Posts Tagged ‘Industry News’

Ben Lapin Announced President of Speedball Art Products

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018
Speedball Art Products Company       

Speedball is pleased to announce that Ben Lapin has been promoted to President of Speedball Art Products Company.

Ben started with Speedball in 1997 as Chief Financial Officer and handled all financial matters during the start-up years. He later took on responsibility for Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service and proved that he was much more than a bean counter. In October 2006, Ben became Chief Operating Officer responsible for all day-to-day activities of Speedball.

In the past 12 years Ben has led the integration of several acquisitions while strengthening Speedball’s core business. “Good is never good enough” with Ben; he pushes himself and all of Speedball to achieve the very best. Everyone at Speedball looks forward to seeing the results of Ben’s energy and passion in his new role.

MacPherson’s Organizational Updates

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

We are excited to announce a few organizational updates! Please visit our announcements page to read the full letter from our CEO & President, Dave Schofield.

John Stephens has transitioned to Director of Marketing, focusing on brand management, category management, creative services and digital experience teams.

Neil McIntyre has been promoted to Director of Account Management and he’ll be joining our Senior Leadership Team. He will continue his management of the national field and inside sales teams, in addition to assuming leadership of our customer service team.

Jeff Scholz, MacPherson’s Director of IT, will now serve as a member of our Senior Leadership Team.

Jessica Krainert, our EDI Specialist, will now serve as our new Integration Manager, overseeing the business and technology integration and onboarding for new customers, vendors and IT projects.

Ann Walsh: Colors Exhibition Opening Reception

Friday, October 5th, 2018

GOLDEN Artist Colors, Inc.

Ann Walsh: Colors opened last week at The Sam & Adele Golden Gallery (THE SAGG) at Golden Artist Colors. This survey of abstract paintings and sculptures by artist Ann Walsh underscores her commitment to the expressive possibilities of color and her investigations of the use of new materials for making art. Walsh has lived in New York City and maintained a studio there since 1980. An illustrated catalog with an essay by artist and critic Franklin Einspruch entitled, “Ann Walsh’s Mechanics of Color” will be available as well.To learn more about Walsh and her artwork, visit Visit The Sam & Adele Golden Gallery website, for more information.

The Sam & Adele Golden Gallery (THE SAGG) at Golden Artist Colors, 188 Bell Road, New Berlin, NY

October 6, 2018 – March 15, 2019


Our New WMS is Going Live Oct. 8

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

WMS goes live in Reno as of October 8th, 2018!

We are excited for this new chapter and technological milestone in our company’s history. As you may know, last year we made the decision to upgrade our Warehouse Management System (WMS).  This is the largest technology investment in MacPherson’s history. WMS is the “brains” of our distribution centers that tracks inventory locations and determines how orders are processed and how freight is shipped. We are working with the leader in warehouse software platforms, Manhattan Associates, and our team has devoted hundreds of hours to configuring and testing the system to ensure successful implementation. This innovation strengthens our commitment to service excellence, and we are looking forward to sharing more updates with you.

To learn more, please visit the Announcements page of

Calling All Staff

Monday, September 24th, 2018

You may have noticed an uptick in posts these last few weeks. With support from your Account Managers and Category Managers, our Creative Services team is revamping and revitalizing Art Dog Blog! In addition to industry news and resources you’ve come to expect, some of the features we are introducing include Who’s Who, an opportunity to feature a member of your staff who is doing an incredible job, Best Practices, where we explore trends, merchandising hacks, demo ideas, and other in-store strategies and of course the Art Dog of the Month. Make sure to share Art Dog with all members of your team, because there is something for everyone.

Have someone on your team who might want to submit? Please send submissions to artdogblog (@)

A Letter From Opus Art Supplies

Monday, September 24th, 2018
David van Berckel, Opus Art Supplies

Opus is an independently-owned local business, supplying the visual arts community with art materials, digital printing, picture frames, art education, community support, and more. Founded in 1974, they have grown from a single location framing company to seven stores throughout BC and a Canada-wide mail order service for online & phone orders.

