Durango's buy local" movement is nothing new - just try to get through a Durango Herald without seeing the word
Holidazzle" this month.
But even the most diehard local gift givers haven't had a lot of hometown choices when it comes time to wrap the
presents, other than the daily paper.
Enter Carol Clark and Local First, the Durango organization dedicated to keeping La Plata County dollars in La Plata
County. Clark saw the incongruity of wrapping locally purchased gifts in mass-produced gift paper, and she did
something about it. Working with six local artists, Clark created what seems to be Durango's first locally produced
holiday wrapping paper.
What it comes down to usually is that you don't have those choices, and the questions we ask are: 'What are we
missing? What do we need to do or create to have more choices?'" Clark said. The paper, which was printed at the
Herald's plant in Cortez, features designs by Durango artists Cindy Coleman, Heather Leavitt, Debra Greenblatt, Kris
Hickcox, Tim Kapustka and Susana Wickstrom, a student who got involved with the project through the Durango Discovery
Artists are so creative and fun to work with. If I had the choice to buy Kris Hickcox's paper or someone I don't
know, I choose Kris. It's important for the community to embrace that mindset," Clark said.
Each sheet is 23 inches by 25 inches, which is the same size as an unfolded newspaper page. The paper will be sold in
bundles of 12 sheets with two sheets of each artist's design. Three of the designs feature repeated images and three, including Greenblatt's, contain a single image.
I thought a lot about what it would look like when it's folded, and I tried to design it that way," Greenblatt said
of her holiday montage.
The pencil and marker drawing includes a Star of David, candle, Christmas tree and snowflake.
I'm Jewish, but I'm not really very religious. But whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, it's a very
spiritual and religious time, and they're why there's a holiday season," Greenblatt said.
The Local First wrapping paper is the second major venture by the organization, which recently published the Be Local
coupon book. Clark said it's the first component of a larger holiday shop local" campaign she hopes to roll out in