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Jill Sans started the HeArt Box in August 2018 and is hosting the gallery's first holiday art show beginning Friday, Dec. 6. 

Many years runoff running different businesses has taught Jill Sans how slow the deepest months of winter can be. When the now-gallery owner opened The HeArt Box in downtown Flagstaff a little more than a year ago, Sans knew she wanted to find a way to help offset that lull for surrounding local businesses, as well as artists who make a living selling their work.

A year and a couple weeks later Sans is in the process of putting the finishing touches on her Off the Wall interactive holiday exhibit, which aims to nourish the intersection of art and local business during the slower months.

Artwork by 20 local artists will be displayed on the HeArt Box’s walls. What distinguishes this exhibit, however, is that when someone purchases a piece they can take it with them right then, with the painting coming directly off the wall and into their hands—hence the name. And, yet another added surprise also comes in the form of a gift card from a local business with the purchase of each piece of art. 

“My thought was to do an art show that hyped up the importance of giving something handmade and local, and supporting artists during the holiday season as well as bridging the gap with local businesses because January and February can be quite quiet,” Sans said.

What kind of gift card one gets will be a surprise up until the moment of purchase.

“It’s going to be a secret as to who you’re getting,” Sans said, an element she hopes will up the fun and interactivity even more. 

Fifteen percent of each purchase will also be donate to One Tree Planted, a nonprofit that works to offset increasing carbon levels by planting trees across the United States.

“The holidays can be an excess of consumerism, and adding the element of planting trees is a way we can give back and work towards more sustainable communities,” Sans said. “We are all in this together, like our beloved forest, each tree a vital part of the overall system.

Typically an art show at the HeArt Box stays up for about a month but the goal with Off the Wall is to get pieces in the hands of buyers as quickly as possible. As each piece leaves its place, it’ll reveal a piece of a larger painting Sans has been working on. Akin to an advent calendar, the removal of each work of art will reveal a portion of a larger creation.

“I wanted a fun, exciting buying experience,” Sans said.

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