Industry News

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.

Leave a Reply