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Stores, galleries loaded with cool art gifts

Art gifts -- the very idea brings up images of fantastic paintings or sculptures with price tags to match. But consider this: even a cursory perusal of the shops and galleries in Duluth that specialize in selling art created by regional artists u...

Art gifts -- the very idea brings up images of fantastic paintings or sculptures with price tags to match.
But consider this: even a cursory perusal of the shops and galleries in Duluth that specialize in selling art created by regional artists unearths treasures at reasonable prices. Better yet, there are cool little stocking stuffers everywhere you look as well as great ideas for that perfect gift.
What's especially nice about getting someone you love an "art" gift is that you will be supporting the local arts community at the same time -- a twofer, if you will.
But where to start?
One really cool idea is to talk to any artists you know and see what they have for sale. Purchasing a piece from them would be great for your friendship as well as make the gift even more personal.
Or how about this? Find out how much your favorite band would charge to play a private party and give a friend that gift.
Here are some other ideas:
Visual Arts
There are quite a number of different art stores and galleries in town that offer a variety of work at all kinds of prices. The best bet is to visit them and see what catches your eye.
* The Tweed Gift Store is located in the Tweed Museum of Art. Pottery, woodcuts, jewelry and note cards by local artists are available as are prints, magnets and T-shirts decorated with art from the Potlatch Mountie Collection.
* Sivertson's Gallery has a wide variety of art from the Northland. Consider purchasing a burnished steel bookend by Royal Alworth or a calendar of birds at Wolf Ridge by Betsy Bowen. The gallery also has fused glass pieces, jewelry, felted work, pottery and more.
* The Art Dock is in Canal Park as well and features the work of at least 50 artists. Bob and Cheryl Husby's wonderful salt and spice shakers are there as are ornaments by Oulo Glass and water prisms by Pam Smith. Penny Clark also has fused glass ornaments and special glass pins, just to name a few artists represented there.
* At Art Options Gallery, take a look at Dave Lynas' ceramic whistles and flutes or the wide selection of miniature art works created for a special show. The gallery also has a wide selection of oils, linocuts, etching, watercolors and collages created by local artists.
* Lizzard's Gallery features an incredible collection of work by local artists including painters, ceramicists, photographers and printmakers. They also have a great collection of jewelry as well as hand-blown glass ornaments by Robinson Scott.
* Lake Superior Aquarium Gift Shop has lots of different items, often following the Great Lakes theme. Beach glass, antler easels and baskets, fish pins, charms and silver bracelets are just a few of the items offered.
* The Blue Lake Gallery, also in Canal Park, has an incredible variety of artwork. This month, it is featuring large photographs of Lake Superior by Timothy Johnson.
Music
Duluth is full of talented bands who have cut great CDs. Liz Zissos, who calls herself the retail queen at the Electric Fetus, recommends the Low's "Christmas Album" or "Duluth Does Dylan" with 15 local bands playing Dylan's songs. "They definitely make the songs their own, and I like that," she said. Dylan himself has just released a new CD, "The Essential Dylan," with 30 songs. The Beatles have just released a new CD, too, with 27 of their No. 1 singles. That's just the beginning of the offerings at the music store.
Or consider getting gift certificates for upcoming concerts at Matinee Musicale, the Arrowhead Chorale or the Sacred Heart Music Center.
One great gift idea would be to buy tickets for the four Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra concerts where the finalists for music director will conduct. The DSSO is offering a special package deal for the four performances. The tickets run from $60 to $110.
Theater
Or consider purchasing gift certificates for upcoming shows at the Duluth Playhouse or Renegade Comedy Theatre. UMD and St. Scholastica also offer gift certificates for upcoming shows.
Dance
The Minnesota Ballet's spring performance will feature the Rite of Spring and Giselle Act II this year, also a great idea for the dance lover.
Classes
Another possibility is to give a gift certificate for a class at the Duluth Art Institute. Everything from ceramics to weaving, watercolors to felting will be offered as well as children's ceramics classes.
So check it out. Chances are you'll find great gifts and support Duluth's artists at the same time.

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