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Unique Locally-Made Art at Triton Museum Holiday Gift Fair

Unique Locally-Made Art at Triton Museum Holiday Gift Fair

Creative local artists representing an array of artistic mediums set up shop inside the Triton Museum of Art for its annual Holiday Gift Fair on Dec. 3. Museum visitors could chat with some 30 artists about the creative process, examine their works of art and purchase one-of-a-kind gifts—from wearable fabric art and jewelry to fine art paintings and ceramics.

“The artists are very unique. They’re amazing!” said Santa Clara resident Poonam Patel, attending the fair with her husband and their two children.

“The Holiday Gift Fair is a chance for our Triton family to come together to show and sell their work and to support a museum they love,” said Chief Curator Preston Metcalf.


Eclectic glass art designer Helen Cole from Santa Cruz ( was excited to be at the Triton Museum.

“This is a beautiful venue in a diverse area, and I’m enjoying all the people coming through—explaining what I do and getting their feedback,” said Cole.

“Everything I create excites me—experiments and happy accidents—not just one single shape,” she explained. “I love that people buy our art, especially local art.”

Award-winning acrylic and mixed media painter Donna Orme is a regular participant at Triton Museum events and a member of the Santa Clara Art Association (

“Your booth really looks inviting,” a gift fair shopper told her. Orme encouraged young people and adults like herself to get involved in art.

“Get into an art organization,” advised Orme, who was 35-years-old when she became an artist. “You don’t have to be artistic. You just have to show up and reap the benefits of being with a group.”

“This is my backyard. I’m supporting my local museum and showing my vibrant, light-weight anodized aluminum jewelry,” said Santa Clara resident and artist Sue Toorans ( “I like doing this show because it’s a nice, relaxed show with a receptive audience. I like the people and atmosphere.”

Pianists Sakagch Aeala and Benjamin Belew added to the relaxed atmosphere. They played original works and selections by classical composers Chopin, Liszt, Mozart and Scarlatti in the spacious Warburton Gallery, where chairs had been set up so shoppers could rest and listen.

“The gift fair has exclusively local California artists and artisans, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Triton Museum art and education programs,” said Metcalf. “By the time this is printed, everybody is going to miss out on this chance to support the museum. But there are other opportunities.”

Those who missed the annual Holiday Gift Fair can still visit the museum gift shop. It is packed with small paintings, jewelry, wearable fabric art and objects d’art by some of the same artists who were at the gift fair.

In addition, “Tiles for the Triton” is a recently launched fund-raising effort for the museum, which was founded in San Jose in 1965 then opened in Santa Clara in October 1967. It celebrates 50 years in the Mission City in 2017.

Individuals can sponsor personalized tiles that will be permanently placed on the cement bench outside the front entrance of the museum. Information is available on the website:

Admission is always free to the Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara, (408) 247-3754. It is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for certain holidays.


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