Heavens: understanding the universe through art

If you have recently passed by the Shaw Avenue and Fresno Street intersection, you may have noticed a small, glitzy store on the southwest corner.

Heavens Gifts and Gallery is a celestially themed store and art gallery and is run by local artist Amir Sade.

Heavens’ interior design feels like 2001: A Space Odyssey meets disco.

On one shelf you may find 3-D art pieces of the solar system. On the next are stacks of new age CDs, and on another are strobe lights fit for a party and on the walls, psychedelic art pieces of the cosmos hang.

Sade said the store has something for everyone.

“Home décor, lights, art, sculptures; all these items create a harmonious feeling that everyone can relate too, young and old,” Sade said.

Sade, who was born in Iran, said his main inspiration for the store is his love of the universe. He became interested in astronomy after he took a trip through the Iranian desert when he was 13 years old.

“I was driving through a very small town, in the middle of nowhere, in the high deserts of Iran. We got stuck on the side of the road, and when we got out I looked up and saw the Milky Way for the very first time,” Sade said. “I had no idea what was going on or what this all meant, but I became hooked.”

As Sade grew older, his passion for learning more about the universe increased. When he moved to the United States, he enrolled in an astronomy class and became interested in philosophy. He eventually moved to the foothills and purchased his own telescope.  

Sade opened Heavens to share his love of astronomy. However, the store on Shaw Avenue and Fresno Street is not the first Heavens location. Sade’s first store was located in the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis, but he was forced to close because of the recession.

Sade said the new store, which opened in late September, is also struggling due to the lack of customers.

“There’s just not enough people who pass by here. When people do come in, they’re impressed, but the hardest part is getting them to come in,” Sade said.

Sade hopes more customers will come during the holiday season. He has created a series of miniature Christmas villages to encourage more customers to visit his shop.

“These would make great gifts for college students who don’t have enough room for an elaborate Christmas. This tiny one has a touch of snow, and it just makes you feel good,” Sade said as he held up a small cottage adorned with Christmas lights.

Sade created many of the artworks in his store himself. Despite struggling financially, he is driven to explore the nature of the universe and the meaning of life through his art.

“When I create, I’m inspired by philosophy, the meaning of life, passion for beauty, the stars and lights. Through my art I try to understand the concept of life.” Sade said. “My passion is to believe in a much bigger god than any manmade church. My god is the universe.”