Every time I go to Wet Paint I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a fantastic, independent art supply store so close to me (I think I'm about 5 miles away). I selfishly worry about such resources during times of economic downturn. If such a store didn't exist I wouldn't be able to walk in and get the specific materials I needed at that moment. I wouldn't be able to chat with someone who has actually used a given product.
I've talked a lot, on the blog about this store and the wonderful staff members. People are always writing to me and telling me they wish they had a store like this in their area. I hope those of us in the Twin Cities take stock frequently and appreciate what we have, and support Wet Paint.
Things are changing at Wet Paint. Now on their website you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter! Beth has just celebrated her 25th anniversary of ownership. I thought those of you who aren't in the Twin Cities would enjoy this video taken in the summer of 2007 (by a broadcasting class at the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, a special camp held each year at Macalester College in Saint Paul). The video gives you a bit of a tour and introduces you to some of the staff. (If the embedded video doesn't work use the direct link.)
If you have a local art supply store be sure to support it, for selfish reasons, so the products you know and love are available. People work long hours and juggle a lot of facts and figures and deal with a lot of suppliers just so we can continue to have quality art materials. The least we can do is support them.
If you live in the Twin Cites and go into Wet Paint now, just be warned, the entire entry way is overflowing with boxes of stretched canvas! It's a huge sale.
Disclaimer: I am not an employee and do not receive payment or materials from Wet Paint to promote it. I just think that people everywhere ought to know about this store. However, through intense memorization of all store supplies and their location I have attained the honorary title of "docent" so if you do see me in the store and you seem to be waivering between products, just be prepared to hear my opinion on the supplies you're considering. I'm probably one of those "unique" customers Beth alluded to in the video.