It's time to do a little Valentine's Day shopping for that special someone -- or even for yourself. And what better gift than a piece of original art by a local artist?
The artists at Western Avenue Studios and Lofts have covered all bases offering everything from jewelry, sculpture, glass and ceramics to paintings, photos and fiber at their festive event Gifts from the HeART, taking place Saturday, Feb. 1, noon-5 p.m., during their monthly First Saturday Open Art Studios and Lofts at 122 and 160 Western Ave.
This year, 46 studios and lofts are open to visitors, and the artists have an incentive planned to give shoppers more reasons to visit Lowell's thriving complex, home to several hundred artists and artisans.
Pick up a postcard on your way in to the buildings, visit participating lofts and studios, collect stickers, browse, buy, then deposit your postcard on the way out with contact info. You'll be eligible to win a gift certificate to spend at participating spots in the complex.
Hearts mark the entryways to the participating studios and lofts. A visit to 15 or more studios makes you eligible for a $25 gift certificate; 25 or more wins a $50 certificate and 35 or more for a $75 certificate. No purchase necessary to participate and no need to be present to win. Visit westernavenuestudios.com/gfth for participants.
- LOADING DOCK GALLERY: While browsing Western Avenue's lofts and studios, stop by the Loading Dock Gallery on the second floor of the A-Mill building and check out the exhibit From the Land and the Sea -- Paper and 3D Mixed Media, Barbara Fletcher's inventive creatures that swim, crawl and fly across the walls. A paper and 3-D mixed media artist, she offers classes in creative paper sculpture and 3-D books. The show opens on Jan. 29 and runs through Feb. 23. The reception is on Saturday, 5-7 p.m. Visit theloadingdockgallery.com for info.
- ART IN LITTLETON: The Gallery Committee of Littleton's Reuben Hoar Library invites artists to exhibit their work in the art gallery there.littletonlibrary.org or at the library, 41 Shattuck St., Littleton... Also in Littleton, an on-line exhibit Then and Now, featuring postcards from the town's past accompanied by images of the same places now is on view at new.littletonhistoricalsociety.org/Littleton/Postcards. It is presented in honor of the town's 300th anniversary.
- WHISTLER IN LONDON: The Addison Gallery of American Art, located on the campus of Phillips Academy, Andover, hosts an opening reception on Friday, Jan.
- 119 GALLERY HEATS UP: Warm Heart, Hot Art, 119 Gallery's benefit auction takes place on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. at the 119 Chelmsford St., venue. Artists may submit large or small works up until Saturday, Feb. 8. A preview exhibit will be held Feb. 11-15, preceding the auction. Visit 119gallery.org for details.
- ARTSY FOOD: Lowell artist Eleni Zohdi celebrates her birthday on Sunday, Feb. 2, with friends at ALL Arts, 307 Market St. Part of the 1-3 p.m. celebration includes a cooking demonstration, where she will make kayianas, a Greek dish made with tomatoes and eggs that she loved as a child. Samples will be provided. Free and open to all.
Nancye Tuttle's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.