Archive for the ‘Art Alternatives’ Category

Estria Battle 2013 – Official Battle Video

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The official video of the Estria Battle in Oakland, CA last October featuring products from Montana Cans and Art Alternatives has been released! This video is a great way to get a feel for all aspects of the event and also serves some nice inspiration for event ideas – enjoy!

Prism: An Urban Art and Culture Festival Takes Oakland by Storm!

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

The Estria Foundation hosts two weeks of cultural curated art events for the community of Oakland, CA and beyond.

The Prism: Urban Art and Culture Festival encompasses a series of public events.  This festival will feature an array of activities beginning on September 28 and running through October 12th. These events entail visual art, music, dance, symposia and sustainable culture practices in an effort to emphasize arts programming for the community.

Concurrent with Prism’s event schedule, October 12th will highlight the return of The Estria Battle at Life is Living (click here for details), an all day arts event at the historic Defremery Park hosted in partnership with Youth Speaks, and sponsored in part by Montana Cans and Art Alternatives. This is a free, family-friendly event with a focus on public art, diverse music, health and environmental local sustainability. Youth are invited to join fellow Oakland residents to participate in a series of multi-faceted activities including the new Youth Mural Art Battle, Blackbook Graffiti Battle, t-shirt Stencil Workshop and Arts Arena. Attendees are also welcomed to enjoy a range of artistic performances and are encouraged to participate in generating energy by dancing on the “Pedal Powered Stage”.


New From Art Alternatives

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Try out the new Art Alternatives clear acrylic plastic that locks shut making it easy to transport mixed colors between class, the studio, and the field. While most palettes are specific to one medium, this versatile palette works equally well with watercolor, oil, or acrylic paints, as it contains both a removable 24 well palette and 10 sheets of disposable palette paper. It additionally contains 3 small sponges that can be moistened to keep paints workable longer.  Refill sheets of palette paper are also available.  The palette is AA15363 (retail of $19.99) and the refills is AA15364 (retail of $8.99). Don’t forget to take advantage of the 70% off launch promo (use the SI code)!

Art Alternatives Black Sketch Book Custom Imprint Program

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Click here to go to to download the order form.

Hot New AA Surfaces Increase Sales & Excitement

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Art Alternatives PRO-GRADE CANVAS & MIXED-MEDIA SURFACES mean more choices for the professional artist and students, as well as crafters, urban artists and mixed media artists. Is it time to “spice up” your surfaces department with 4 new product selections that are sure to excite?


A. MDF Panels
AA47000 through AA47014

B. Wood Panels
Studio Profile:  AA46000 through AA46019
Gallery Profile:  AA46050 through AA46069

C. Premium Canvas
Studio Profile:  AA5309 through AA5328
Gallery Profile:  AA5354 through AA5379

D. Artist Linen Canvas
Studio Profile:  AA58300 through AA58310
Gallery Profile:  AA58350 through AA58359

For more information, contact your MacPherson’s Sales Representative.

Red Hot Newsprint Tote Board Combo Pack!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

As Back-to-School creeps closer, we’d like to remind you about a very special deal we’re offering on 2 of our best selling BTS items (as well as clarify a few questions about it.)  Through 9/22/12, receive our deepest discount ever on the 23″ x 26” Art Alternatives Tote Board (AA17701) and Strathmore‘s tape-bound  18″ x 24″ Newsprint Pad (SM307-818) when they are purchased together as assortment # AA17711 which contains 30 of each item.  To keep the cost to a minimum so that you can discount them deeply, the pads and tote boards will not ship packed together. Instead they will ship separately in their regular cartons and can be stacked out next to one another or combined into 1 item in store. Downloadable signage is available from Mouse over the Promotional Support tab and select Merchandising > Art Alternatives, then scroll to the very bottom of the page.

The Black Canvas Craze is Here!!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Black canvas is hot and it’s hitting the MacPherson’s warehouses now!  Reno and Elgin have both received their orders and have begun shipping.  Atlanta’s inventory is scheduled to arrive late next week and the line will be featured in the October What’s New, posting Wed., Oct 5th. Til then, you can download the sell sheet below. Don’t miss out on the special promotional pricing during the launch period now through the end of November!

Made with the same natural, unbleached medium-weight 100% cotton duck and kiln-dried stretcher bars as our Studio and Gallery canvases; the surface is primed with acid-free black acrylic gesso, providing a dark rich background for traditional paints and techniques as well as paint markers, spray paint and multi-media techniques.

