Winter Lights offers gifts that range from scented soap to sophisticated furniture, each hand-made by a local artist.
Winter Lights offers gifts that range from scented soap to sophisticated furniture, each hand-made by a local artist.

The holiday shopping season is officially underway with plenty of chances to shop locally and support the artists among us.

A galaxy of delights shines at the Loading Dock Gallery's "Winter Lights: Gifts for the Holidays" showcase running Nov. 29-Dec. 31 at the gallery, located at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave., Lowell.

Winter Lights offers gifts that range from scented soap to sophisticated furniture, each hand-made by a local artist. The child-at-heart will love a sock doll. Someone special deserves jewelry. Wool and silk accessories ward off winter with style. Attending a party? Give the host or hostess a serving tray of wood or glass. Light up a home with art. Hand-painted pillows brighten the sofa. Pottery mugs warm the table.

Join the artists for a reception on Saturday, Dec. 2, 5-7 p.m. and also enjoy the art of Heidi Jackson in the Back Door Gallery.

LDG is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5:30 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. In November, the gallery stays open Thursdays until 8 p.m. In December, the gallery opens Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. and is open Thursdays to 8 p.m. Visit for info.

Art picks

CREATIVE WOMEN: UMass Lowell's Center for Women & Work presents Women Works: Celebrating the Creativity of Women on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 3-7 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center, 50 Warren St.


, Lowell. The event is a combination craft fair, art show and performance art, as well as being a fundraiser for the CWW. Come find unique art work and handcrafts, all created by UML women and other talented regional artists. Begin your holiday shopping and enjoy musical performances by UMass women. Free admission and open to all.

HOLIDAY TREASURES: The Arts League of Lowell hosts its Holiday Treasures Members Show now through Sunday, January 7, in the ALL Gallery, 307 Market St. Find handmade artworks for friends and family in this colorful showcase. A reception takes place on Saturday, Dec. 9, 6-8 p.m. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.

OH, CHRISTMAS TREE: Just in time for the lighting of the Christmas tree on Boston Common on November 30 comes a delightful new picture book for kids -- The Flying Squirrel Stowaways: From Nova Scotia to Boston by Marijke Simons. It tells the story of two flying squirrels who call a Nova Scotia spruce tree their home. But it turns out their tree has been chosen as Halifax's annual thank you gift -- the Boston Christmas tree. The book details their journey across Atlantic Canada and Maine on their way to Boston and what awaits them in their new American home. A great family read-aloud for the holidays, it is available on Amazon and through local bookstores.

AT UML: The Department of Art & Design at UMass Lowell presents Thought Made Visible, an exhibition of upper level work from Laurel McMechan's seminar of the same title. On view in the Mahoney Gallery in Mahoney Hall, 870 Broadway St., South Campus through Dec. 7, it is organized and curated by featured artists and senior art students Elisabeth Auffant and Teresa Santana. The subject matter revolves around each artist's personal insights and self-exploration and includes oil paintings, prints and ceramics. Other artists include Victoria Belakhov, Rebecca Dolan, Veronica Iria, Danielle Wager and Austin Wells.

Free and open to all, the gallery is open Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed during school breaks. Visit

Nancye Tuttle's email address is