We want to congratulate former owners Katy and Jim of Art Department in Salem, Oregon, on their recent retirement, and the exciting transition of ownership to Jessica Ramey! Here are messages from Jim and Katy as well as a letter from Jessica to her customers.
“Jim and I are beyond excited and can’t think of a better person to pass the torch to. Jessica, an accomplished artist, friend and community organizer, has the vision, skills and energy it takes to move the store to the next level. Plus, she is a really nice, honest and good person. Happily she plans to keep the current programs going and our wonderful staff in place. We hope you will continue to support Salem’s local art store and community! We all need a place where we can see, touch, and try out art materials as well as gather, learn and connect with each other.
Jim and I bought Art Department 26 years ago when our son Erik was 2 and daughter Haley was 5 (now 28 and 31!). So we have had the store a long time and our kids literally grew up with this business. But I have to say, it has been the most fun and rewarding business to run and we sure are going to miss it! We have truly enjoyed coming to work each day, and for that, we have you, our customers to thank! We loved helping you find the right materials for your creative endeavors, but the best part has been the relationships we have built with you. Thank you for your support throughout the years. A lot of people have worked for us and taught for us these past 2 ½ decades. Many have become like family and all have played an integral part in the store’s success. It’s especially true with our current staff, Makayla and Sarah who care about the business as if it were their own. We will miss you all! We’ve been so lucky to work with such great people who share the love of art.”
“I never thought that I could ever own an art supply store. But looking back on my life, I also can’t think of anything more fitting. When Katy Vigeland first asked me if I was interested in continuing the legacy of Art Department, I was honored but very tentative. I am not financially wealthy nor do I come from a family that is. So I was doubtful that I could make it work. But the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the idea. My family and I started coming up with a plan. And the Vigelands and their broker did the same.
Jim and Katy have spent their career curating the most wonderful art supply store. Just like that first store I stepped into as a young girl, the shop is filled with possibilities and inspiration. Jim and Katy have worked closely with local artists and staff to create an extraordinary haven for artists to learn and connect. Their fun and creative personalities shine through with whimsical products while still offering the very serious and studious high-end art products that artists need. What an honor it will be to continue the service the Vigelands have provided.
So in October I humbly embarked on a new journey as the owner of Art Department with the support of my amazing family. I’m thrilled to open the doors and welcome you into an art home that supports artists from inspiration to celebration. Come in and share your ideas and projects that you are working on, and we will cheerlead and support you along your journey.”