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The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth offers many types of holiday gift-giving ideas, from Gift Shop originals to classes and workshops.

The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth is one of Gwinnett’s favorite destinations all year round, but there are special reasons to visit during the holidays.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a special event for visitors seeking original artwork as gifts or just for themselves will occur in the Hudgens’ Al Weeks Sculpture Garden.

“Hudgens students, instructors, and staff will be showcasing and selling their work,” said Stephanie Lloyd, the Hudgens’ Education and Development Coordinator. “Come and support local artists and find perfectly unique holiday gifts for the loved ones in your life.”

There is a special reason to support this event. Lloyd said: “A part of every sale will go directly toward our new kiln build and to improvements to the studio. Your support makes a difference.”

The Hudgens’ Gift Shop is filled with original works of art created by regional artists. Kate Driscoll of the Hudgens Center has her own “go to” items and artists who make gift-giving easy.

“My best gift idea are mugs,” Driscoll said. “Mugs are ‘art for every day.’ Everyone uses them. Our mugs are all handmade, and we have a great variety.”

Handmade jewelry is always a great gift. Driscoll admires the work of Sandra Landergott, a silversmith out of Dawsonville.

“Her work is abstract,” Driscoll said. “I call it ‘the blue jeans of jewelry-you can wear it with anything.’”

Ceramics as gift ideas abound. Geoff Pickett is a ceramicist from Watkinsville. Driscoll describes his work as “traditional pottery created by old school methods: functional pieces such as mugs, bowls, planters and beautiful display pieces.”

Glass artists are also represented in the Hudgens Gift Shop, and Driscoll highlights two of them. Devon Cole creates blown glass in organic shapes that feature intricate designs.

John Shoemaker also creates blown glass. His work is geometric, architectural, more modern.

The above artists and many more are represented at the Hudgens Gift Shop. Gift-givers will know that the items they select will be one of a kind.

Another type of gift would be a donation to the Hudgens itself.

Lloyd said: “We hope you will consider making a donation to support the arts in your community. Any amount is appreciated.”

Donors can contribute to many programs and facility needs, from art supplies to exhibitions, to programming for the developmentally challenged to the Hudgens’ smART Honors Program.

The Hudgens also makes a great destination when friends and family come to town. Three exhibitions are on display that make an enjoyable and thought-provoking visit.

The “11th Annual Juried Members Exhibition” will run through Jan. 15. “Lyrical Reflections: The Work of Gregory Johnson” and “SURFACE TENSIONS: The work of Charity Harris” will be on view through Jan. 29.

The Hudgens, located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Visit for more information.

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

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