To add a little festive spice to your holiday season, stop in at the Dolores Chase Fine Art Gallery and stroll through the exhibit, "The Art of Giving." Chase and her people have put together a superb show with some of the best contemporary artists in the state. The holiday invitational boasts 16 gallery regulars as well as 17 invited artists.

To review all the artists and their works - and every work here deserves reviewing - would be impossible due to a newspaper's limited space. However, to whet your appetite, let me mention just a few.Doug Himes' "Possessions of Adam" (oil on panel) is like wandering into a Saul Stienberg nightmare directed by Paul Klee. Cryptic symbols and letters litter the panel while a large, grinning toad-like creature - you have to wonder what Adam would name it - squats in the center of the piece, anchoring it, bringing a balance to the playful work.

"Muitzu-Pompeii" (mixed media, 1994) by Jay Hall captivates the viewer with a Pompeiian nymph surrounded by a textured atmosphere. It's quite stunning.

Royden Card's woodblock print, "Ketti's Lunch," is bold, balanced and brutal. The graphic nature, the harsh separation of dark from light - the large shape above or behind the fruit is still a mystery to me - grabs the eye and refuses to let go.

Also, "Horse and Rider" (bronze, 1994) by John Tuomisto-Bell is a delight. I just can't wait to assign meaning to artwork like this. The sculpture is of a horse cut in half. Seated on the animal, just in front of the cut, is a man with no arms. The meaning: man's cutting the horse off as a useful, working part of society only caused man's own dismemberment. The interesting thing about the work, however, is that neither the horse or the man seem to care one bit.

"The Art of Giving" closes on Jan. 4. There are so many strong pieces here, I recommend the entire family see the exhibit. (Children will marvel at the colors and textures they will encounter.)

So put away your shopping and visit the Dolores Chase Fine Art Gallery before the new year.