Beth Ann Short is among 200 artists who will sell 8″ × 8″ works at People’s Arts Big 200. Click this image to see more samples.

Giving art as a gift can be a tricky business. If it’s hanging in a gallery, you may incur a heavy investment and a month-long wait. Furthermore, there really is no accounting for your recipient’s taste. While the right purchase can open a heart, the wrong one will surely furrow a brow, and you’re still out good money. Though undeniably less romantic, it tends to be wise to save big gallery buys for your own walls, and when it comes to gift-giving, take a calculated risk on a little something.

That said, Culturephile has rounded up three ways to keep your holiday art search super-simple. Each one offers a diverse selection of works, a straightforward, immediate cash-to-goods transaction, and the warm fuzzy reassurance that some of your money will line charity coffers. Breathe easy; this will be fun.

People’s Art Big 200 is almost absurdly convenient, offering 200 8? × 8? original paintings from a diverse roster of local artists for a mere 40 bucks a pop, right in the Pioneer Square Mall. Starting on Dec. 10, you could literally hit this cash-and-carry gallery stop between visits to Body Shop and Baby Gap, and in so doing provide much-needed funds to the Oregon Food Bank.

The Art of Giving Web Store is a promising possibility for those who’d rather avoid the holly jolly crowd crunch altogether. With several paintings among its fine selection of wares, this website’s sales benefit area charities.

Prints for PICA puts a bit of social engagement and a sense of spontaneity into your art-buying transaction, hosting a Saturday night mixer on the 17th and a Sunday afternoon children’s workshop on the 18th to benefit the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. The Saturday event will sell still-drying prints pulled earlier that day by more than 100 local artists for $50-250. (We can’t show them to you, since they won’t exist til day-of.) Also, for a mere $20, the Sunday workshop offers kids a learning experience with a tangible reward: take-home prints pulled by their own tiny hands.

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