Local Detroit Art Galleries, Gift Shops Offer Unique Options

Christmas is a week away and if you’re still looking for a unique gift for a loved one, take heart. Metro Detroit has plenty of places to find the right gift, but it’s time to get out of the big box store, literally and figuratively.

Several local art galleries and art centers have now opened special holiday art markets offering a wide range of handcrafted gifts, often by local artists, including ceramics, candles, paintings, wares kitchenware, jewelry, holiday decorations and more. And they are open throughout the holidays.

The Detroit Artists Market on Woodward is the OG of Michigan’s holiday art markets. Now in its 70th year, its Art for the Holidays is the original and longest-running holiday art market in the state, said gallery director Matt Fry.

Detroit Artists Market “is a great place for people who like to shop for unique gifts,” Fry said. “…Holiday shows are ubiquitous now, but we’ve been doing it for a long time now, and that’s a good thing.”

This year’s show features everything from custom cutting boards to cool retro paintings of Detroit landmarks by about 200 artists. Prices range from $30 for hand-painted ornaments to $500 for art.

And while the Detroit Artists Market may have Michigan’s oldest holiday art market, Irwin House Global Art Center and Gallery on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit has one of the newest markets. His holiday exhibit “Gift of Art,” now in its second year, features about 100 pieces by 40 artists from across Michigan and a couple from New York.

Prices range from $50 to $500 for paintings, mixed media pieces, and some sculptural chairs. It’s open 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday at both Irwin House and a sister location, Chene Parc.

Gallery director Misha McGlown said the exhibition is a great place for emerging artists to show their work and for the public to discover them. This year’s exhibit, for example, features some paintings by Detroit artist Jonathan Harris, whose painting “Critical Race Theory” has exploded all over the internet in recent weeks.

“When you’re a new artist, people often say no to you” when it comes to showing your art, McGlown said. “So it’s an exhibition where we don’t refuse anyone.”

For glass fans, Crystal Logic in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood is an option for freebies.

Owned and operated by local glassblowers Allison Key and Pete Gibbs, who opened the store a year ago, it features locally handblown glass from other Detroit and Michigan glassmakers. The shop also offers metaphysical gifts like crystals, minerals, tumbled stones.

For loved ones who are history buffs, the new Ford House Visitor Center at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores features a spacious gift shop with a wide range of unique gifts, including some were created and organized around the Ford family. . It has everything from books and tableware to stuffed animals from Moss, the Ford house dog.

The store “really thinks about what makes Ford House special and different and leverages those stories in product development,” said Mark Heppner, president and CEO of Ford House. “…And a lot of our products are focused on local artists, local makers, based in Michigan.

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Holiday Gift Markets

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center Holiday Shop, 1516 S. Cranbrook Road, Birmingham: Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Monday and Tuesday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Closes December 21. Go to https://bbartcenter.org/holiday-shop-2/.

crystal logic14708 E. Jefferson, Detroit: Go to https://crystallogicdetroit.com/.

Detroit Artists Market Art for the Holidays, 4719 Woodward Avenue, Detroit: Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 24. The show runs until December 30. Go to https://www.detroitartistsmarket.org/.

Holiday Exhibition “Gift of Art” at the Irwin House Global Art Center and Gallery, 2351 W. Grand Boulevard, Detroit: open noon-7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. The exhibition runs until December 31. http://irwinhousegallery.org/.

The Ford House Visitor Center Shop, 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on December 24. https://www.fordhouse.org/visitor-center/the-shop/

Mildred D. Field