Phoenix Holiday Gift Guide 2015: 25 Ideas for Art Lovers | Phoenix New Times

25 Gift Ideas for the Phoenix Art Lover

It's easier to feel good about devoting time and money to shopping when you know your gift choices help support local artists and small businesses. So we went in search of 25 cool holiday gift options with a local arts-and-culture twist — including several made by local artists and artisans...
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It's easier to feel good about devoting time and money to shopping when you know your gift choices help support local artists and small businesses. So we went in search of 25 cool holiday gift options with a local arts-and-culture twist — including several made by local artists and artisans. Here's what we found:

Ceramic plates from Phoenix Public Market Cafe
$80-$30; available at the cafe

Phoenix Public Market Cafe has several cooking-related gifts items including aprons, recipe boxes, cookbooks, and handmade ceramic plates by local artist Gennaro Garcia. Your culinary friends who like serving food that's both tasty and pretty can play with plating their favorite recipes so it appears they're being delivered in graceful cupped hands, which is so much classier than just slapping the food on a plate with no pizzazz. Find more ceramic works by local artists for sale at the Ceramics Research Center at the ASU Brickyard.  

Tickets to the Musical Instrument Museum
$20 general admission, available online or at the MIM

Tickets to the MIM and other cultural destinations that charge admission adds up over time, so tickets for museum visits are great for arts and culture nerds on a budget. If you're shopping for someone who loves doing the concert thing, consider tickets to a performance at the MIM Music Theater.

Decorative baskets from Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center
Various styles in $50-$125 price range, available at the center

ALAC now was two gift shops filled with home decor from baskets to wall-hangings, as well as works by local artists including muralist Lalo Cota, clothing, books, jewelry, and additional gift items from inexpensive to pricey. When you shop there, you get the added bonus of being able to tour several galleries featuring works in various media by local artists.

Water bottles from Frances
$40-$55, available in store

Frances carries not only a wide selection of clothing, accessories, and jewelry, but also S'well water bottles that make great gifts for bike and yoga buddies who like to stay hydrated without adding to the planet's piles of of plastic water bottles. It's also a great place to find Arizona-theme ornaments, clothing, and accessories. They're all handy when you're out there doing the First or Third Friday art scene.

Plants & planters from The Bosque
Several plants in $15 range, available in store

This charming little plant shop has all sorts of plants, from traditional to funky, and a nifty variety of containers that practically elevate plants to an art form. When you pop in to pick a plant, you can get great advise on how to take care of them — which is probably a whole lot easier than you imagine. Keep plants in mind for the nurturers in your life, and the friends trying to figure out how to add a little cheer to a new home or office space.

Vintage accessories from The Bee's Knees
Prices vary, Available in store

The Bee's Knees, located next to The Hive art gallery, is a vintage treasure trove where you can find cool clothing, accessories, toys, and housewares. Consider bow ties for those dapper men in your life, vintage stemware for the friends who love playing host or hostess, or small works by local artists for folks with blank walls crying out for original art.

Magazine subscription from ARTnews
$39.95, available online 

Magazines make great options for literary types who never seem to get enough arts and culture — whether their thing is visual art, poetry, music, dance, or theater. You can order subscriptions online, or buy a stack from magazine racks at local bookstores. Lit lovers might also enjoy one or more volumes of Four Chambers, which is Phoenix's very own hometown literary journal published by Four Chambers Press.

Candle holders from Shemer Art Center
$18-$30, available at the center

Shemer Art Center has a gift shop loaded with works by local artists, including candle holders made by Sheetal Shaw, which make a great host or hostess gift when paired with candles. Candles work for romantic types too, and those who like to add a bit of fragrance to their homes this time of year.

Drumming classes from Fushicho Daiko Dojo
Prices vary, available on site

A couple of drumming classes with Fushicho Daiko Dojo, which helped lead the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts during the 2015 Grand Avenue Festival, could be the perfect gift for a friend or loved one who needs to work out a bit of extra energy. It's an added bonus that Taiko drummers also get to yell as part of practicing this Japanese art.

Show tickets from Herberger Theater Center
Several shows in $50 range, available online or at the box office

If you're all about giving experiences instead of things, opt for tickets to see local theater or dance productions at local venues. There's a long list of venues to choose from — including Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix Theatre, Tempe Center for the Arts, and more. 

Art books from Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art 
Prices vary, available at the museum

SMoCA has an interesting assortment of books featuring works by diverse artists, as well as several other gift options including jewelry, home decor, and original works of art. If you don't find what you need there, just pop across the courtyard and check out your choices at the gift shop for the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. You'll also find a cool collection of art books, and other gift items, at the ASU Art Museum.

Computer tables from Don J Design
$199 & up, available online

Look into C-tables (yup, they're shaped like the letter "c" rather than having four legs) by local maker Jyll Harthun (and her dad Gary) of Don J Design if you're shopping for someone who needs to perk up a tired apartment, dorm, or office space. Harthun creates several styles of tables, and also does custom designs. They come in handy for displaying art magazines or doing a bit of leisurely sketching. 

Wall art at MADE Art Boutique
$45-$60, available in store

Head to MADE if you're looking for unique wall art or other objects made by local creatives. The selection changes often, but our recent finds included Space Boy Robot art by Jordan-Alexander Thomas and coaster sets by Monica Aissa Martinez. Since MADE is located next to Eye Lounge, you can get usually get another fix of local art after you're done shopping. 

Arizona attire from Bunky Boutique
$40 Arizona sweater (right, above), available in store

Bunky Boutique has a lot of great choices in Arizona attire, including tank tops and sweaters in several colors and sizes, plus coffee mugs and other items with an Arizona twist. It's also a great place to pick up jewelry, purses and wallets, vintage-inspired clothing, and even baby wear with a hipster vibe. You want to look good when you're out there cruising the metro Phoenix art scene.

Membership at Desert Botanical Garden
Starts at $75, available online or on site

DBG membership is a good option for both nature and art lovers, especially now that the garden is showing British artist Bruce Munro's "Sonoran Lights" exhibition featuring eight large-scale, light-based installations. Members get free regular admission, and discounted tickets for special events and exhibitions such as "Sonoran Lights" and Las Noches de las Luminarias.

Bookends from Changing Hands Bookstore 
$64.95, available at the Phoenix location

A fun set of bookends is sometimes a safer bet than trying to figure out which art books the person you're shopping for already has or wants to read. You'll find different choices at the Phoenix and Tempe locations, which change over time as things get purchased and new styles appear. Last time we popped into the Phoenix location, we spotted a blue whale, golden pineapples, a mod white dog, and more.

Funky furniture from The Clutter House
$55, available in store

The Clutter House has a cool assortment of chairs and other funky fare for the people on your list who have a taste for non-traditional furnishings and decor that 's a bit off the beaten path. They're a fun choice for hanging out to talk up the local arts scene, and work both indoors and out.

Earrings at Tempe Center for the Arts 
Prices vary, available in store

The gift shop at TCA has earrings by local artist Michelle Startzman — plus earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings by several additional artists. They also sell scarves, small works of art, fused glass items including nightlights, music CDs, and more. While you're at TCA, take time to explore their gallery.

Magnets from {9} The Gallery
$20, available at the gallery

This gallery in the Grand Avenue arts district has miniature works of art created as magnets by ceramicist Danielle Wood, which make fun and affordable gifts for friends who frequent the art scene, or just have a whole lot of stuff that needs to live on their refrigerator door or metal file cabinets.

Up-cycled handbags from 1Spot Gallery
Prices vary, available at the gallery

Damian Jim at 1Spot Gallery in Roosevelt Row has been adding graphic details to up-cycled handbags and clutches, which make unique accessories for fashionable types who insist on doing the one-of-a-kind thing. 

Kitchen gear from Phoenix Art Museum
Prices vary, available at the museum (select items online)

The Phoenix Art Museum gift shop has a colorful selection of kitchen ware and accessories for people who like to bring design elements into every room of their homes. They've also got a broad selection of other gifts including jewelry, T-shirts, scarves, office accessories, children's toys, books, stationery, and posters.

Sterling jewelry from the Heard Museum
Prices vary, available at the museum and online

The Heard Museum has two gift shops — including the main one that carries a big assortment of sterling silver jewelry, belts, and more. They also carry rugs, baskets, and other works by Native American artists. Another gift shop sells mainly books, and has offerings for both children and adults. Pause long enough while you're there to explore indoor exhibitions and outdoor sculpture. 

Original Art from ASU Art Museum
Prices vary, available at the museum

The ASU Art Museum gift shop has plenty of options of arts and culture geeks, including art books, works by local artists working in various media, scarves, jewelry, and children's items. Take time while you're there to explore museum exhibits.

Coasters from Practical Art
$10 & up, available in store and online

Practical Art has works by more than 100 Arizona artists and artisans, including coasters by Alexandra Bowers that you can buy individually if you just need a small gift but still want to give a work of local art. Other offerings range from native bee nests to small furniture items, and they also carry jewelry and home accessories.

Gift card from Mesa Arts Center
Purchaser chooses amount, available on site or online

MAC has three different designs for their gift cards, which you can use in several ways — to buy tickets for performances at MAC, to take visual or performing art classes at MAC, or to shop in the artist-collective gift shop.
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