ALBANY ─ Christmas is only days away, and if panic is setting in when it comes to that hard-to-buy-for person you can’t seem to check off your shopping list, the Albany Museum of Art has the answer.

The AMA’s Hodges Sales Gallery has art, jewelry and other items created by Southwest Georgia artists and artisans.

“We are fortunate that we have so much creativity in Albany,” said Chloe Hinton, education and public program director for the museum. “People are always looking for hand-made, high-quality gifts that are unique and have special meaning. We have a treasure trove of them.”

The gallery has items ranging from large wall paintings to handmade bowls to necklaces and earrings. There are honey dippers, hand-painted coasters, blown-glass Christmas tree ornaments, and plenty more to choose from.

“The quality of the work is amazing,” Hinton said. “We’re happy to be able to provide these artists a venue to showcase their work and introduce many of them to the public.”

A strong local arts component is important to the economic vitality of a community, she said.

“Artists do a lot to enhance the quality of life in the community,” Hinton said. “Like so many other small businesses, they’re always willing to help out a good cause.

“When you make a purchase from a local artist, you’re not only getting a unique item that has the potential to appreciate in value, you’re supporting a small business by buying local.”

Artists whose works are in the holiday gallery are Devan Cole, Nate Dallas, Hannah Ezzo, Brandi Fickel, Camille Fox, Danny Godoy, Kirby Gregory, Jennifer Hanson, Katie Lou Jewelry, Suzy Klein, Cameron Malphrus, Jodi Mann, Emily Montgomery, Linda Powell, Sadie Schaub, Lori Tatum and Lindsay Toole.

There is a wide range of prices on the merchandise, so shoppers will be able find something special at their preferred price point. Albany Museum of Art members also get a discount on purchases.

“Shoppers might have the misconception that gifts purchased at a museum would be too expensive,” Hinton noted. “You can find that unique gift at an affordable price and support the local art community at the same time. Everyone wins when you shop locally!”

The Sales Gallery is open during normal museum hours — 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. on Saturday. The Albany Museum of Art will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Albany Museum of Art is adjacent to Albany State University’s West Campus just off Gillionville Road. It is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Admission is free.

For more information about the AMA, visit the www.albanymuseum.com website or call (229) 439-8400.

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