By Kathy French
Mall and chain store parking lots are packed with holiday shoppers looking for those perfect gifts, but what most folks don’t know, is that you can find the most unique gifts at one of the many art galleries in Northwest Arkansas. And, although you can find some exquisite art pieces with corresponding price tags, can also find some super items for less than $20. Try Dark Star Visual’s bead room, find rag dolls ($10) at Heartwood Gallery, the Pink Bird of Hope ($11) at Terra Studios, and when you’re in Eureka Springs, be in sweet heaven at Two Dumb Dames or Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
In addition to regular hours, many of the galleries have special holiday shows planned this holiday season.
Here’s a list of special events and just a few of the many galleries and arts centers where you can shop this holiday season.
Special Open House Events
7 E. Mountain St.., Fayetteville. 442-0001.
Holiday Sale 5 to 8 p.m.
The ddp gallery and Kathy Thompson’s Studio 3 are in the same block, just east of the Fayetteville Square and they’re both holding special sales on Dec. 4.
ddp gallery will have a “small works” show with functional bronze sculptures by Chris Weaver, ceramics by Susan Hutchcroft, pieces from “stasis” by J.J. McCracken, paintings by Gregory Moore, James Kunzelmann, Zack Pinson and Jon Lee. Moleskin sketchbooks and art books by Cicada Books, functional ceramic items by Amanda Salov, silver jewelry by Flannery Grace Horan and coffee sleeves made from recycled materials by Jill Anthes. Regular hours are noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment. The holiday show runs through Jan. 10.
Kathy Thompson’s Studio 3
3 W. Mountain St., Fayetteville. 521-1502
Slapp Holiday Sale 5 to 8 p.m.
Studio 3 is holding a Slapp sale (Support Local Artists and Products) for one night only. The sale emphasizes sustainability and recycling. Purchase a contract for winter vegetables from Winne Farms, delectable eats by Joseph Brajcki and candies by Jacqueline Shin all suitable able for giving. Find art by artists Kathy Thompson, platters and paintings; Meredith Boswell, ceramics and ottomans; Cindy Arsaga, small encaustic paintings; Mary Thompson, recycled warm wearables; Adam Posnack, functional porcelain; Laurie Foster, home grown wool blankets; and Tonya Tubbs, magnetic dolls.
Dark Star Visuals
106 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville. 443-2323.
Part of the Progressive Shopping Party from 5:30 to 9 p.m. (See Highlights)
Find or make one-of-a-kind jewelry at Dark Star Visuals, or, order a custom piece from the beading elves at Dark Star. This longtime favorite just north of the Fayetteville Square carries a large array beads in glass and other elements that are just waiting to become a personal masterpiece. There is a $6 studio fee to make your own, plus the cost of the beads and the shop elves are more than happy to answer your questions. Stacey, the shop owner, is doing fine silver custom designs this year. But get your orders in by Dec. 1. The shop also offers gift and boutique items. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Heartwood Gallery, An Artists Collective
428 S. Government St., Fayetteville. 444-0888.
Heartwood features handmade items by local artists and is part of the Progressive Shopping Party from 5:30 to 9 p.m. (See Highlights). The variety at Heartwood is outstanding. Heartwood carries a selection of works by Charles Banks Wilson, who is well known for his Indian paintings and drawings. There are handmade guitars and mandolins by Bayard Blain, carved spoons by Steve Holst, and wooden jewelry boxes by Ed Hejtmanek. Fabric arts like jackets, baby clothes and sewing accessories by Jennifer Sharpe; crocheted, knitted and felted hats, scarves and wearables by Karen Chotkowski; scarves, shawls and hand towels by spinner and weaver Barbara Worth, who specializes in Tartan patterns and even makes kilts.
Find Rae Dunn’s whimsical utilitarian sculptures of nursery rhyme inspired tea sets, pots and cookie jars; pottery by Marg Shore and the Double Springs Pottery artists: Mary Curtis, Duncan Martin and Janet Greeson; and Raku, pottery and glass by Maura Miller.
Find hand blown glass items, from ornaments to chandeliers by Gary Carter and Ed Pennebaker; baskets by Susan Bell; decorated gourds by Pat and Ron Duncan, and old fashion rag dolls by Ann Brown. Browse the jewelry, mobiles and ornaments by Anita Hejtmanek; porcelain jewelry by Judy Goodwin; and silver jewelry by Esyule Gamache; etchings and prints by Richard Stauffacher; paintings by Path Hennon and Cedar Kindy; photos and cards by Julie Jeannene, nature photos, some printed on shirts, bags and magnets, by Laurie May; and nature drawings by Courtney Trimble. CDs by local musicians can also be found at Heartwood. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and everyday in December from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Little Mountain Bindery
572 W. 6th St., Fayetteville. 587-0238
Just around the corner from the Heartwood Gallery and also part of the Progressive Shopping Party (5:30 to 9 p.m.) is Little Mountain Bindery, a center for creative book, paper and printmaking arts. You can find book arts, handmade gifts and stationery and sign up for a class. Open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
Holiday Art Sale at Goodfolk
229 N. Block St., Fayetteville. 587-8920
7-9 p.m. Dec. 5 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec 6-7
The big Victorian house near the Fayetteville Square is known best for the live music, but once again, Goodfolk will play host to the annual three-day holiday art sale by several local artists. Selections will include pottery and cards by Marie Demeroukas; fanciful wool hats by Karen Chotkowski; hand-bound journals, cards and notebooks by Michelle Berg-Vogel; watercolors by William Mayes Flanagan; rugs by Debra Dubois; photography by Steve Moore; beaded earrings by Susan Shore; pottery by Victoria McKinney; paintings, boxes and mirrors by Elizabeth Nevin; and handmade bags by Jessica Robin.