Available in 10 best-selling Studio profile (4″x4″ up to 24″x36″) and Gallery profile (8″x10″ up to 36″x48″) sizes, tt is also available in 5 canvas panel sizes (8″x10″ up to 16″x20″) and in a 52″ x 6yd roll, great for large artwork and in-store events.  Keep this roll in mind for your next Montana demo!

Click here for the complete list of sizes and launch promo details: Black Canvas Sell Sheet


Check Out the Art Alternatives Web Site Redesign

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Have you visited the new Art Alternatives website?


Relaunched in February this year, the new is better than ever with full size color photos and information on all of our items, project sheets and ideas, an event calendar, easel assembly instructions, videos, product safety information, a store locator, FAQs, and much more!


Check out the New Art Alternatives Youtube Channel!

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Here’s the new Art Alternatives YouTube Channel – it’s just been launched with a cool how-to video on the ever mysterious, but oh so useful and safe mouth atomizer. Legendary John K. of MacPherson’s customer service is the star of this show!

Watch for  more videos coming soon at Art Alternatives Youtube Channel

Art Alternatives: Proud to Sponsor Mural of the World

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

motwMural of the World is a philanthropic public art and community building project. The paintings that make up the mural are visually linked together to create a powerful and compelling message of harmony.  Doug Arnholter and his team of talented artists take photos provided by organizations and turn them into huge paint-by-number canvases. They then take those canvases to events where people come together to paint a picture and build a community, one brush stroke at a time. Art Alternatives is sponsoring Mural of the World because anybody who picks up a paint brush is a potential art materials customer! The more artists we help develop, the more business there is for all of us.

Want to know more about Mural of the World? Check out the website or the Facebook fan site.

Think Pink: New from Art Alternatives!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

pinkbooksAvailable now in all warehouses!

Art Alternatives developed these limited-edition Pink Ribbon Pen & Ink sketch books and notebooks to help in the fight against breast cancer.  Our goal is to raise much needed funds for research.  Together, MacPherson’s and retailers will donate $1 per book to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF.)  “How does that work?”, you may wonder.  Well, we usually give you an extra 5% discount when we promote Pen & Ink, but we are doing something different this time.  By purchasing the Pink Ribbon Books at our regular discounts, you give 50¢ per book to the BCRF.  MacPherson’s takes the other 50¢ per book out of our own margin. At the end of the year (or when we run out of Pink Ribbon Pen & Ink books, whichever comes first) we’ll send a check to the BCRF. Stay tuned – we’ll let you know how much we raise!

Offered in our 2 best-selling styles, these books are a one-time special order in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. We won’t be replenishing so get them while you can!

16-Book Sketch Book (Blank) Asst:  AA10351 | msrp $159.84 | 65% off
16-Book Notebook (Lined) Asst:  AA10353 | msrp $159.84 | 65% off
Open Stock Sketch Book (Blank):  AA10350 | msrp $9.99 | 60% off
Open Stock Notebook (Lined):  AA10352 | msrp $9.99 | 60% off


New Sharpie Ad Campaign Spotlights “Self-Expression”

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

sharpie_bigSharpie is launching a new ad push that says the felt-pen brand is a creative force in making ordinary things extraordinary. The Oakbrook, Ill.-based company, a division of Newell Rubbermaid’s Office Products Group, is positioning the brand as a tool for creative expression in the new effort, via Draftfcb Chicago.

The campaign — which comprises print, digital and broadcast ads — shows Sharpie markers adding color to things like protest signs, skateboards, electric guitars, jeans, motorcycle helmets, even hitch-hiking signs. Voiceover, with a British accent, asks: “What would the world be like without self-expression? There’d be no purpose, no passion, no putting it out there for everyone to see.” Tag: “Sharpie. Uncap what’s inside.”

The TV ad for the campaign started this month during the finale of “America’s Next Top Model” and will run through June, per the company. Season finales include ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and “Lost” as well as CW’s “Gossip Girl” and 15 cable networks including E!, VH1, ABC Family, TLC, HGTV, Lifetime, BET, MTV and more.

New Drafting Tools from Art Alternatives

Friday, May 7th, 2010

aa_draftingtoolsWe hope you are taking advantage of the already successful Art Alternatives drafting line. A year and a half after the initial launch we have gone back to the “drawing board” and added 17 more items to complete the line. All of the new tools are responses to retailers who have made this the line of choice for their school drafting, drawing and design kits. They include new sizes of triangles, natural hair dusting brushes, lead holders, lead and templates. The new tools are featured in May’s “what’s new“, and will be available in the MacPherson’s distribution centers in July. For the deepest discounts on these BTS essentials, order one of our flexible planograms. BTW, we do kits, too!

