Winter Spirits: Dec Unblurred

MOST-WANTED FINE ART invites artists to submit work for Winter Spirits a group exhibit exploring the characters associated with the coldest season through out multiple cultures.

The event will be part of the Unblurred Gallery Crawl along Penn Ave in Pittsburgh.

The show has 3 parts:

1. An ornament display. Artist can enter an ornament pertaining to the theme.

2. Artists can choose from the characters below. Each character’s use is limited so first come first serve on picking.

3.  Costume artists and guests alike are encouraged to dress up. We will parade down the Unblurred Gallery Crawl Route at 8pm starting at Most Wanted Fine Art and walking to the glass center and back around.


It is FREE Pieces should be no larger than 18 X 24 inches (outside measurements). Your art must be ready to hang. Wire across the back, no saw tooth hangers will be accepted.

ART DROP OFF: Wednesday Dec 2nd by 9pm at MWFA 5015 Penn Ave

To be displayed in the basement space from

Dec. 2, 2016 (Unblurred: Art Opening) till Dec. 30, 2016  (art pick up night)

TO BE CONSIDERED PLEASE EMAIL MOSTWANTEDFINEART@Gmail.COM with a sample of previous work and which character you are interested in as well as a description of what you plan to create.

Artists will receive 60% of the purchase price which is determined by the artist.


The Yule Cat (Icelandic: Jólakötturinn or Jólaköttur) is a monster from Icelandic folklore, a huge and vicious cat said to lurk about the snowy countryside during Christmastime and eat people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. [1] The Yule Cat has become associated with other figures from Icelandic folklore as the house pet of the giantess Grýla and her sons, the Yule Lads. [2]The threat of being eaten by the Yule Cat was used by farmers as an incentive for their workers to finish processing the autumn wool before Christmas. The ones who took part in the work would be rewarded with new clothes, but those who did not get nothing and thus would be preyed upon by the monstrous cat. The cat has alternatively been interpreted as merely eating away the food of ones without new clothes during Christmas feasts. [1] The perception of the Yule Cat as a man-eating beast was partly popularized by the poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum in his poem Jólakötturinn. [3]


The Yule Lads, or Yulemen, (Icelandic: jólasveinarnir or jólasveinar) are figures from Icelandic folklore who in modern times have become the Icelandic version of Santa Claus. Their number has varied throughout the ages, but currently they are considered to be thirteen.[1] They put rewards or punishments into shoes placed by children in window sills during the last thirteen nights before Christmas Eve. Every night, one Yuletide lad visits each child, leaving gifts or rotting potatoes,[2] depending on the child’s behavior throughout the year.


The Père Fouettard (French pronunciation:  [pɛʁ fwetaʁ]) (French for Father Whipper) is a character who accompanies St. Nicholas in his rounds during St. Nicholas’ Day (6 December) dispensing lumps of coal and/or floggings to the naughty children while St. Nick gives gifts to the well behaved.[1] He is known mainly in the far north and eastern regions of France and in the south of Belgium, although similar characters exist all over Europe (see Companions of Saint Nicholas). This “Whipping Father” was said to bring a whip with him to spank all of the naughty kids who misbehaved.


Wintermaker is a strong Ojibwe canoe man. His outstretched arms rule the winter sky. Wintermaker is seen overhead during the winter months. He is an important mythological figure in Ojibwe culture.


Belsnickel is a companion of Saint Nicholas in the Palatinate (Pfalz), Germany. Belsnickel is a man wearing fur which covers his entire body, and he sometimes wears a mask with a long tongue. He is a rather scary creature who visits children at Christmas time and delivers socks or shoes full of candy, but if the children were not good, they will find coal and/or switches in their stockings instead. In parts of the United States in the 19th century, “Pelznickel” traditions were maintained for a time among immigrants at least as far west as the US state of Indiana. In this branch of the tradition, the father or other older male relative was often “busy working outside” or had to see to some matter elsewhere in the house when Pelznickel arrived. Today, remnants of this tradition remain, known as the Belsnickel, especially in Pennsylvania.


Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair.Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore; however, its influence has spread far beyond German borders. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, Romania, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December (the eve of Saint Nicholas Day on many church calendars), and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten. There are many names for Krampus, as well as many regional variations in portrayal and celebration.’

7. ZWARTE PIET/ Black Pete

In Belgium and the Netherlands, children are told that Zwarte Piet leaves gifts in the children’s shoes. Presents are said to be distributed by Saint Nicholas’ aide Zwarte Piet; who enters the house through the chimney, which also explains his black face and hands, but not his colorful attire. An 1850 book by Jan Schenkman (“Sint Nikolaas en zijn knecht”) popularized the attributes that Black Pete has in the Netherlands and Belgium. Some of these attributes include: blackface, big red lips, golden earrings, black curly wig, colourful “page” outfit, the reference to his being Saint Nicholas’ servant (“knecht” in Dutch). Some of these attributes are becoming less common with more people becoming aware of their negative connotation, but this is often subject to discussion. The majority of Dutch people in the Netherlands still feel that these attributes are not associated with slavery or black people, and should be seen as forming a unique and distinct appearance. In recent years the people who support the anti Zwarte Piet movement have grown in number. They want to plead, that the role of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, as enshrined in tradition, is racism.


Yuki Onna (雪女?, snow woman) is a spirit or yōkai in Japanese folklore. Yuki-onna appears on snowy nights as a tall, beautiful woman with long black hair and blue lips. Her inhumanly pale or even transparent skin makes her blend into the snowy landscape. She sometimes wears a white kimono,[3] but other legends describe her as nude, with only her face and hair standing out against the snow.[4] Despite her inhuman beauty, her eyes can strike terror into mortals. She floats across the snow, leaving no footprints, and she can transform into a cloud of mist or snow if threatened. Some legends say the Yuki-onna, being associated with winter and snowstorms, is the spirit of someone who perished in the snow.[5] She is at the same time beautiful and serene, yet ruthless in killing unsuspecting mortals. Until the 18th century, she was almost uniformly portrayed as evil.


Marzanna (in Polish), Morė (in Lithuanian) or Morena (in Czech, Slovak, Russian) or also Mara, Maržena, Morana, Moréna, Mora or Marmora is a Baltic and Slavic goddess associated with seasonal rites based on the idea of death and rebirth of nature. She is associated with death, winter and nightmares. Some medieval Christian sources such as the Czech 9th century Mater Verborum compare her to the Greek goddess Hecate, associating her with sorcery. 15th century Polish chronicler Jan Długosz likened her to Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture.


Perchta or Berchta (English: Bertha), also commonly known as Percht and other variations, was once known as a goddess in Southern Germanic paganism in the Alpine countries. Her name means “the bright one” (Old High German beraht, bereht, from Proto-Germanic *brehtaz) and is probably related to the name Berchtentag, meaning the feast of the Epiphany.In the folklore of Bavaria and Austria, Perchta was said to roam the countryside at midwinter, and to enter homes between the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany (especially on the Twelfth Night). She would know whether the children and young servants of the household had behaved well and worked hard all year. If they had, they might find a small silver coin next day, in a shoe or pail. If they had not, she would slit their bellies open, remove stomach and guts, and stuff the hole with straw and pebbles. She was particularly concerned to see that girls had spun the whole of their allotted portion of flax or wool during the year.[8]


A Caganer (Catalan pronunciation: [kəɣəˈne], Western Catalan: [kaɣaˈne]) is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighbouring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia and Northern Catalonia (in southern France). It is most popular and widespread in these areas, but can also be found in other areas of Spain (Murcia), Portugal and southern Italy (Naples).The name “El Caganer” literally means “the crapper” or “the shitter”. Traditionally, the figurine is depicted as a peasant, wearing the traditional Catalan red cap (the “barretina“) and with his trousers down, showing a bare backside, and defecating.[1]


You can also make a suggestion of a winter spirit you would like to interpret! Let us know what you think.

2015 Artist Waiver


Illustration by Tara Helfer