including the Linden Street Warehouse and the Art Center of Redwood City and San Carlos. For a complete listing of artists and locations visit

You’ll have the opportunity to meet the artists and discuss their work and, of course, to shop for the holidays.

Art Liaisons showings

Becky Johnson, Ayesha Waheed, Chuba Oyolu, Sam Price, Michael Toyama and Brooke Howie are the featured artists in the Art Liaisons show at Philz Coffee in San Mateo. The exhibit will be on view through mid-January. Philz Coffee is at 113 South B Street.

Art Liaisons also is presenting works by Kenneth E. Mahar, Elyse Dunnahoo, Mona Lisa Safai and Elaina Bland at Galerie Mistral, 370 Bridge Parkway, Redwood Shores, through mid-January.

In a third show, artists Joyce Baron Leopardo, Megan Clancy and Charlotte Cheng are featured at Philz Coffee, 2116 Broadway, Redwood City, beginning with a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, December 3. The show will continue through mid-January.

Call 650-596-0868 or visit

Seasonal treasures

Gallery House members are showing Holiday Treasures through December 24 at 320 S. California Avenue, Palo Alto. (Enter through Printer’s Café.) Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Call 650-326-1668.

Airport art

Those traveling through the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport will be able to see Alice Shaw’s new work No Other Lands Their Glory Know, which is based on her digital images of Mt. Tamalpais. The 20-by-26-foot work is comprised of 25 plywood panels suggesting vintage landscape photography. The background has hand-applied gold leaf.

Shaw grew up in Stinson Beach and has loved this forest location since she was a child. The title of her work comes from Joseph B. Strauss’s 1932 poem “The Redwoods,” which celebrates the beauty of the forests of Northern California.

No Other Lands Their Glory Know is permanently installed at gate G-95.

Happy Holidays! May you find wonders to enjoy this holiday season.


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