Holiday Art Sale – Hearts of the West

November 25, 2014

Hearts of the West - An Artisan Collaborative is a holiday art sale that offers a variety of handcrafted one-of-a-kind gift ideas. Photography collage by Cristina Manos

Hearts of the West – An Artisan Collaborative is a holiday art sale that offers a variety of handcrafted one-of-a-kind gift ideas.

By Cristina Manos

Consider holiday shopping in Downtown as an option for finding unique gift ideas created by local artists. A holiday shopping event featuring one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items will be held at Solar Culture Gallery on Sunday, Nov 30th from 12-6pm. Hearts of the West features holiday gifts that capture the essence of Tucson.

This local art sale is as down-to-Earth as it gets, literally. The artists use green methods (recycled materials, local clay, & repurposed relics) to create and craft many of their pieces. Prices range from $5 to $250.

Elsa Watson is the Tucson artist who organizes the sale. This year, Solar Culture (31 E Toole Ave.) feels like home for this event. Solar Culture is well known for supporting local artists by featuring their work and hosting music and art shows. The art sale will be held in the main gallery space, which makes for a nice atmosphere for artists and shoppers.

Luminarias made from local clay, harvested and processed by Sara Curtiss are an inexpensive, local gift idea at $5 a piece. Photograph by Cristina Manos

Luminarias made from local clay, harvested and processed by Sara Curtiss are an inexpensive, local gift idea at $5 a piece.

The Artists:

Watson will offer handcrafted silver and gemstone jewelry, repurposed cigar boxes, properly aged creosote soap and soft, cozy monsters made of recycled fabric. The diversity is appropriate. Watson says the sale attracts “a little of everybody.”

Local potter Sara Curtiss offers a variety of items from traditional pottery to one-of-a-kind decorative clay pieces to handcrafted holiday-tree ornaments. Curtiss makes luminarias from local clay, which she harvests and processes, creating straight from the ground.

Local artist and entrepreneur Lorenia Lee will offer decorative tote bags for grownups and for children, clutch purses, clutch wallets, cardholders, jewelry bags and shoe bags. Lee calls her collection “Little Green Bags,” not because the bags are the color green, but because the purses are made from left over fabrics and scraps, which come from her wholesale drapery workroom. Each design is unique, no two are alike.

Local stone smith Gerardo Leyva will offer decorative pieces made from gemstones and tumbled stones. One of his most popular creations are his amethyst candleholders.

An assortment of pottery will be featured by Sara Curtiss at Hearts of the West holiday arts sale this Sunday (Solar Culture Gallery). Photograph by Cristina Manos

An assortment of pottery will be featured by Sara Curtiss at Hearts of the West holiday arts sale this Sunday (Solar Culture Gallery).

hopping Eats & Caffeine

Shopping on a Sunday in Downtown is the perfect opportunity to taste local cuisine before, after or during your shopping adventure. For Southwestern flavors, consider restaurants in the area that make you feel at home:

  • El Charro Café (31 N Scott Ave.) is open for lunch and dinner and offers local and traditional Mexican and Sonoran flavors.
  • Seis Kitchen & Catering (100 S. Avenida del Convento) is open from 8am to 4pm on Sundays and features award-winning Mexican street food influenced by the culinary regions of Mexico.
  • Iguana Café (210 E. Congress St.) is perfect for those looking to relax and enjoy Southwestern style bar food. The store-front is ideal for people-watching.

Downtown also has an option for caffeine lovers who need to re-charge while in a shopping frenzy:

  • Stella Java (100 S. Avenida del Convento) for serious coffee & healthy snacks
  • Ike’s Coffee & Tea (100 N. Stone) for caffeine and a light lunch or a muffin
  • eXo Roast Co. (403 N 6th Ave) for traditional coffee shop offerings

Enjoy your shopping adventure. For fun, try taking on the challenge of buying holiday gifts from locals only this year. A hunt for local items will be sure to leave you with many one-of-a-kind treasures and the heart-warming gratitude that comes from supporting your community.

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