Think we are missing the boat on a key item? Let the Art Alternatives team or your MacPherson’s sales rep what you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to bring it in.

New Art Alternatives Portfolios in Stock Now

Friday, May 7th, 2010

aaportfoliogroupOur take on the portfolio market is that it’s changing. Gone are the days when artists and models wanted fancy portfolio and presentations cases. Today it’s all about function and value. And what about the importance of brand? Eh! Not a big deal right now. That’s why we challenged our sourcing team to come up with functional and smart selection of competitively-priced portfolios just in time for the critical back-to-school selling season. Art Alternatives showed off this new line of student portfolios & presentation cases at the NAMTA show in Indianapolis, and the response shocked even the most jaded Art Dogs among us! If you didn’t see them there, check them out online. Our selection includes the Tote Board+Portfolio Combo, the Academy Presentation Cases and Portfolios, and the newest additions, our Artist Double Zipper and New Classic Edition portfolios.

News From Golden February 2010

Monday, February 15th, 2010

GOLDEN OPEN Acrylics DVD Still Available
In early November, in appreciation for your support of the OPEN Acrylics line, GOLDEN provided you with complimentary OPEN promotional kits. The kits contained three sample-sized OPEN Mediums and an OPEN Acrylics DVD. Artists that bought 6 tubes of OPEN qualified for a free OPEN Now Kit. While the OPEN Now Kits are no longer available, the OPEN Acrylics Introductory DVD remains an item that is available through your GOLDEN support dollars. Contact your MacPherson’s sales representative for ordering instructions.

Just Paint #22 is Now Available Online and in Print
This issue focuses on the innovative Digital Mixed Media products from GOLDEN. The feature article written by Michael Townsend from Technical Support Services focuses on photography and the role of GOLDEN Digital Grounds. Amy McKinnon, also from Technical Support, writes about the possibilities of experimental mixtures with DMM products. Included in this issue is an article about the launch of five new Heavy Body Acrylic colors and an interview with Mark Golden and Technical Services Supervisor, Sarah Sands. The Sam and Adele Golden Gallery (SAGG) Director, Jim Walsh, walks readers through the progression and significance of the SAGG space and its importance in the fine art community. Lastly, Just Paint gives readers the opportunity to learn about a new color tool from GOLDEN – The Tint and Glaze Chart (aka ”the drawdown poster”.) The poster is an incredible reference to show artists how very subtle differences in color, tints or glazes makes all the difference in how these pigments react and move in color space.
To see these articles, go to Articles
Sign up to receive Just Paint electronically: Just Paint Sign Up

If additional printed copies of Just Paint are required for in-store presentation or staff distribution, contact your MacPherson’s sales representative for ordering instructions.

GOLDEN is Growing its Working Artists Program
GOLDEN is looking for acrylic painters in these locations who want to join the GOLDEN Working Artists team:
• Baltimore, MD / Washington, D.C.
• Boston, MA
• Capital Region of NY (Albany area)
• State of Louisiana
If you know of a professional artist who may be interested in more information, please direct them to our site:
Golden Working Artists Program

Reminder: 2nd B-T-S Promotional Advertising Period ended on 2/15.

If you have any questions about any of the above information, contact your MacPherson’s sales representative.

Industry News

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre

Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre

MacPherson’s is proud to announce the promotion of two amazing individuals on our team. Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre, our head of Human Resources, has become a Vice President in the company. In addition to her current people related role, she will take on new management and customer-facing responsibilities over the coming months. Natasha joined the company in 2005 and has eleven years of people operations experience. Natasha has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

Also, moving up is Jim Semitekol as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at MacPherson’s.

Jim Semitekol

Jim Semitekol

Jim’s new title recognizes his total involvement in all aspects of the Company’s business including the significant impact he is having on sales and logistics for all of our accounts. Jim joined the company in 2001 and is a man of many talents and interests. His fans admire his accomplishments as a professional guitarist and as a founder of our in-house band, One Night Stand.
Please join us in congratulating both Jim and Natasha on their promotions and wish them all them best with their new responsibilities.

JoAnn’s Stores Chief Operating Officer has been promoted. Travis Smith will assume the duties and title of President.