Citizens Bank Gallery
116 E. Buchanan St., Prairie Grove. 790-0342
Open house with drinks and nibblies. Locally made handcrafted arts and crafts. Works include functional ceramics pieces by Carmen Weaver, mixed media sculptures and handmade clay pieces by Chris Weaver, photography by Michael McKenzie, Elizabeth Vos and William Van Horn, paintings and drawings by Jan Gosnell and Betsy Allen, pastels by Mary Talbert, hand whittled wooden pieces by Kivel Weaver, and other interesting items. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and by appointment.
Northwest Arkansas Community Creative Center
Nadine Baum Studios, 505 W. Spring St. Fayetteville. 927-2491
Holiday Bazaar & Family Craft Day
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Shop for gifts, visit with local artists, make your own cards and ornaments or sign up for a class. The center has classes for both kids and adults. Find art by Northwest Arkansas Artists and the NWACCC eachers and students.
Four Square Fine Art Gallery
112 W. Center St., Fayetteville. 422-8607.
Four Square Fine Art Gallery features work by local and regional artists including portraits by Robert Andes, abstracts and mixed media by Robert Glick, landscapes, skyscapes and mixed media shadowboxes by Tanya Johnston, still-life and landscapes by MM Kent, rural landscapes in acrylics and pastels by David Mudrinich, prints and painting reflecting the African American perspective by John Newman, and paintings and prints by Golsa Yaghoobi. Open noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment.
Terra Studios, The Muse Gallery & Coffee House
12103 Hazel Valley Rd., Fayetteville. 800-255-8995.
Take a little drive past Elkins and find Terra Studios, filled with pottery and glass homewares, gifts, sculptures, fine art, silk scarves, jewelry, board games, and of course, the original Bluebird of Happiness. Terra is located on several acres which includes a mural garden. Find pottery and sculpture by John Ward, Rita Ward, Maura Miller, Reba Burris, Daisy Ogden, Marilyn Rodgers, Maeve Corteau, and Cheryl Buell, and glass works by Ron Mynatt, Gary Carter and others. The Bluebird of Happiness now comes in a variety of forms: regular blue, cobalt, or irridized glass; young or adult; single or paired. There is even a Pink Bird of Hope, which supports the Susan G. Komen Ozark affiliate. In December there will be special Angel Oil Lamps, and free Bluebirds (one per family) along with showcases of all Terra’s 30-plus regional artists.
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Voted one of the best art towns in America by American Style magazine, Eureka Springs is filled with galleries. Here are jut a few to checkout. There will be a gallery stroll Dec. 13 when all galleries are open until 9 p.m. In addition to the usual items, some galleries will be participating in the Ornament Project and offer signed, limited edition ornaments for $50 with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.
49 Spring St., Eureka Springs. 253-2766.
Eclectic Edge is a funky little shop featuring works by 27 area artists. Find lots of paintings, photography, prints, glass and even furniture including paintings by Larry Mansker; sculptures by Jason Feltorpe; paintings and prismacolors by Sherry Young. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Jewel Box
77 Spring St., Eureka Springs. 253-7828.
The Jewel Box features handmade jewelry from painted porcelains pieces by Karen Mills, feather earrings and Mardi Gras-style masks by Gwen Bennett, classic, modern and vintage-style beadwork necklaces and earrings by Elaine Ferreira, wooden boxes by Gary White and carvings by T.J. Brown Open 10a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
73 Spring St., Eureka Springs. 253-7679.
Quicksilver has art by 60 area artists including landscape smoke drawings by Ed Lorhum, watercolor prints by William McNamara, hand blown glass by Sharon Fujimoto, photography by Jim Mayfield, laminated chrome jewelry by Scott and Jill Elisabeth. You can also find drums, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, and other musical instruments and playing is encouraged. Open 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
67 Spring St., Eureka Springs. 877-540-9805.
Zark’s has an extensive collection of jewelry and glass-work including blown glass chandeliers, sconces and clusters by Ed Pennebaker, sculptures by Rollin Karg, blown glass by Leon Applebaum and even glass golf putters by Ray Matthews, and yes, they are usable. Find decorative and functional porcelain by Gary Eagan and Steve Beacham of the Spring Street Pottery Studio, and bronze sculptures by Tim “The Frogman” Cotterill. Don’t forget to say “hello” to Leo the gallery cat. Open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.