Gallery Aglow will get you in the the spirit of the season!

Christmas cheer is already spreading and affecting people everywhere, causing them to want to decorate Christmas trees, hang stockings, deck the halls with boughs of holly and buy gifts for loved ones.

Luckily, in a tradition dating back 30 years, the volunteers of Allied Arts Association turn the Gallery at the Park in Richland into a one-stop shop for all things Christmas. Just in time for early shoppers, Gallery Aglow has beautiful gifts and decorations on display from Nov. 8 through the end of December.

Do you want to give your friends and family members gifts that are as unique and wonderful as they are? Do you want beautiful, handmade wreaths and trees to decorate your house? Stop by the gallery on Lee Boulevard near the entrance to Howard Amon Park and celebrate the 30th anniversary of this special Gallery Aglow show.

Local artists contribute their incredible talents to the show, submitting beautiful and useful items such as ceramics, glassware, jewelry, fiber art and metal work. Unlike the gifts you find in chain stores, these items have been handcrafted with love and care, and each one is a unique piece by a talented artist.

The Gallery at the Park maintains one of the largest retail art collections in the Tri-Cities. Allied Arts Association, which operates the gallery, has served the community since 1948, providing residents with a source of art and handicrafts. Every year through November and December, the Gallery at the Park hosts the Gallery Aglow show, featuring hundreds of works created by local and regional artists.

During this event, the gallery also sells unique wreaths, trees and holiday decorations — all handmade by volunteers at the gallery. All proceeds from the sale of these items go toward funding the Allied Arts Association, which gives back to the community by providing scholarships and setting up programs such as Beads Behind Bars and Art Connection.

The purpose of these programs is make art education opportunities available to everyone in the community, no matter who they are. Beads Behind Bars allows eligible youth at the Benton Franklin Juvenile Detention Center to take beading classes and explore their creativity. The program gives troubled youth a greater sense of their own value, and it’s hoped that it will lead them to make better choices in the future.

Allied Arts Association is only able to expand and continue these programs with the help of fundraisers and the generous support of the local art community.

The Gallery at the Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Support a local nonprofit organization, help the community and get your Christmas shopping done in one place. Stop in at the Gallery at the Park at 89 Lee Boulevard in Richland.

View the archived November 2016 issue of The Entertainer