Looking for a little something for the friend who favors museums over mixed martial arts? The family member who knows the names of more artists than athletes? The kid who thinks drawing beats digital devices? Here are 10 cool places you can shop for all the art lovers in your life.
See also: 5 Gifts for the Photographer
The Museum Store offers an eclectic mix of books, fashion accessories, home/office décor and jewelry. We're especially keen on jewelry made by metal artist Michelle Startzman, and the store's stunning scarves. Shop here for books about contemporary art, and a fun assortment of small, affordable works by local artists. Also check the store's nifty clearance section. Startzman earrings and necklaces are in the $26 to $150 range.
The larger Heard Museum Shop features fine art and folk art created by Native artists from the Southwest, including Arizona. Our favorites include beautifully embellished belt buckles, bola ties, and concho belts. Hit their Books & More shop for more affordable fare, including culinary items. Check out their holiday cards featuring student artwork, plus a vast assortment of ornaments ranging from folk art flying pigs by Charlene Watchman (Navajo) to a limited edition sterling design by Navajo silversmith Alex Sanchez. The pigs run just $12, and the Sanchez butterfly ornament is $175. If you've got just over $100 to spend, fun options include earrings, key rings, and letter openers.
The retail space sells functional pieces including jewelry and ceramics, and additional works by 100 or so artists, most of them local. Recent fun finds include small paintings by Randy Slack and drink coasters by Melissa Martinez. We're smitten with their wall of hip magazines and fun selection of affordable gifts with a humorous twist. Pop into the adjacent Eye Lounge gallery while you're there. Martinez coasters are $40 for a set of four and her larger panels are $90 to $100. Slack's "Bad News Baseball Cards" are $10 each or $50 for a set of five plus a bonus team card.
The Store on the MAC campus is an artist cooperative gallery selling works by a juried group of up to 60 artists. Available works typically include glass, pottery, photography, paintings, and jewelry. Our favorites include jewelry with new designs by Kyllan Maney (you'll also find her jewelry at GreenHaus gallery and boutique). Sometimes you'll find artists doing in-store demonstrations. Maney's earrings and necklaces run in the $15 to $25 range, and her prints are $10 to $25 (framed pieces are more).
The Museum Store is filled with art-related books, T-shirts, kitchen wares, office gizmos, and fashion accessories -- plus jewelry and ceramics. We're especially fond of all those whimsical tools for tackling kitchen duty and wind chimes that include Soleri bells. They've got bins loaded with smaller items for the kiddos, plus a fun assortment of toys, plush, art kits, and other children's gifts. Bin goodies start at less than a dollar and top out at $23.99. Soleri bells range from $48 to $132.
The retail and gallery space regularly carries works of functional art by more than 100 Arizona artists. At last count, they were up to 125 or so. Offerings include wall décor, small furniture, desktop items, fashion accessories, and jewelry. Our favorites include retro-inspired lamps with exposed light bulbs by Chad Shimmel and beautifully-carved wooden wares, including rolling pins and serving utensils, by Dan Basinski. Basinski's utensils run $18 to $65, and Shimmel's retro telephone lamps are $90.
The Shop@SMoCA offers jewelry, toys, music, books, and home and office accessories. We're keen on all their nifty wall clocks, which range from frying pan to Mona Lisa portrait. Pop across the courtyard to explore The Store at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, which features fun novelty items, artist-made jewelry, and a lovely selection of scarves and handbags. The clocks start at just over $50, and the scarves at about $25. The Store also has T-shirts featuring art by Sebastien Millon for $28, we hear they're selling fast.
The gift shop at Shemer features affordable works by local artists. Typically the selection includes small paintings and sculpture, jewelry, and home/office décor. Our favorites include intricately-beaded jewelry with a woven look by Christy Puetz. Her bracelets start at $20 and her necklaces at $100.
The TCArts Shop, operated by Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts, carries jewelry, wall art, and fashion accessories. We're partial to their wine stoppers and desktop business card holders. Dichroic glass wine stoppers by Suzanne Chudnoff run $30. Hit the TCA Gallery while you're there.
A section of the gallery houses display cases filled with a diverse assortment of jewelry made by local artists. Our favorites include yellow pendants made with plastic bags by Street Gems and silver pieces with botanical flair by Kim Nikolaev. The gallery also sells glass works, paintings, scarves, and sculpture. Street Gem necklaces run $25, and Nikolaev's elegant cuff bracelets start at just over $300.
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Artist studios: Follow your favorite artists on social media to learn of individual artists or groups of artists holding holiday sales at their own studios. Patrica Sannit is holding a studio sale with several additional artists this Sunday, December 7.
Local book shops: Consider a gift certificate to Changing Hands Bookstore, where art lovers can load up on magazines or books about contemporary art, design, architecture, and photography.