To our valued vendors,

I have known so many of you for decades while I managed to turn a small framing production workshop in Vancouver into a sizeable and important art supply business over the past 50 years or so. But time continues taking a toll on my body and mind and I have decided to pull back from the day-to-day operations of Opus Art Supplies and concentrate primarily on the unique things in the business that sustain my spirit. I am not going away, but I am stepping down as President to become Opus’ Chairperson. I plan to continue working three days a week and will still travel the world seeking new products, exploring innovative ideas and anything else that I bloody-well want to!

Similarly, but more definitively, Opus’ V.P. Scott Cronshaw has decided to step up the pace of his retirement by planning an exit from the company by December 31st of this year. Scott’s wife retired earlier this year and he is jealously resenting her worldwide travels, so it’s catch-up time for him. I would like to thank him for helping guide Opus’ success for the past 34 years.

Fortunately, Opus’ other long-term V.P., Simon Chow, plans to be with us for many years to come and is very much engaged in helping build the business along with a new, yet familiar, team to lead the operations of both Opus and its ‘sister’ wholesale company, Framers Choice.

The ‘new recruit’ in this whole plan has been an active management consultant with Opus over the past 22 years. Tom James will now be leading the company as the CEO/President. Tom has extensive experience in hands-on CEO-level positions and is a specialist in retail. We have some aggressive, but realistic, goals for Opus over the next 5+ years and I am confident that he is the best person to take Opus up to another level.

Supporting Tom on the retail side are a couple of familiar faces to all of you. Both Brian White (as Director of Sales & Marketing) and Susannah Blundell (as Director of Purchasing & Logistics) have earned their new roles and are responsible for the key day-to-day retail operations of Opus. Together, they have 45+ years of experience with Opus and know the business intimately. Opus has always valued promoting from within, and Susannah and Brian are perfect examples of that principle.

If we do not see you on a visit to Opus before the next Namta event in February, you will get an opportunity to meet Tom James there. Susannah, Brian, Scott and I will also be in San Antonio to introduce Tom to all of you in the industry.


David van Berckel

Please contact David at dvb (@) with any comments or questions.

All Hands On Deck: Floods in Madison, WI Impact Wisconsin Craft Market

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Painting of Madison, Wisconsin by Eric Dowdle

Last month devastating floods in Madison, WI impacted Wisconsin Craft Market – employees walked in to discover several feet of water in the store and an overwhelming amount of damaged product. Their staff banded together for several days of drudgery, with family members and loved ones pitching in.

Recapping the experience on their Facebook page, owner Paul Zarnikow expressed his gratitude for the team of friends and family who made reopening possible.

“Not only did no one complain, the loud laughing and chattering usually heard went on like any other day. I’m lucky to have had these ladies as employees for so many years, luckier still to have them as friends.”

Once they got the water under control, they opened up shop while they finished the rest of the clean up. Their first group of customers?

“We had a large group of ladies from the Chicago area who had planned a Madison yarn crawl for the day so they shopped while we mopped. I can’t tell you how nice it was to talk with fun customers again after the last few days. They were great, but I’m sure less than impressed with our dress code!”

To learn more about the flooding in Southern Wisconsin and read about way to help, click here.

Interconnected Community: Pride, STABILO, Endeavours Art & MacPherson’s!

Monday, August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

Paul MacNeil and Chrissy Park MacNeil, customers and artists/instructors who volunteered for Endeavours’ Pride event

The weekend of August 11th, Luke and Tyler Randall, co-owners of Endeavours Art in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada went all out for Pride week!

Their Pride celebration this year was a result of a collaboration between STABILO, MacPherson’s and Endeavours Art. The idea sprung to life during the 2018 Dealer Workshop in Las Vegas. Upon hearing about Endeavours’ yearly celebration where they fundraise for causes benefiting the LGBTQIA2+ community, Assistant Brand Manager Ana McCormick made a connection. STABILO Pen 68 and 88 sets – vibrant, colorful and perfect for Pride.

With STABILO as a sponsor, it was an incredible time for all involved. Tyler recapped proudly that “we celebrated in solidarity with Pride and in the name of love, community and freedom.”

