This holiday season, Art 3 Gallery is offering a win-win. Visitors can check names off their shopping lists and get their names added to Santa’s list of good boys and girls because they helped charity.
Until Dec. 23, Art 3 Gallery, 44 West Brook St., Manchester, will donate 50 percent of proceeds from sales of eight exclusive posters to the New Hampshire Food Bank. The posters are prints of works created by local artists, commissioned by the gallery. They cost $30. Of the eight, two are scenes of Manchester, three are of Portsmouth and two of Boston.
Goodwin said the posters are not framed, which will help with giving them as a gift, but that Art 3 Gallery could help frame them if desired.
“They are nice pieces,” said Jaye Goodwin of Art 3 Gallery, “that are warm and inviting. They’d be perfect for a first apartment or a transplant that wants to be reminded of New England. Oh, a college student too.”
Goodwin said through the year Art 3 Gallery has seen the needs of the New Hampshire Food Bank grow, which is why during an earlier Trolley Night the gallery held a food drive. She said students from the New Hampshire Institute of Art showed up with backpacks full of food. The New Hampshire Food Bank was once Art 3’s neighbor and so Goodwin said they always want to support its efforts.
Of course Art 3 Gallery doesn’t need to be the only stop on your holiday shopping express. The Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester, has plenty of gifts under $20. For example, how many times have you been preparing a meal in your kitchen when suddenly you decided to break into song? Bet you looked pretty silly. But not anymore! For $13.50 you can purchase a pair of sing-along tongs, which are microphone-shaped stainless steel tongs for grilling and other cooking endeavors.
“They’re great,” said Stacy Broulidakis, assistant manager of the museum shop at the Currier. “I wish I had thought of them.”
Broulidakis said the Currier often brings in merchandise that is related to a particular exhibition at the museum. Most recently visitors have enjoyed rock & roll photography in the “Backstage Pass” exhibit. This is why there are currently so many musical gifts for sale at the Currier, such as guitar pick toothpicks ($6.50) for the rocker who respects good dental hygiene, and the amp’d up mug ($15.50), which looks like a music amp but is a mug, perfect for coffee or coffee and Jack Daniels depending on which year of Keith Richards’ life you’re imitating.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Broulidakis said. “We actually switch out a lot of our merchandise during the year, so there is always something new. Of course we have our staples as well.” These are gifts more traditionally related to art, like art supplies, art kits for kids and books about artists. The Currier also has Lucy Lu Accessories on sale — choose a card case (for all those business folks out there) or a compact mirror (for when you want to look your best). Both are covered in little works of art and embossed in a smooth glass-like finish. This gift, which costs $18, also comes with a silver leatherette pouch.
“It is stuff you won’t find anywhere else,” Broulidakis said. She reminds visitors that you don’t need to pay the museum admission to check out the museum shop.
Plenty of theaters, like the New Hampshire Theatre Project (nhtheatreproject.org) in Portsmouth, are also offering gift certificates to shows and acting classes, which can be a great gift this time of year. You never know what fire of imagination the spark of theater can ignite in a young person’s mind.