It's gifts galore time in downtown Lowell. You will find galleries and studios decked out in holiday finery, welcoming all to see what's in store as they purchase artist-made gifts.
"Winter Lights," the annual showcase at Loading Dock Gallery, runs Nov. 28-Dec. 31 at the 122 Western Avenue Studios space. More than 30 artists working in various styles and media offer unique pieces to suit every budget and hard-to-shop-for person. Browse the gallery and hundreds of working artists' studios during Holiday Open Studios on Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9, from noon-5 p.m. Beginning Dec. 1, the gallery will open earlier at 10 a.m. The gallery will be closed Dec. 25-26. Call 978-656-1687 or visit www.theloadingdockgallery.com.
Gallery Z's Holiday Gift Show runs Dec. 6-24 at 167 Market St. Featured are paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, textiles, soaps, floral arrangements and ornaments created by co-op's artists. You can shop and find a bite to eat here, too, at the Coffee House Café which is open Wednesday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Arts League of Lowell hosts its Members' Holiday Show, "100 & BELOW," at ALL Arts Gallery, 307 Market St., through Jan. 6. Shop for unique, handcrafted gifts and art, priced at $100 or below. A reception Saturday, Dec. 8, 6-8 p.m., includes wine, food and a special surprise raffle that evening. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Visit www.artsleagueoflowell.org.
The Brush Art Gallery and Studios, 256 Market St., also has a reception Saturday, Dec. 8, 2-4 p.m., for its annual Members Exhibition currently on display. And save the dates for its Soup & Shop Lunch on Friday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and Sugar & Spice Weekend, Dec. 15-16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.
IN THE 'BURBS: It's holiday shopping time in the Greater Lowell suburbs, too. Join Georgia Spanos this weekend and next at the Gallery at Floral Arts, 129 Littleton Road, Westford, for open houses, noon-3 p.m. Don Ouellette, best-known for his beautiful landscapes and December's featured artist, will give painting demonstrations on Saturdays, Dec. 1 and 8, and also entertain with his guitar. The gallery, located on the second floor in the Floral Arts Flowers building is open Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 978-256-0378 for info. ... The Gallery Gift Shop at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, 1A North Road, has fine-arts gifts priced from $4 to $225. It will be open to the public beginning Dec. 1, and members have a preview show Nov. 30. On Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., come to the Center Village Gift Stroll and shop locally from the CCA to Summer Street, with parking at the CCA, the public lot behind Santander Bank and Summer Street. Visit www.chelmsfordarts.org.
ANNUAL EVENT: COOL -- the Cultural Organization of Lowell -- hosts its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 8-10 a.m., in the new Richard and Nancy Donahue Academic Arts Center at Middlesex Community College, 240 Central St., where Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue will be the featured speaker. There will be updates on the COOL things happening in the Lowell arts and cultural scene. And check out the new performing theater, music hall and dance hall in MCC's new academic arts center. Refreshments will be served. Tickets $50 payable to Cultural Organization of Lowell or online at www.eventbrite.com/e/cool-annual-meeting-tickets-52617435165.
ALL THAT GLITTERS: Martha Stewart would fit right in at the eighth annual Holiday House Tour in Concord this Saturday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Presented by the Concord Museum's Guild of Volunteers, seven beautiful private homes, all professionally decorated for the holidays by local and Boston-based interior designers, will be open to the public. Co-chairs Leah Butler and Lisanne Wheeler note: "There is great variety in the style of homes and decorating themes." One property features a decorated green tractor and an expansive front porch adorned with antique snowshoes, a sled, lanterns and garland that set the tone for the natural woodland them inside. Another offers a beautifully decorated second-story foyer, glittering with gold, a majestic garland of greens, ribbons and ornaments and woodland scene on the staircase. The tour benefits the museum's educational programs. Tickets $40, members; $45, non-members through Nov. 29; $45, members; $50, non-members after Nov. 29. No refunds, no photography. Purchase online at www.concordmuseum.org or call 978-369-9763, ext. 216.