The event combined a parade, a booth featuring STABILO supplies and a Pride Heroes Gallery – an art show featuring artists from the LGBTQIA2+ community and portraits of their heroes within the community. All of the proceeds from the gallery and Pride parade sales were donated to Rainbow Railroad, a charitable organization that helps members of the LGBTQIA2+ community find safe havens: “In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBTI) people live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety and their lives…Rainbow Railroad exists to help people get out of danger to somewhere safe.”

MacPherson’s and STABILO were proud to support this event, and support Tyler and Luke with building connections within their community.  STABILO’s colorful, vibrant sets featured at the Fredricton Pride Parade include SW8815-1, SW8830-1, SW6815-1 and SW6830-1.

Golden Welcomes New Education Director Stacy Rosende

Monday, August 27th, 2018
Golden Artist Colors

Golden welcomes Stacy Rosende as its new Education Director, who oversees all Golden Artist Colors education programs as well as the development of new strategies and platforms. Kevin Greeland will continue to lead the Working Artist and Artist Educator programs and serve as the key contact for lecture demo activities.

Stacy Rosende is a visual artist and educator from Florida where she ran an award-winning art program in a public high school, maintained her personal studio practice and exhibited works internationally. She discovered her interest in education while working towards her Masters in Fine Arts degree at Boston University. Stacy has taught students in the visual arts at every level, from primary to post-secondary. She has a proven track record of success and looks forward to utilizing those resources at Golden Artist Colors. She is accompanied on this new adventure by her daughter Maya and her husband Cezary who will be key partners in the restoration of their new home, an old Victorian farmhouse. They are particularly excited to convert their barn to a workshop and studio that will house their endless creative endeavors!

Industry News – June 2018

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

New Officers at iAmArt

iAMart is a coalition of independent, locally-owned art-materials stores committed to helping artists of all experience levels succeed by helping them purchase the best supplies for their individual needs.

  • President: Nick Gallo of Blue Rooster Art Supplies
  • Vice President:  Victor Davis of Spokane Art 
  • Treasurer: Scott Rote of Herweck’s
  • Secretary: Jessica Dumitru of Art Creations 
  • Vendor Chair:  Dan Ebert of Central Art Supply
  • Asst. Vendor  Chair:  Luke Randall of Endeavors
  • Membership Chair:  Kate Mitchell of Arch Art and Drafting
  • Past President: Kathy Brennan of Preston Arts Center

Art Community Rallies Around Walnut Studios After Fire

Oftentimes retailers in the art business have the privilege of forming relationships with local artist collectives, non-profits and studios. One of the organizations Curry’s works with in Toronto, Walnut Studios, experienced a fire on May 19th. Thankfully nobody was injured, but the fire has displaced the 45 artists who rented studio space out of this facility. At least 22 artists lost artwork as well as art materials housed on the premises. Curry’s has offered the artists $5,000 in Gift certificates to help them restock their studios and continue their studio practices. Donate to their GoFundMe and learn more about the artists here.

MacPherson’s Dealer Workshop – A GOLDEN Success!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018
By Bill Hartman Director of Sales at Golden Artist Colors, Inc.

Thank you to MacPherson’s personnel for hosting an incredible workshop in Las Vegas. Their detailed organization and preparation led to a very valuable event. The demonstrations were interesting and informative for all. The team at GOLDEN was pleased to see so many retailers in attendance. Having such commitment and enthusiasm from our retail partners in support of all three GOLDEN brands is appreciated tremendously!

New GOLDEN Staff in Customer Service & Sales Departments

I am pleased to announce the addition of 3 new employees joining the Customer Service and Sales staff here at GOLDEN.

Taralyn Loewenguth has joined us as our new Customer Service Supervisor. Tara comes to us from Hartwick College, where she served as the Dean of Student Life and Chief Conduct Officer. Tara has an extensive background in academia, with a strong foundation of both interpersonal, training and leadership competencies matched with systems, processes and procedures.

Joining Tara in Customer Service is Megan Smith as a Customer Service Representative. Megan has been promoted from within GOLDEN where she recently served in the Label painting department of Marketing Production. Megan is currently working towards a degree at Empire State College and is due to graduate this calendar year.

