It seems like every present you received as a kid could shoot water, make cupcakes and provide two AA batteries' worth of nonstop fun. Now you get socks for the holidays.
In honor of the lost season of toys, Rivet Gallery will present Stuff This, the second-annual group exhibition of one-of-a-kind plush creations meant to tickle an adult's fancy, on Saturday.
"We were kind of taken aback about how popular it was [last year]," said gallery owner Laura Kuenzli.
Some of the pieces are adorable - like Jill Penney's lanky, orange-striped "Carrot Cats" - while other dolls seem surreal enough to scare a tyke, such as Jennybird Alcantara's veiny, multi-eyed monsters.
"It's a different version of art. It may be nontraditional, but it's still a craft," Kuenzli said.
Many of the 35 local and international artists involved with the show also work in mediums like painting, design and illustration. You can see some influences from Kristin Tercek's animation background in her furry black voodoo doll "Baron La Croix." The gothic doll sports red-feather hair, silver-button eyes and huge removable pushpins - it's a great gift for someone coming out of a bad relationship.
A squeezable set of gaudy-gowned lounge singers, named "Snot & Orange," will surely illicit a snicker, and there's even a detailed backstory included about the divey bar where the duo croons.
Most of the plush creations could serve as ripe conversation pieces for an arty person's office desk or end table. Prices range from $30 up to a few thousand, and all pieces bought as holiday gifts will be available for pickup in mid-December.
For the holidays, Rivet Gallery has also expanded its rotating selection of designer vinyl toys with a few seasonal retail items. Popular additions include design-your-own ornaments and dark, cartoony Christmas cards from fan-favorite artists like Gary Baseman and Mark Ryden.
"They're definitely not your average Hallmark cards," Kuenzli said.