Archive for July, 2011

Industry News

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

End of an Era

Art Media circa 1974

Hot off the press, Blick Artist Materials has inked a deal to buy Portland, OR iconic independent retailer Art Media. Founded in 1974 by Dave Moser, Kathy Christian, Gail Vines and David McNiven it has grown over the years to three stores located in Portland, Beaverton and Happy Valley. Within the next 6 months Blick will open a super store close to the current Art Media Portland location. The Beaverton store will be upgraded and remodeled. All three of the Art Media owners plan to work for Blick. The Happy Valley store is slated to close before the end of 2011.

With regret and sadness Kathy Brennan and  Don Preston recently announced they will close their Preston Art Center New Albany, IN store and consolidate operations at their Louisville location.  They  will close the doors in New Albany forever on September 10th.

Buying group Sierra Pacific Craft’s CEO/President Heather Corvey has resigned to pursue new opportunities. Alex Nielsen, current Director of Operations, has succeeded her. During her tenure, Heather nearly tripled the store membership. Alex has almost 10 years experience the SPC, the eminent voice of independent craft retailing. Other SPC staffers remain in place.

In a recent New York Times article on Moleskine’s USA marketing approach, Christine Starito of AI Friedman was quoted. Check out the complete article at Moleskine Marketing

The SCHWAN-STABILO Group has acquired the German company  Ortovox which specializes avalanche safety products and an expert in winter backpacks and functional sports clothing with merino wool.

SHARPIE is officially introducing a revamped Web site  as part of its 2011 back-to-school marketing campaign, which moves away from high profile celebrities to now feature avid, though lesser-known, Sharpie fans, and urges consumers to “start something” with its products. Directed at teenagers, the campaign also includes new print, TV, Internet and cinema advertising, extensive use of social media, and new packaging, markers and colors. Check out the new website Sharpie Web Site and an example of a YouTube commercial:


Urban Art continues to gain mainstream credibility.  Now there is a two-hour “Grafitti” tour in Miami, FL – which takes place on Vespas – and is offered by a company called Roam Rides. It starts with a 15-minute ride from Miami Beach over the Venetian Causeway to the Wynwood Arts District, considered the mecca of Miami’s emerging arts scene, and includes four or five stops to survey the area’s best graffiti. The tour ends with lunch at a happening Wynwood restaurant. Once considered a rough neighborhood, Wynwood has become a destination for artists from all over the world. Art galleries abound and events are held here each December as part of the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair. Wynwood is also now home to one of the world’s largest installations of murals by multiple graffiti artists.

Faber-Castell is celebrating 250 years in business. The German writing instruments manufacturer held its official 250th anniversary celebrations earlier in July.

ColArt Market Priorities: Artist Outreach Program

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

On June 16, 17 and 18th, the Collective Art Tank of Asbury Park, N.J hosted the annual training meeting of the Winsor & Newton and Liquitex Artist Outreach Program (AOP). The location was ideal in that Winsor & Newton and Liquitex are sponsors of The Collective Art Tank; supporting artists by offering affordable studio space, samples of art materials and technique based demonstrations.

The eighteen artists in the Liquitex program are located across the United States and Canada and perform product related demonstrations at colleges, retail stores and art organizations. Their annual meeting is an opportunity to gather together to discuss new art materials, best practices for effective demonstrations and to brainstorm new ideas (not to mention lots of laughing and eating).

So, why is the Artist Outreach Program such a big deal at Winsor & Newton and Liquitex? Because, how else can artists get the most out of their materials if they don’t fully understand them? This is where the AOP artists shine! Not only are they all professional artists, but many of them also teach on the college level and have an overwhelming passion for art materials. Their program is kind of geeky like that; their artists love to create their personal work but also get super jazzed when talking about the stuff that helps them make it. Educating artists to get the most out of their materials is at the core of the Artist Outreach Program.

Jimmy Leslie and Christina Yoder, who manage the AOP program within ColArt Americas, love to get everyone together for the annual meeting because it allows face to face communication in a way that is not otherwise possible. Although our world today is much smaller through email and Skype, nothing bonds a group and builds community like looking someone in the eye and really listening.

The AOP meeting is also a real morale builder. With everyone located in various parts of the U.S. and Canada, it is easy to feel separated from the main ColArt offices in New Jersey. Because these artists are the face of Winsor & Newton and Liquitex, it is vital that they are kept up to date with the newest technical information and this AOP meeting is a great way to keep everyone in the loop and to feel like part of the team. ColArt invests a lot of energy and financing into making this program the most comprehensive in the industry. They are proud of the quality of our brands and that artists rely on that quality to create their work. It’s this pride that drives their commitment to spreading the word, educating artists on the correct use of materials and investing in their future!

For more information about the Artist Outreach Program visit the Artist Outreach Program site.

For more information about The Collective Art Tank, visit Tank Site

Market Priorities: The New Strathmore Mixed Media Papers Break New Ground

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Strathmore Artist Papers™ recently introduced new Mixed Media Fine Art Pads to meet the needs of a large and growing segment of consumers.

According to research, “9% of all art pieces created are considered mixed media/collage.”  Mixed media is described as a “new and growing segment of the artist market.”* The program is another example of Strathmore’s commitment to develop innovative new products that help grow the market and create in-store news and excitement for retailers. Mixed Media is also popular among “crossover consumers,” defined as crafters crossing over to art materials and techniques.

Strathmore Mixed Media Fine Art Pads are specifically designed to meet the growing consumer demand for paper that offers true performance for both wet and dry media.

They combine  the characteristics of watercolor paper and the finish of a drawing sheet, creating a paper that performs unlike any other in the industry. Strathmore Mixed Media paper is ideal for watercolor, gouache, acrylic, graphite, pen and ink, colored pencil, marker, pastel and collage. The comprehensive offering includes a full range of formats and sizes allowing retailers to take full advantage of the opportunities created by this strong growth category.

Learn how the new Strathmore Mixed Media program can increase the productivity of your retail space by contacting your MacPherson’s sales representative today.

*NAMTA Artists and Art Materials 2009 Study



Announcing Gamblin’s Fall BTS 2011 Buy-Get Promotion

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Buy any four tubes of Gamblin Artist Grade oils, receive a free 37ml tube of FastMatte Titanium White

For the third year in a row, Gamblin has put together a fantastic buy-get promotion to help you drive foot-traffic and sales. To help get even more artists through your doors, Gamblin will be featuring this promotion on its home page and Facebook page during August and September.

Why not take advantage of this no-cost program and promote the offer to your community of artists through your web, email, Facebook,Twitter and other communications?

Gamblin’s FastMatte Buy-Get promotion enables retailers to offer a FREE 37ml tube of FastMatte Titanium White to painters that purchase four or more tubes of Gamblin Artist Grade Oils during August and September.

FastMatte Buy-Get Kits will be available at no charge and will ship direct from Gamblin while supplies last. The FastMatte Buy-Get Kit contains 18 tubes of Gamblin FastMatte Titanium White, plus a rack sign with information on FastMatte and the promotion.

FastMatte Buy-Get kits are shipping now. If you carry FastMatte in your store and want to participate in the program, contact Kaitlin via email ( or phone (503.235.1945 x21) to request a FastMatte Buy-Get Kit today.