We also welcome Drew Hartman as a sales representative for the Mid-Atlantic region including the states of NY, NJ, PA, MD, DE, VA and Washington, DC. Drew comes to us from the Grimstad, Comerford Group where he has served as a field merchandiser for the last 3 years supporting Blick locations in Boston, Philadelphia, and the greater Metro NYC area. Drew studied at SUNY Buffalo and has spent two summers with us at GOLDEN during his summer breaks.

Drew will be reporting to Seth Golden, as Seth will be expanding his responsibilities and developing management experience while also maintaining his current responsibilities in California, Hawaii, and Nevada.

Tara Loewenguth 800-959-6543
Megan Smith 800-959-6543
Drew Hartman 607-437-4175
Please join me in welcoming our new team members!




Welcoming David J. Schofield

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Today, we welcomed our new CEO, David J. Schofield!  We kicked off his first day in Emeryville with a Town Hall meeting and employee breakfast, and we’re all excited to have Dave on board! As we mentioned in our initial announcement earlier this month, Dave has already been working closely with our senior leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.  It’s an exciting time for MacPherson’s, and we hope you have a chance to meet or speak with Dave very soon.

Industry News – May 2018

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Allard’s Customer Appreciation Day (left) and Picnic Day at UC Davis (right)

Allard’s in Fresno, CA hosted their annual Customer Appreciation Day . The event featured great promotional pricing, in store demos, make and takes, and a local Food Truck feeding hungry shoppers!

UC Davis hosted their annual Picnic Day. The event features over 200 booths, live music, parades, and a chemistry fair. The UC Davis bookstore hosted a table featuring activities for all ages.

Artist & Craftsman in San Diego CA, as a part of their local Art Walk, used POSCA paint pens to create a mural. They had over 1,700 participants!

Hyatts in New York is nearing their 60th anniversary! They will be moving to a new 40,000 square (wow!) feet facility in Late 2018

ArtCentral in San Luis Obispo, CA hosted a paint pouring event to capture and educate customers interested in this trending medium.

(Top) Grand Prize winner of the Plein Air Festival by John Kilduff, (bottom left) Winner of the Plein Air Festival by Monica Edwards, and (bottom right) Winner of the Plein Air Festival by Mike Ishikawa

Raw Materials in DLTA hosted their 4th annual L.A. Plein Air Festival, now the LARGEST urban plein air festival in the United States. They even got a write-up in L.A. Weekly!

Subscribe to Marabu’s New Quarterly Reseller Newsletter

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Marabu Creative USA wants to help you inspire customers and increase sales with quarterly email newsletters that are filled with new product information, creative ideas for artists, great tips for store merchandising and demos, as well as video tutorials and free downloadable lesson plans. Click here to subscribe.

Check out the hashtag #madewithmarabu on Facebook and Instagram to see a creative array of share-worthy project ideas from artists all around the country who are using Marabu – your customers will love it! Tag Marabu when you have a project or event that features their products and they will give you a shout-out on social media.


Star Products Sales Supports the Wounded Warriors Project

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Star Products will be supporting the “Wounded Warriors Project” during BTS. We will give a donation for every portfolio sold during this time.

MacPherson’s will be offering our “50 Pack” WWP – POP displays which included our #1 selling portfolios during BTS on a drop ship deal for 66% off.
220H (20 x 26 x 2 red rope)
V420H-BLK (20 x 26 x 2 Black)

Star Products is proud to support the “Wounded Warriors Project” during our “Back to School” season. Sales of portfolios will help benefit wounded service members, their families & caregivers. Warrior families and caregivers are provided comfort, care & education to help support the recovery of their injured service member.

Help support our Warriors!

