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ART BEAT: Artful gift ideas around Gwinnett

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Special Photo The Objet d'Art Gallery and Studios in Peachtree Corners is filled with holiday gift ideas.

There's less than a week to go before Christmas. Do you need ideas for unique, one-of-a-kind gifts? Items such as soft sculpture dolls, hand painted furniture, mosaic tile jewelry or an original drawing created from your own photograph? These gift ideas and many more are waiting for you in the following art galleries.

Shoppers can start in Lawrenceville where The Lona Gallery offers the work of 30 artists. Artwork includes paintings, pastels, watercolors and photography, but Lona also offers intriguing items such as soft sculpture dolls, mosaic tile jewelry and pottery. Lona Gallery is located in downtown Lawrenceville at 176 W. Crogan St. Visit its website at www.thelonagallery.com or call 678-349-2223.

How about offering a gift that allows one to be the artist? Painting with a Twist is a new business on the Square in Lawrenceville which allows you to choose a class, then come experience creating art -- and you can bring a bottle of wine for inspiration. Many upcoming classes are available. See which one suits your gift recipient at www.paintingwithatwist.com/lawrenceville or call Beverly Riley at 678-226-4970.

Many Gwinnett art lovers discovered the gift shop located in the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth long ago. Part of the Gwinnett Center Complex at Sugarloaf Parkway and Satellite Boulevard, the Hudgens' Gift Shop is filled with items for all ages and tastes. It has a special pottery sale which will run through Saturday with ceramic pieces made by the Hudgens' teachers and gifted students on display in the Rotunda. The gift shop also features unusual jewelry and a huge selection of pashmina scarves at low prices. Call 770-623-6002 or visit www.thehudgens.org.

Norcross and Peachtree Corners have wonderful opportunities for purchasing art. One new business is the Objet d'Art Gallery and Studios located at 5270 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 110 in Peachtree Corners. Emphasizing artists from the surrounding area, this gallery features the work of over 40 artists. "Our gallery is overflowing with painting, woodturning and carving, pottery, sculpture, photography, jewelry, glass and mixed media art," owner Sheri Snyder said. "We also provide commission portrait drawings from your favorite photograph. We have great art that needs homes." Visit its website at www.objetdartgallery.com or call 678-429-2550.

Nearby in Norcross, the Vargas and Harbin Studio Gallery exhibits work by both of its owners, Charlie Harbin and Reinaldo Vargas -- both of Norcross -- as well as other local and regional artists. Harbin specializes in fine art photography and Vargas in paintings which have become highly collectible. In addition, many handcrafted gifts are available, such as whimsical angels, blown glass, sculptures, glass tree ornaments and jewelry, all by select local artists. The gallery is located at 27 S. Peachtree St. in Norcross. For more information, visit renyvargas.wix.com/vargasharbin1 or call 678-687-6849.

Also in Norcross at 19 Jones St., is a business titles "Chalk it Up" owned by Lynn White. "My little shop is located in the last third of the Purple Poppy Shoppe. We sell decorative paint which allows anyone to be an artist," White said. "In addition, we have paintings, hand painted furniture, trays, and supplies for similar projects." Visit www.chalkitupnorcross.com or call 678-691-2125.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.