24 June 2010

[art] Where To Get Your Art Supplies In PDX (Updated)

(Updated 0300Z 27 June 2010 with a listing for Utrecht. Thanks to Ben Lukoff for the tip!)

As an extension on the last chapter, since one of the reasons I do a blog is to share the nifty things that I do find sometimes, this being a very human thing to do, I've created a list of art stores that I know I'll find what I'm looking for in PDX, and which I believe readers will have a good time simply going to. It's on the sidebar down under "My Favorite Designers and Illustrators", or just do a search for Where to get your art supplies in PDX and the browser should take you right there.

Right now there are five members to the list. They are listed in the order we usually look. When it comes to Muse/I've Been Framed, we usually go first to whichever one we're closer to. Either one is a great experience, though I've Been Framed has a lot of closeouts and their prices aren't better 100% of the time - only about 98% of the time. But they'll give you good value for money. Anyway! On with the show (visit websites for info, call for hours. Most are open until about 6:30 pm):
  1. Muse Art + Design, 4227 SE Hawthorne Blvd, PDX, http://museartanddesign.com. Good little shop, good selection, run by artists for artists and for those who want to do art, reasonable prices, great selection of paints.  503.231.8704
  2. I've Been Framed,  4950 SE Foster Rd, PDX. Good selection of paints and graphite media, marvelous prices on paper, wonderful selection of good-priced papers and canvases, Good quality closeouts. You'll never know what you'll find here some days. 503.775.6651
  3. Art Media, two locations-downtown and Clackamas, http://artmediaonline.com. This is the grandaddy of local art supply stores. Between the two locations, they got a lot - if you can't find it, you probably don't need it. Best selection of art instruction books outside Powells or your nearby megachain. Online ordering available! 1.800.990.3364 x4
  4. Utrecht Art Supply, 1122 NW Everett St, PDX, http://utrechtart.com. (reviews via Google) PDXers can feel fortunate that they are in the good geographic luck to be near one of the 38 nationwide locations of this art supply company. It's been a while since we
    personally have visited, but I recall the shopping experience there was a nice one, and it comes highly recommended by art acquaintaces. (Thanks to Ben Lukoff from Seattle for pointing this one out)
  5. Aaron Brothers Art and Framing. Two locations-Tigard and Beaverton. http://aaronbrothers.com. Plan B if you can't get to any of the other three because it's open like a chain store, at least until about 8pm. They really market to people looking for frames, but they have a Good selection of mass-market materials, prices about what you'd expect.
  6. Michael's Art and Craft, http://michaels.com, various PDX locations - check the websites. If all the others have closed you can always hit Michaels. Though the market to primarily the crafty sorts, the art supplies are unexpectedly plentiful and feature brands that you'd use seriously - Grumbacher, Winsor & Newton, good selection of graphite media, worth checking out if you work on the lower-quality end too.
About the only place the quality gradient really matters is in those last two, but if you're shopping at Aaron Brothers or Michael's, your probably just looking for a place to get "some paint and a brush". This is not necessarily a bad thing, just one of scale; those two stores market to the craft community as a whole, and it's hard to be and "artist's" store when you spread your net that wide. We find unexpected good things in those two stores, so they're worth the stop.

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Ben said...

You left out the most important/best store of all... Utrecht! (at least, according to my artist friends)

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Take your point there. I was writing about it from an eastside PDX POV, about the only time I get into NW PDX is to visit Powells any more, but we did visit Utrecht once and I recall the visit was most pleasant, so it goes on the list! Thanks!