The Heights Arts Holiday Store is back for an 11th year, and executive director Peggy Spaeth believes 2012 marks the best edition yet to hit the organization's Lee Road gallery.
"Every year is the best," she said. "There's a lot of things we don't carry year-round. We have more stock, more arts and crafts than we normally do."
Though it's considered one of six Heights Arts galleries each year, the organization pushes it as a retail option to promote local shopping for local products.
"We want the message to be loud and clear that you should come shop for local art for the holidays," Spaeth said. "It's like blatant commercialism. If you're going to buy something, buy something handmade by a professional artist who lives right here at home."
The Holiday Store has been open since November and will remain through Dec. 30.
Spaeth said shoppers have purchased everything from $4 gift-card sets to $500 paintings this holiday season. Glass ornaments, books, jewelry and CDs by Cleveland Heights-based Apollo's Fire. Some of the artists have created lower-cost gifts for the Holiday Store. New editions this year include felted alpaca scarves by Carol Thombs, paper bots by Rachel McPherson, jewelry by Kim Baxter, Valerie Tyler and Sue Bevis and glass from Steve Hagan and Shayna Roth Pentecost.
All of the contributing artists work volunteer shifts at the store. Spaeth encourages shoppers to chat with them about their work.
"We're really fortunate to live in this uniquely artistic community," Spaeth said. "If we want to encourage artists to live here with us and be our neighbors, we need to support them. Buying local art helps the artist, but it also helps us because we get to have their amazing things in our houses."
Monday, Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Click here or call 216-371-3457 for more information.