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SAGE Community Arts is located on Brundage Street.

With today marking the celebration of All Hallows’ Eve and Thanksgiving menus not yet complete or even started, it may seem premature to be using the word “Christmas.” However, with the early arrival of cold temperatures and the number of times I have already used the snow shovel this year, Christmas has entered my consciousness.

I have embraced snow boots and puffy down vests almost daily for the past few weeks. My tendency to add pumpkin to any recipe is waning, and thoughts of hot cocoa and peppermint have moved in. And I am all too ready to begin listening to Christmas tunes and cannot wait for Leslie Odom Jr.’s release of his Christmas album next week.

Beyond my taste buds, wardrobe and music choices adapting to the arrival of winter, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what the arrival of the holiday season means during this strange year. And as I have come to realize the traditions of years’ past, the holiday parties and gatherings with family and friends, will look different, I have thought about how to make the best of these times and embrace the unique and meaningful ways we can enjoy the holiday season this year.

I look forward to supporting the local arts and enjoying art with others as much as possible during this upcoming season. What better way to connect with each other than through the creativity and expression of art?

This year I wish to be more intentional with gift giving and to support local business and local artists through my purchases. At SAGE, we’ve recently changed over all artwork in our Member Gallery and will be opening a new show Nov. 3 titled, “Fuming: Soda Fired Ceramics” featuring the work of Rod Dugal, Elaine Olafsen Henry and Stephen Mullins. I can guarantee friends and family will be receiving some artisan gifts from these displays of art at SAGE.

Or they will receive gifts from one of the other Sheridan businesses that support local artists and the creative craft culture that makes Sheridan such a vibrant and enjoyable place to live: The Union, Expressions Gallery, King Ropes, Red Bison Studio, Verdello, Surf Wyoming, Bozeman Trail Gallery, Jackalope Ranch and Main Frame, to name a few.

I also wish to be more intentional with spending time with friends and family enjoying artistic performances and artist talks that our local art organizations are working so hard to provide via alternative, safe and healthy avenues. While we may not be able to gather in large groups for our normal festive activities, we can host virtual watch parties and tune into performances and talks offered by the WYO, Ucross or Whitney Center for the Arts.

While it may be too early for some to start putting out their Christmas decorations or putting on the Christmas album records, it is not too early to start thinking about supporting local business and local art this holiday season. I have set my intentions for the season, and hope others in the community will join me in doing the same.

Kendra Heimbuck is executive director of SAGE Community Arts.

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