Industry News

Monday, August 29th, 2016

julianneJulianne Eastman, the appreciated southern California Manufacturer’s Sales Representative passed away on August 21st after a valiant battle with cancer. She leaves 3 young children, Noah, Savannah and Charlie. Her dad and mom, Ken and Diane with brother John Mark Eastman have announced a life celebration called Remembering Julianne Eastman for Friday, September 9th at 2:00 pm (doors open 1:30 pm) at the First Christian Church of Huntington Beach 1207 Main Street Huntington Beach, California 92648 Reception Following. Read here for full details

An Invitation to Attend Julianne’s Celebration of Life

Aubin and David Van Berckel of Opus Art Supplies in Vancouver, BC have created a wonderful edible garden that surrounds their property on Bowen Island, just a 20-minute ferry ride from the mainland. Read the fascinating story from the Vancouver daily newspapers

In the Garden: Bowen Island property an organic food paradise

David and Aubin

Matt_300x300Matt Cleary has joined GOLDEN as the new Marketing Director. Matt is a brand marketing professional with 15+ years of experience including Nabisco, Pepperidge Farm, and most recently, Nestlé where he worked on bottled waters and teas. In addition to brand management, Matt has held leadership roles in product innovation, retail marketing, and customer development. Dana Rice will be moving over to the commercial division, undertaking a new marketing role with the title of PaintWorks Market Development Specialist.

8ba780b0-a48a-41ad-8c96-f83f7ee16304Neil Green, long-time owner of Carter Sexton Artist Materials until he retired at age 85 in 2008, has died at the age of 92. He was surrounded by kids and grandkids at his home in Oakland when he passed away on August 11, one month shy of 93.  Read the story here: Neil Green


Here’s the latest Johanna Basford Video. It’s a great share for Retailer Facebook pages!

Here’s the latest Montana Cans Videos. They’re a great share for Retailer Facebook pages!

MacPherson’s News – Transitions 

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
Rich Rusnack

Rich Rusnack

I am sorry to report that Rich Rusnack is no longer with MacPherson’s. His accomplishments and insights are greatly appreciated and I wish him well in his next endeavor.

In August of 2014 I announced the news that our board of directors and I had begun to create a succession plan that would provide for a strong managerial foundation at MacPherson’s long beyond Stu Beattie’s and my retirements. Back then I shared that while I was in no hurry to slow down it would be prudent to establish a succession roadmap for a gradual transition to a new leadership structure. That announcement was followed in March by the news I had appointed Rich Rusnack as President to lead the areas of Finance, Information Technology and Operations. During his time here he furthered our goal of positioning the company to thrive well into the future with the addition of new financial and technology leadership and infrastructure. I look forward to continued growth in this area over the coming year as we focus our efforts on delivering faster value-based service to our customers.

Chuck Bridges

Chuck Bridges

In order to sustain the growth we have seen this year, I have decided to add a strong Finance and Operational Executive to the team. I am pleased to announce that Chuck Bridges will be joining the company within the next 30 days in the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and acting Chief Operating Officer (COO). He will be directly responsible for the areas of Finance, Operations and Technology. Chuck brings strong leadership skills, most recently he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Pacific Steel Casting Company in Berkeley, CA.

Alison Norton-Nelson

Alison Norton-Nelson

Lastly, I am excited to announce that Alison Norton-Nelson has been appointed to MacPherson’s Board of Directors. Alison is a graduate of Cornell University and has years of senior management and specialty retail experience. She is currently the Executive Vice President of business development at the Dallas based furniture maker David Sutherland, Inc. leading their design and product development teams. Alison has held leadership positions at Eddie Bauer, Williams-Sonoma and Michaels.


Frank Stapleton


Industry News

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Last weekend’s 6.0 magnitude earthquake damaged vineyards, homes and restaurants to the tune of over $1 Billion in Napa, CA and surrounding areas. Our industry was touched as well, when Napa Valley Art Supply’s store interior was devastated by the Sunday night tremor. Owner Jeff Holmes is hoping to appeal to the Northern California rep, retailer and supplier community for help in getting the store mess sorted out and back on it’s feet. Luckily the building did not suffer any structural damage. MacPherson’s heard the call and will be sending a team of people headed by Account Manager George Bethurem and Credit Manager Kendall Nolan. If you can help, call (707) 224-2775. The stores address is 3250 California Blvd, Napa, CA 94558

napa valleynapa valley 2

Artist Guild in was recently featured the Peninsula Pulse a local publication bringing news of Door County, Wisconsin Artist Guild Story

artist guild

waltWith sadness Du-All Art & Drafting Supply in Maddison Heights, Michigan reports that their sales manager of 33 years, Eduard Walter Mueller, known as Walt, passed away on July 26th after a short battle with leukemia. He was 64 years old.

