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Strauss Art Gallery opens new gift shop in Hamilton

The Strauss Art Gallery at 222 High Street in the same building as Artspace Lofts has recently opened a gift shop with items from many local artists. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
The Strauss Art Gallery at 222 High Street in the same building as Artspace Lofts has recently opened a gift shop with items from many local artists. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The Strauss Art Gallery at Hamilton Center is offering a new feature aimed at making art more accessible for area residents.

Located at 220 High St. in downtown Hamilton, the new Strauss Gift Shop features jewelry, prints, small paintings and sculptures, framed sketches, record art, carvings, apparel, stickers, coasters, candles, painted pottery, illustrated graphic novels, greeting cards and numerous “one of a kind” artistic gifts, much of which is Hamilton-themed and all of which is reasonably priced, Stark said.

“We are so excited to offer another gift shopping destination to the High Street/Main Street stretch of downtown Hamilton,” said David Stark, community manager for Artspace Hamilton Lofts and director of the Strauss. “Ever since The Strauss Gallery was established in 2018 as a domestic non-profit, we’ve envisioned for a gift shop in the space.”

The gallery, which receives “very limited funding” through Artspace Projects, does not charge admission to any of its public events, Stark said.

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“So far, we’ve relied on grants, private donations, commissions on art sales and space rentals to sustain our operations,” he said. “When people shop at The Strauss Gift Shop, they’re not only doing the important work of supporting local, talented artists and vendors with products made in the U.S.A., but a small portion of those sales will help fund the non-profit Strauss Gallery and the gallery will be open whenever the gift shop is open, which gives people more opportunities to view the incredible art on display if they can’t make it to one of our events.”

Located on the ground level of Artspace Hamilton Lofts at 220 High Street, the gallery was established as a domestic non-profit in May 2018. It features the arts and talents of Artspace resident artists, as well as other talented area artists.

“This occurs by way of rotating art shows, opening night parties, workshops, poetry slams, concerts and more,” Stark said. “We also open our space for community and neighborhood meetings and rent out the space for birthdays, weddings, showers, and to other private groups.”

Vendors and items will rotate frequently, he said.

Events have not yet resumed in the Strauss Gallery, but June 19 marked the first time it publicly displayed art again, highlighting the abstract stylings of Artspace Resident Artist Melissa Lucid.

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Strauss Gift Shop is open from 11 to 6 p.m. each Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday and during events, whenever those resume. The shop also will be open from 3 to 7 p.m. each Thursday in July.

Stark said the arts matter and that Hamilton has a long history of embracing them and is perhaps doing that more so now than ever.

“I mean, it’s how Artspace got here in the first place,” he said. “We all consider ourselves pretty lucky to get to live, work and play in such an arts-affirming city. This addition is just one of the ways we are attempting to fulfill this Artspace project’s original vision.”