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The warm. festive holiday spirit got a jump-start for many Wednesday night when the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center hosted its 38th annual pop-up shopping experience, the BBAC Holiday Shop. More than 3,500-square-feet of gallery space was transformed into a boutique offering unique one-of-a-kind gift items created by more than 125 artists. Gifts like handmade jewelry, ceramics, home decor, stationery, glassware, candles and kitchenware were available for purchase.

The shopping experience kicked off with the “Shop & Champagne” preview party, now in its 17th year. The ticketed sneak peek event included shopping, a gourmet strolling supper, wine, champagne and cordials, as well as complimentary valet and a 10-percent discount on all purchases made that evening.

Approximately 400 people attended the preview and enjoyed libations and food from such popular local restaurants as Joe Muer (an array of sushi), Café ML (braised short ribs), C.A.Y.A (smoked meatballs with a creamy polenta), Fleming’s (filet skewers), Adachi (crab and seaweed salad), and Gratiot Avenue Provisions (elaborate charcuterie board).

“Our Shop and Champagne preview event of our annual Holiday Shop is a wonderful resource to support local artists and a nonprofit whose vision is ‘art for all’ and we practice it each and every day,” said Annie VanGelderen, president and CEO of the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center.

Tickets to the preview event were $85 per person with proceeds benefiting working artists and the nonprofit BBAC’s ArtAccess and education programs. The holiday shop takes over art galleries at BBAC through Dec. 20. For more information, visit BBArtCenter.org.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of TheSocialMetro.com and hosts “Happy Hour” Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. on 910AM Superstation.

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