“It’s the thought that counts,” goes the old saying. But it never hurts if the gift is nice, too.
This holiday season, the ASU Art Museum Store, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is the place in Tempe to find gifts that are thoughtful, beautiful and socially conscious.
When you shop at the museum store, you’re shopping local. According to Local First, of which the museum is a member, when shoppers choose to spend their money locally, 73 percent remains in the local economy, compared to just 43 percent from non-local stores.
And from Dec. 4 to Dec. 22, just in time for Christmas and Hanukkah, the museum store is offering 20 percent off all its merchandise. Museum members receive a whopping 30 percent discount.
Over the past year, the store has moved in a new direction, focusing on local artists and works by ASU alumni and faculty.
ASU School of Art alumna and faculty associate Ann Morton is the creative force behind Street Gems, eco-friendly contemporary jewelry made from discarded items such as plastic bottles, bags and caution tape. This wearable art is made by homeless artisans affiliated with Lodestar Day Resource Center in Phoenix. The social initiative gives the jewelry makers the opportunity to learn a new skill and work as a team, helping them feel a sense of pride and connection to the community.
Jewelers Wendy Grace and Mimi Jardine are both Phoenicians with distinctive styles. Wendy Grace, who was trained as a sculptor, makes simple, elegant necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings using silver, gold and precious gems; her fans include celebrities like Meredith Vieira and Rachael Ray. And Mimi Jardine constructs one-of-a-kind necklaces that incorporate vintage beads, found objects and elements from her own jewelry collection, including baubles that belonged to her grandmother, each with its own hand-made box.
The store also carries ceramic pieces by highly acclaimed ASU School of Art faculty like Susan Beiner, Sam Chung and Kurt Weiser, as well as works from artists around the world, hand-made greeting cards, imaginative and challenging toys for children, Oaxacan wood carvings and other unusual items, all eligible for the holiday sale discount.
Museum store hours are the same as museum hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.,Tuesday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday. Closed Sundays and Mondays.