It’s hard to believe it’s December already! Time really does move faster the older you get.

The unavoidable madness of the Christmas season is upon us. When you’re shopping around for gifts, I urge you to go local this year. It’s your support that helps our great creative community continue to grow.

Thursday

Join North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department Thursday evening for a reception showcasing the exhibition of works by Indiana-based Michelle Peterlin and Tennessee-based Jennifer Stoneking-Stewart.

“Peterlin’s paintings are often of glass, store fronts and windows with a view, depicted on a large scale,” arts coordinator Ann Simmons said of “Window Dressing.”

In regards to Stoneking-Stewart’s exhibition of woodcuts, Simmons sees “nostalgia, wistful longing, fascination, absence and a sense of home” as part of the message.

“Her collection of images of distorted homes take inspiration from numerous experiences with the past and present, as well as the landscape of the rural Southeast with its dilapidated, abandoned relics of lives past,” she continues.

The two exhibitions will open with a reception 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the North Charleston City Gallery in the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive.

Call 740-5854 or go to www.northcharleston.org.

Friday

This Friday’s art walk will be the last of the year and a great place to purchase some unique pieces for your loved ones.

All art walk receptions are free and open to the public, taking place 5-8 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

The Gallery Row folks are putting on a “Postcards From Charleston Show,” with works in each of the following galleries. There also will be a Cinderella Carriage available for rides on Broad Street.

Atrium Art Gallery: Karen Vournakis’ latest body of work, “Working Charleston Plantations,” is a mixed-media exhibition that pays homage to the Lowcountry artisans who created art at some of our historic plantations. Many of the pieces are of the stableyards at Middleton Place, where artisans made pottery, weaved cloth, created wagon wheels — all activities that were “critical to the success of the plantation,” said Vournakis. 61 Queen St. www.atriumartgallery.com

Charleston Artist Guild Gallery: Faye Sullivan’s “ ‘Soft Whisper’ is a collection of oil paintings that combines the softness of pastels with the clarity and substance of oils,” said the gallery representative at the Charleston Artist Guild. “Faye believes the essence of a painting is light and how that light touches the subject. Her work with color and shadow enables the viewer to experience the light and mood of the painting.” 160 East Bay St. www.charlestonartistguild.com

Coco Vivo Fine Art and Design: Love toy trains? This is the exhibit for you. Angela Trotta Thomas, official artist of the Lionel Train Corp., will be showcasing her collection of nostalgic toy train paintings. “Angela’s powerful images are a mixture of Lionel trains, childhood and the holiday season,” said gallery owner Mary Phelps. 25 Broad St. www.cocovivofineart.com

Corrigan Gallery: Fabric artist/painter Karin Olah long has been a Lowcountry favorite. She moved to Colorado last year and has been missed, so her local fans are excited that she’ll be having a local show this month called “Happy Go Lucky.”

“I take printmaking and quilt making principles, add a dash of painting and come up with a new process ... which I call collage paintings,” Olah said. The artist will be present. 62 Queen St. www.lesecorrigan.com

Edward Dare Gallery: Sometimes smaller paintings are easier to afford and easier to place in your home. Check out the large variety of small paintings by local and national artists at the “Small Works” exhibit. 31 Broad St. www.edwarddare.com

Ella W. Richardson Fine Art: Local character and painter Mickey Williams never disappoints. His new collection is “A Change of Season.” Expect to see his “signature marsh and wetlands paintings as well as some pieces for his winter beach series,” said gallery director Elizabeth Todd. “Mickey is currently focusing on the coast and its erosion and ever-changing form,” she added. 58 Broad St. www.ellarichardson.com

Hamlet Fine Art Gallery: Patricia Puckett, Jane Woodward and Stephanie Shuler Hamlet recently spent several weeks painting in Tuscany, Italy. Naturally inspired by their trip, the three painters have returned with an extensive collection of works, “Italian at Heart,” featuring Cortona, Assissi, Florence and Sienna. 7 Broad St. www.hamletgallery.com

Lambert Gray Gallery: A collection of “Small Treasures” by artists Hilarie Lambert, Michael Gray and Tina Christophillis will be on display. Look for the special new horse pieces by Lambert. 54 Broad St.www.lambertgraygallery.com

Robert Lange Studios: Nathan Durfee has become famous for the storytelling nature of his paintings, and Megan Aline excels in creating interesting atmospheres. This show, called “Humming Velvet,” will be an interesting one as it will showcase Aline’s and Durfee’s individual works as well as several paintings that they have done together by merging their different styles on one canvas. 2 Queen St. www.robertlangestudios.com

Robison and Richard Fine Art: Ray Ellis is 91 and still painting. And he’s still one of the Southeast’s favorite artists. Ellis has done a lot of traveling throughout his lifetime and has been inspired by many of those places. Scoop up one of his 24 paintings that will be part of the exhibit “Seven Continents, Around the World With Ray Ellis.” 39 Broad St. www.robisonandrichard.com

Spencer Art Galleries: As the Spencer Art Galleries cover more than one space, they are having two separate exhibits. Gallery I will feature new works helping us to find our way called “Guiding Lights” by Claudette Bell. Gallery II will be showing “Gifts” by Ann Von Rosenberg. 55 and 57 Broad St. www.spencerartgallery.com

Saturday

Cuban-born artist Reynier Llanes now considers Charleston his home.

Famous for his coffee paintings, distinct style and work ethic, he is one to watch as his works already are appearing in museums.

“My work cannot be detached from a pictorial narration, where exist a reading on the composition of the painting,” Llanes said. “I rely on magical realism to establish very specific symbols of my experiences and the tender memories of my childhood. The academy is from the beginning of my career, but when I discovered the beauty of metaphor, the mixes of these two vocations gave life to poems and dreams in my work. My culture and my Cuban roots are my seal; as well knowing I can use or adapt any concept of which I want to express. ‘Anecdotes From a Diary’ are a collection of personal works — my intention is for the viewers to identify with the art or at least feel them.”

There will be an opening reception 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday at the Real Estate Studio, 214 King St. Call 722-5628.