Holiday store and stroll spotlight local artists

Heights Arts 14th annual holiday store is open through Dec. 30. [Image courtesy GM Donley.]

For 10 months out of the year, Heights Arts uses its Lee Road location to host art exhibitions, poetry readings, musical performances and gallery talks, and feature a limited selection of works by local artists in its gallery shop.

At the beginning of November, the gallery gets turned on its head and the entire 2,400-square-foot space fills with an expanded selection of new works—ceramics, glass, jewelry, prints, wearables, cards and holiday items. This expanded holiday store enables Heights Arts to feature new and local talent, which is curated by a gallery committee of artist-peers throughout the year.

This year, the Heights Arts Holiday Store welcomes 16 new artists: jewelry from Blooming Enamels, Emily R Studio, Abbey Blake and Zenia Lis; drawings and paintings by Linda Ayala, Kate Atherton, Leslye Arian and David King; ceramics by Lauren Herzak-Bauman; mixed-media work by Matthew Gallagher and Nancy Luken; hand-printed textiles from Giardino; scarves and tees by Pure & Sweet and GV Designs; hand-turned wood items by David Shafron; and bags from Cleveland Recycles.

Leslye Arian—a Shaker Heights artist and Cleveland Institute of Art alumna who only recently began exhibiting her work—noted, “It can be quite intimidating to approach a new gallery, but I found Heights Arts to be extremely supportive. It’s clear that the staff and board of Heights Arts make a serious investment in their artists.”

In support of artists and the community, Heights Arts is rolling out a number of special gallery events for December.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, during the Cedar Lee Holiday Stroll, acclaimed pianist Megan Clay Constantine will perform in the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. A past Heights Music Hop performer and current director of the music department at The Music Settlement, Constantine can play virtually anything on request. All are invited to stop by the gallery to hear favorite tunes while enjoying refreshments and holiday shopping.

Stroll-goers may also contribute writings and drawings of their personal hopes and dreams for the Heights community to the Heights Arts Wishing Tree—a project inspired by cultural traditions in India and other parts of Asia.

Heights Arts is sponsoring a “holiday hashtag” contest, Dec. 1–12, in which gallery visitors can snap a photo of their favorite gallery item and upload it via their Instagram or Facebook accounts with the hashtag #HeightsArtsHoliday. Participants will be eligible to win a Heights Arts gift certificate. The winner will be announced via Heights Arts’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

The Heights Arts 14th Annual Holiday Store is open every day through Dec. 30. For extended gallery hours and event information, visit or call 216-371-3457.

Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan is on staff at Heights Arts, a nonprofit community arts organization.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 2:43 PM, 12.01.2015