Bill StefanowiczLong time ColArt America’s team member Bill Stefanowicz has left the company.

The Huffington Post recently wrote about an emerging trend with artists making their own paint. Both Williamsburg (Golden) and Gamblin received prominent mentions in the article entitled  Artists Rediscover Making Paint

Check out this cool and inspiring video created by Opus in Vancouver, BC inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s famous quote recounted here:

 “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Here’s a link to the full article from the New York Post describing Blick’s commitment to revitalizing and upgrading their Brooklyn, NY Utrecht Paint factory entitled “Blick invests in made in America”


Industry News

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

From MacPherson’s Elgin, IL Distribution Center Manager Jeff Zwerenz:

MacPherson's elgin

 “Last week we closed our Elgin distribution center. Friday was the end of an era and a day filled with pictures, hugs, crying, laughing, and just about anything else that accompanies an event in which 23 great people will not only set out to start a new chapter in their individual lives, but will forever remember and appreciate the team and family that they became. This was a team that I, as most I’m sure, will never forget. It was truly difficult to see everyone walk out of our warehouse for the last time. I will say, however, as I watched a group of people leave today with a total of 136 years of experience with MacPhersons, I’m am very proud of the commitment and dignity they displayed through it all. “

UA Redwood CityAfter over a year of planning, building and moving University Art has opened their new flagship store in Redwood City, CA. Their venerable Palo Alto Store will be closing soon. The new space is spectacular. Congratulations team UA!!!

Perry Paradiso of Perry’s Art & Frame in San Anselmo, CA is celebrating the huge milestone of 50 years serving his community’s creative needs. congratulations Perry and staff (both past & present).


AlleryA farewell note from Canson USA’s Jim Allery“During NAMTA I met with the Eric Joan, Managing Director of Groupe-Hamelin and it has been decided that May 23, 2014 will be my last day at Canson. For the past 27 years, working with Canson and the art industry has been an integral part of my life. The many wonderful experiences of the past will stay with me always. Although we have accomplished much for Canson during these 27 years, my greatest source of pride is, and will always be, the incredible friendships made during these years. Although I will no longer be working with Canson I expect to continue working or consulting in the future. It has been an honor and privilege to work with all of you. I wish you all the best in the future and I hope our paths will cross again.”

Hyatt’s All Things Creative has announced the closing of their Rochester, NY store as of May 18, 2014. According to the company, “Our recent growth is because of our successful efforts to become a competitive online retailer. From our 32,000 square foot flagship store, warehouse and offices in Buffalo, we now ship a large volume of orders weekly to our web customers. To respond to this market change, we have decided to close our Rochester store.”

schindler-smallThe NAMTA Board of Directors has unanimously endorsed Barbara Schindler, President of Golden Artists Colors Inc., as the association’s new Vice President. In addition to continuing her service on the Board of Directors, she will also serve on the Executive Committee.

It was an exciting moment on the 2nd morning of this year’s NAMTA Convention, when MABEF was awarded BEST NEW PRODUCT for their innovative Revolving Paint Accessory (MBMA-40)! This accessory upgrades any MABEF studio or lyre easel, into an easel that has a 360-degree painting capability. Constructed of oiled stain-resistant beechwood, this unique accessory attaches to the canvas mast of the easel, and can hold a canvas that measures up to 52.8″h and up to 22 lbs. in weight. It allows artists to rotate their painting into any vertical position desired, opening up many new painting possibilities. A special clamp attachment is included to give additional stability to the canvas mast on lyre-style easels.

Namta Pittsburgh Best New Product Winner-Mabef Rotating Easel Accessory

Earlier this month Binders Michele & Stuart Shapiro announced the birth of their daughter Blair Annabell Shapiro. Born at 5:07 am May 5th 2014. She weighs 6 lbs. 1 oz. and measures 18.25″. In Stuart’s own words, “We are so excited for this next new adventure in our lives!!”

