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Heartwood Gallery leads rebirth of ‘Quicktown’

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Photographs by Lara Hightower

Anita and Edward Hejtmanek, founders of Heartwood Gallery, pause in front of a display of Anita’s stained glass jewelry.

Holiday shoppers hoping to choose gifts from 30 of the area's premier artists have a wonderful opportunity to do just that at the Heartwood Gallery, located in South Fayetteville. The 16-year-old artist cooperative -- which offers one-stop shopping for handmade pottery, paintings, jewelry, photography, woodworking and more -- will host two special holiday events in the month of December.

Founder Anita Hejtmanek, a stained glass artist, says the quaint, historic stone building that now houses Heartwood has served many functions over the years.

FYI

Progressive Shopping Party

From 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7, start at one of six locally owned shops in Fayetteville:

Heartwood Gallery

428 S. Government Ave.

Shopping from 30 local artists in one place is sure to help you cross off several of your gift list requirements.

Crimson and Clover

426 S. Government Ave.

This intimate clothing boutique sells handmade children’s clothing with a vintage flair. The selection also includes vintage clothing for adults.

The Handmade Market

1504 N. College Ave.

This happy store’s offerings includes quirky gifts, gourmet food and drink, bath and body items, greeting card and paper goods and original art by local artists.

Freckled Hen Farmhouse

572 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Lifestyle blogger (and social media sensation) Natalie Freeman calls her store “a modern day general store brimming with refined home provisions and quality farm supplies.”

Collier Drug Store

100 W. Dickson St.

Collier Drug Stores just celebrated 100 years of business in the Northwest Arkansas area. Their flagship store on Dickson is much more than your average drug store and carries a wide selection of unusual gifts that are perfect for folks of all ages.

Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters

1494 N. College Ave.

Located in Evelyn Hills Shopping Center, Uncle Sam’s carries a large variety of outdoor goods, including camping equipment, apparel and military surplus — just what you need for the outdoor enthusiast on your gift list.

Nightbird Books

205 W. Dickson St.

For over 10 years now, Nightbird Books has been supplying Northwest Arkansas with a broad — yet perfectly curated — selection of books from the cozy confines of its Dickson St. store.

French Metro Antiques

200 W. Dickson St.

Find gorgeous antiques at this 7,000-square-foot store, a direct importer of fine French antique furnishings, art and accessories.

Treasures from Africa

1516 N. College Ave.

Located in Evelyn Hills Shopping Center, this unique store carries handmade goods from the upper East region of Ghana,West Africa. Proceeds from sales help the owners support relatives in the region by proving them with clothes, shoes, books, medical supplies and clean water wells.

INFO — 443-2080

FAQ

Holiday Open House

WHEN — 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 9

WHERE — Heartwood Gallery, 428 S. Government Ave. in Fayetteville

COST — Free

INFO — 444-0888

"This location used to be called Quicktown, because Mr. Quick lived at the end of the block," explains Hejtmanek of the Government Avenue location where the store resides. "It was the first suburb of Fayetteville, really, just south of downtown. Our building has been a number of things -- sheet metal shop, a general store, a church."

Hejtmanek says her husband, Edward, was using the space as his woodworking shop when a store called Whimsicals closed on Dickson Street. The store had carried the work of many local artists.

"When Whimsicals left, people kept asking, 'Where can we find local handmade art?'" says Hejtmanek. "And that's why Edward and I started Heartwood."

The organization accepts artists through a juried selection process. Because each artist donates time to help run the store, artists keep 100 percent of the proceeds from their sales.

Artist Linda Flores' faerie houses are sold in Heartwood Gallery. She says the art collective model -- where the artist is frequently on hand to speak with potential customers -- is beneficial for both.

"I can answer questions about how I came to make my art," she says. "I can add more meaning for [the customer]. We all want to connect. If they see something about my art that makes them want to take it home -- that's a meaningful connection."

The store is looking forward to a bustling holiday season, starting with a Progressive Shopping Party from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 7. Limousine service will be available to shuttle holiday shoppers from Heartwood to six other locally owned stores in Fayetteville -- Nightbird Books, Crimson and Clover, The Handmade Market, Freckled Hen Farmhouse, Collier Drug Stores, French Metro, Treasures from Africa and Uncle Sam's Safari Outfitters.

Nightbird Books' Lisa Sharp organized the event and says it's a good way to make sure shoppers are aware of the plethora of local options that are available to them.

"Almost every time we have an event, I get someone who has never heard of us," she says. "It's a really good way to get people to learn about other stores. People get in a routine about where they shop, and this helps get them out of that routine."

"We kind of see it as our giving back to the community," says Hejtmanek. "Some people have never had a chance to ride in a limousine. It's just a fun night out."

Two days later, Heartwood will celebrate the holidays with an open house from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 9.

Hejtmanek says both events are a great time for people to explore Government Avenue and the rejuvenation of "Quicktown."

"When we moved in, there were a couple of houses that had to be torn down, they were in bad shape," says Hejtmanek. "There were some vacant lots. Now, we have Freckled Hen Farmhouse and Crimson and Clover next door -- that's my daughter's store. She handmakes kids' clothes with vintage appeal."

Also new to the block is the small lot that houses three food trucks -- Zuppa Zuppa, Cathead Biscuits and Harvest Moon Pies.

NAN What's Up on 12/03/2017

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