Travis Smith

Travis Smith

Pearl continues to restructure. Additional stores have been added to a list considered for possible closings. To keep up to the minute on this story, check out this link:
Pearl Blow-Out Sale Store list


A number of personnel and organizational changes have been announced at Michaels and Aaron Bros:

Walt Asbury has accepted a new role as Business Unit General Manager – Papercrafting. Most recently he was Vice President of Special Projects (Next Gen). The former Paper crafting Manager, Kathy Lacks has left the organization. Tom Peterson the Vice President of Store Communications and Workload Planning is taking a new role as Vice President of Space Planning. On the supply chain side, Miki Ellers has been promoted to Vice President, Distribution Center (DC) Operations.

Matt Fischer has taken on a new role as Vice President – Supply Chain Optimization.

Mary Kuniski is expanding her role to include the support of Walt Asbury’s team as his Inventory Management partner. She will continue her work informing and educating the Michaels vendor community as the Vice President of Vendor Relations and will retain responsibility for the Database Control group.

At Aaron Brothers Katy Hanson has been promoted to Vice President, Marketing. Wendy Prebil has been promoted to Director, Visual Presentation at Aaron Bros.

Former Koh-I-Noor, Grumbacher and NAMTA President Tony Murray is back, helping the art supply industry as a business consultant. If you’re looking, you can reach him at .

above-groundThe Art Store, Des Moines, IA has resigned from Art Group America (AgA) membership and  Aboveground Art Supplies of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is taking The Art Store’s slot in the 12 member industry group. Fred Gold’s business is now in its 27th successful year in one of the largest and most competitive art supply markets in the world. We wish Joe Domeier well as he builds his business in a competitive Des Moines market.

mark-snellingMark Snelling, husband of Linda Snelling, the former owner of Boutilliers in Burlington, VT, is running for Lt. Governor of that state. For details on the candidate check out his website: Mark Snelling for Lt. Governor

Check Out the New Look!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

We’ve heard that you think our Website is already the best in the business, but that hasn’t stopped us from working for nearly a year to make it even better. Take a look, run it through its paces, and tell us what you think!


Hot WBTS Combo from Art Alternatives

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Artist Essential On-the-go Portfolio + Tote Board Combo Packtotebdcombo
Looking ahead to Winter BTS… This combo from Art Alternatives features a 26-1/2”H x 27”W Classic Edition Portfolio and a student-favorite 23″ x 26″ Artist Tote Board. And the special launch discount (74% off, $11.25 net) means you can promote it at a super low price to draw students into your store.

The portfolio is perfect for transporting, storing or protecting artwork and important documents. It’s made of durable, water-resistant nylon fabric, and it features an easy glide zipper, reinforced bottoms, and an adjustable & removable shoulder strap. The 23″ x 26″ Artist Tote Board is a portable and multi-functional surface for indoor/outdoor sketching and painting. Made of durable MDF, the board features an easy-carry cutout handle, two sturdy, low profile grip clips to hold pad or paper securely in place, and heavy-duty rubber bands to keep artwork in place.

Available in all DCs now! Special launch discount of 74% off is for a limited time only, so don’t wait too long after the holidays to order for WBTS! See page 65 of MacPherson’s Winter Buyer’s Guide for additional details.

New Palette from Art Alternatives

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

17wellpaletteOn a retailer request, Art Alternatives has added a traditionally shaped 17-well palette to our line of plastic palettes. The palette has 12 color wells and 5 mixing areas, plus a comfortable thumb hole. The smooth, highly durable plastic makes the palette easy to clean up. It’s suitable for all painting media, and packaged for display in peggable, clear polybag with color header card. The 70% launch discount is available for a limited time only, so don’t delay past the holidays! In stock in all DCs now. See page 61 of the MacPherson’s Winter Buyer’s Guide.

New Canvas Folds from Art Alternatives

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Art Alternatives has come out with an option for retailers who want to sell bulk canvas but don’t have the space for rolls – canvas folds! Packaged in sturdy bags, these 2-yard folds can be pegged or displayed on a shelf. The premium grade, natural, unbleached cotton duck is ready for priming with either oil or acrylic primers. Folds are available in 7, 10 and 12 oz. weights, and in both 52″ and 72″ sizes. They are in stock in all MacPherson’s distribution centers and are at a launch discount of 67.5% off for a limited time! See the MacPherson’s Winter Buyer’s Guide page 59 for more details. aa5980_web