Blair Shapiro

Pete RidgeSanford/Newell-Rubbermaid Account Manager extraordinaire, Pete Ridge left the company on May 15 to join Adidas in Chicago.

Check out this interesting article highlighting the consumer outpouring of support as Flax Art Materials prepares for a late 2015 or 2016 move precipitated by their landlords plans to build a multi-use high rise on the San Francisco property. Click here for the article

howard flax

Here’s a fun and fresh video featuring artist Michael Amorillo painting a large scale mural at Harrah’s Resort in Southern California, using all Montana GOLD!


Keeton’s Office and Art Supply in Brandenton, FL put on their own graffiti battle featuring 8 local artists. They did a great job making this free event interactive for all customers with a “community wall” for anyone to paint as well as a stencil and t-shirt workshop!  Check out the video:

Industry News

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Nina Deckert succumbed to her battle with cancer on March 14, 2012.

From Mark Golden:  We lost a remarkable person as Nina finally yielded to an illness that took her away so quickly. To all of us who had the great fortune to know Nina, this news leaves in all of us, a hole in a life full of creativity, passion and love cut much too short. After hearing the news of her illness in the fall of 2011, it was assumed that no matter the seriousness or aggressiveness of this illness that Nina, ‘the fighter,’ would overcome this challenge as she had overcome so many challenges before. Nina was a fighter for all of us. My conversations and emails are full of requests from Nina fighting for her customers, fighting for us to continue to be a better and stronger company; challenging all of us to learn more, do more, to be more. It did not matter who she was speaking to, her convictions wouldn’t allow her to back down when she felt she could add value to a relationship or the service she could deliver. Nina was thoughtful and thorough, as was her manner, but it was her passion and care for her colleagues and friends that allowed everyone to so clearly hear her voice. That voice will be missed by us all. To her family and friends, our thoughts and prayers for your strength and courage to be able to move past this time, onto the memories of a beautiful person.

From Nina’s family:  There will be a memorial for Nina Deckert on Saturday, April 14th, 11am-2pm in the Brazilian Room at Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA. You are invited to attend for as long or as short as you are available. We plan to serve light refreshments. This is a casual event and Nina would want you to dress for comfort, whatever that means for you (ok, so maybe no au natural!). There are no planned speeches, just plenty of time to share memories. There will be a showing of her art work at Gruenwald Press in San Francisco in the week before and the day of the memorial. More details for both of these events can be found at including ways to RSVP.

Zora Sweet Pinney, an art supply industry pioneer passed away March 2nd at her home in Los Angeles, CA. She was 91. Those of us who knew Zora counted on her passion for art materials, an acerbic and penetrating humor as well as straight talk and a relentless honesty. Her store was appropriately named Zora’s, located in the tony Brentwood area of Los Angeles, and was stocked to the gills with unique art products from around the world that had one thing in common; quality.  Her staff was for a time the best in the industry and they were world renowned for their knowledge and dedication to the artists they served. Products were made or broken at Zora’s. She cared little about the memes of a stodgy old art material establishment and made lots of time to help and nurture newcomers with different ideas about serving a changing industry. In the 1990’s Zora and her husband Ed moved the store to Santa Monica. They struggled in the new spot and soon after sold out to Standard Brands Paint who renamed it to fit into their newly created Art Store chain. Most of the original employees drifted away and Zora went on to help create the Namta Essential Resource Guide (ERG) with Spokane Art’s Claudia Myers. In 1995 she was inducted into Namta’s Hall of Fame for her giant influence on the modern American art supply scene. Zora, you will be missed!

Former Search Press sales and marketing lead Susan Kocsis is earning her entrepreneurial chops with a new tailgate party storage box called the Prepster. She has entered WalMart “Get on the Shelf” competition and she would love your vote. Check out her website first or view her video here, then vote at her website:

Michaels launches “Craft Masters” Reality Show, a web-based craft competition that kicks off just in time for National Craft Month. Not exactly Project Runway, but there are some funny moments all the same: