5 Ways to Shop Arts and Culture for the Holidays

Look for small decorative objects at Shemer Art Center.
Look for small decorative objects at Shemer Art Center. Lynn Trimble
While you’ve been fretting over what to get all those people on your holiday list, artisans have been busy making gifts with a creative twist.

Several Phoenix artists make small-scale paintings, sculptures, and functional objects, knowing that gift-buyers are always on the hunt for unique and affordable items. And they're sold in all sorts of settings, from festivals to artist studio sales.

Shop for fun office and fashion accessories at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Museums and galleries have been gearing, up as well. They’ve stocked up on popular gift items including books, home decor, jewelry, and kitchen wares. In many cases, you don’t need to pay museum admission to explore museum shop offerings.

Even individual artists are taking steps to make shopping for art more convenient this time of year – from creating user-friendly websites for easy online shopping to gathering fellow artists for studio sales. Some have artist catalogs that make lovely gifts, too.

And remember that you can always find works of art for sale during First and Third Friday art walks in Phoenix. In December, those happen on December 7 and 21. Look for December art walks in Scottsdale and other Valley cities, too.

We’ve put together a holiday shopping guide for art lovers, featuring five ways to support arts and culture while working through your shopping list – and snagging some treasures for yourself, as well.

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Jewelry by Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit, who is holding a holiday studio sale with multiple artists.
Patricia Sannit
Artist Studio Sales

Holiday Art Sale
Friday, November 30
Grant Street Studios

The Arts Grads, an organization comprising ASU art students, is presenting a sale of small works in various media, with all pieces priced below $100. The free event happens from 6 to 9 p.m. Get details on the Facebook event page.

Holiday Show and Sale
Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1

Explore works by studio potter Nicholas Bernard, mixed-media artist Linda Margaret Kilgore, and jewelry artist Rosa Kilgore at this free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at 6234 North Cattle Track Road in Scottsdale. Find additional information on Nicholas Bernard’s website.

Annual Trunk Show
Saturday, December 1
Alchemy Studio

Alchemy Studio is hosting several artists and additional vendors for its annual trunk show, happening from 6 to 9 p.m. at 4022 East Cambridge in Phoenix. Participating artists include Brent Bond, Carol Panaro-Smith, Claire A. Warden, and more. Learn more on the Facebook event page.

Art and Objects Studio Sale
Sunday, December 2
Patricia Sannit Studio

Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit, who received the prestigious Contemporary Forum Artist Award at Phoenix Art Museum in 2016, is hosting more than a dozen artists working in diverse media at her Phoenix studio, located at 2631 East Cortez Street. Participating artists include Tiffany Bailey, Christopher Jagmin, Elliott Keyser, Christy Puetz, and more. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find details on the Facebook event page.

Holiday Art Sale
Sunday, December 2
Dora Hernandez Studio

Dora Hernandez invited more than a dozen fellow artists to join her for a studio sale that runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1004 West Palo Verde Drive. Participating artists include Sandy Blain, Esmeralda DeLaney, Sandra Luehrsen, and more. Learn more on the Facebook event page.

Practical Art has lots of wood, ceramic, glass, and metal gifts.
Lynn Trimble
Art Boutiques

MADE Art Boutique
The retail space sells functional and decorative pieces including jewelry and ceramics, and additional works by 100 or so artists, most of them local. Check out the Mantle at MADE exhibit of small artworks while you’re there. Get details on the MADE Art Boutique website.

Practical Art
The retail and gallery space regularly carries works of functional and decorative art by more than 100 emerging and established Arizona artists. Offerings include wall decor, small furniture, desktop items, fashion accessories, and jewelry. Learn more on the Practical Art website.

Phoenix General
The retail space, which shares the Shortcut Gallery with its neighbor Framed Ewe, will be showing a new collection of Fortoul Brothers clothing starting on First Friday, December 7. The shop also sells wares by local artists, including jewelry by Carrie Marill, an artist represented by Lisa Sette Gallery. Find details on the Phoenix General website.

Art Festivals

Tempe Festival of the Arts
Friday, November 30, to Sunday, December 2
Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe

Artists will show and sell paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, and other work during this fall's festival, a free event that takes place from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. It also includes live music, street performers, and beer and wine gardens. Participating Arizona artists include Aileen Frick and Melody Smith, to name a few. Get details on the Tempe Festival of the Arts website.

Friday, December 7

Frances, a boutique specializing in vintage-inspired fare, presents an evening of live music, food, and handmade goods by more than 50 Arizona creatives, including Kate Hughes, Kallen Mikel, and Paige Poppe.  Event hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the Facebook event page.

Phoenix Festival of the Arts
Friday, December 7 to Sunday, December 9
Hance Park

Dozens of artists will be showing and selling work in media ranging from glass to wood during the Phoenix Festival of the Arts, which also features live entertainment, mural painting, and teen artworks. Friday hours are noon to 5 p.m. Weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more on the Phoenix Festival of the Arts website.

Mesa Arts Festival

Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9
Mesa Arts Center

Artists working in several media are participating in the Mesa Arts Festival, which takes place on the Mesa Arts Center campus, where you can also explore several exhibitions inside Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum and shop at the store operated by an artist collective. Hours both days are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get additional information on the Mesa Arts Center website.

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Shiny objects from the Museum Store at Phoenix Art Museum.
Lynn Trimble
Museums and Galleries

ASU Art Museum Store at the Brickyard
Although the store inside the ASU Art Museum is closed this holiday season, you can enjoy shopping at the ASU Art Museum Store at the Brickyard, where you'll find primarily ceramics made by emerging and established Valley artists. Look for holiday savings and member specials. Get details on the ASU Art Museum website.

Heard Museum
The Heard Museum has both a gift shop and a book shop, where you can find diverse offerings created by indigenous artists. The museum also sells an eclectic assortment of holiday ornaments. A free Navajo Weavers Marketplace happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 8. Find additional information on the Heard Museum website.

Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
The MCA Museum, which is located on the Mesa Arts Center campus, is creating a 2019 calendar featuring original prints. You can purchase a calendar online or at the museum welcome desk. Learn more on the MCA Museum website.

Musical Instrument Museum
Shop for music-inspired gifts such as books, accessories, and musical instruments at the Museum Store, which also offers MIM gift cards and has several items available online. Members save 20 percent on most items through Tuesday, December 4. Find additional details on the Musical Instrument Museum website.

Phoenix Art Museum
The Museum Store at Phoenix Art Museum carries an eclectic assortment of gifts, including many art-inspired objects. Offerings include fashion accessories, kitchen wares, home decor, toys and puzzles, office accessories, books, and more. The museum also offers gift cards. Members save 10 percent on store purchases. Get details on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

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Small sampling of works spotted at the ASU Art Museum Store at Brickyard,
Lynn Trimble
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
The Shop at SMoCA sells diverse items including jewelry, home decor, books, fashion accessories, and more. It also features several objects created by Arizona artists. Scottsdale Arts members save 15 percent. Learn more the SMoCA website.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
Western Spirit offers an eclectic assorted of objects, including books, hats, handbags, home decor, and jewelry. Museum members save up to 15 percent on store purchases. Find details on the Western Spirit website.

Shemer Art Center
Shemer Art Center carries greeting cards, ornaments, jewelry, and works of art by more than 50 Arizona artists, including Kevin Caron, recipient of the 2018 Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Award for visual art. Members get 10 percent savings. Learn more on the Shemer Art Center website.

Vision Gallery
Vision Gallery includes a retail space where you can buy jewelry, functional objects, and other works by Valley artists working in several media. Find more information on the Vision Gallery website.

Check out whimsical and humorous gifts at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Performing Arts Centers

Mesa Arts Center
The Store at Mesa Arts Center is an artist cooperative that sells works by Arizona artists working in various media, including ceramics, glass, photography, and painting, to name a few. Twenty percent of sales go toward the center’s engagement programs. Mesa Arts Center members save 10 percent in The Store. Mesa Arts Center also sells gift cards, which can be used to purchase performance tickets, take art classes, or shop in The Store. Find more information on the Mesa Arts Center website.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
The Store at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts sells a diverse assortment of objects, including jewelry, kitchen wares, books, scarves, music CDs, and artworks. Scottsdale Arts members save 15 percent. Learn more on the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website.

Tempe Center for the Arts
The Store at Tempe Center for the Arts carries works by Valley artists, including paintings, jewelry, cards, home accessories, and wearable art. Get details on the Tempe Center for the Arts website.

Look for original art and small gift items at Mesa Arts Center.
Mesa Arts Center
More Holiday Shopping Options

Find more art-friendly small businesses on the Local First Arizona website.

Purchase holiday cards featuring artwork on the PSA Art Awakenings website.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble