It’s officially 2023, and Art-O-Maddic Gallery and Gifts is leaning into the “New Year, New Me” energy with a major refresh, more than tripling its offerings of art supplies and do-it-yourself kits, and establishing a permanent maker space for classes, camps and independent artists.
For owners Shelley and Eric Arndt, who opened the gallery in June 2021, it’s about reshaping their business model in a way that best serves new and existing customers — and making good on a key component of their original vision: Centering Art-O-Maddic as a destination for artists and creatives of all stripes across the greater Canby community.
“When we first started, one of the big things we always wanted to have was a safe space where people could come and create,” Eric said. “It always kind of bugged me that we hadn’t been able to deliver on that. We still love our gallery element, and that will always be a huge part of what we do, but now, we really will be that creative maker space we always wanted to be.”
“Now, it’s three equal parts: classroom, supplies, gallery,” Shelley added.
In its previous iteration, Art-O-Maddic was still an active site of various art classes and workshops in a wide variety of mediums, hosting more than 50 in 2022 alone. But, with no dedicated space, each class had to be scheduled outside of normal business hours and required a temporary “classroom” to be set up in the gallery.
With the new setup, Art-O-Maddic will be able to greatly expand its offerings and be much more flexible in when they happen. In the spring and summer, they plan to regularly host classes and even camps spanning multiple sessions for kids, families and artists to participate in.
The store is also vastly expanding its inventory of supplies for artists of all mediums and skill levels, from young children and beginners just starting out to experienced, professional artists looking to restock their studios.
“I can bring in so many new products now: polymer clay, sculpting clay, oil paints and so much more,” Shelley said. “I’ve been keeping a list over the past year of products that customers have been requesting, and I just didn’t have the space for it at the time. Now, we can finally add those things.”
The changes will mean a reduction in gallery space, with Art-O-Maddic expecting to be able to display the work of two dozen artists at a time compared to the more than 40 it previously offered. But the Arndts plan to compensate for that by rotating in new work and new artists more frequently, using a three-month rotation schedule instead of six months.
“We’ll be doing shorter rotations, which will help us keep it fresher,” Eric said. “And since we’ll be cutting back a little bit on the amount of wall space, we’ll be putting more emphasis on original works here in the gallery.”
Art-O-Maddic has been closed this week as the Arndts, staff and friends have furiously worked to build shelving and otherwise bring the transformation to life. But, a grand reopening is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, January 7, after which the store will resume its normal hours.
In the meantime, the Arndts have been teasing the big changes that are on the way through the gallery’s social media pages, where the excitement has reached a near-fever pitch.
“It is a really big deal for us,” Eric said. “Over the last year and a half, there have been different iterations, but this is a full revamp, and a deliberate turn toward the kind of artists’ sanctuary that we’ve always wanted to be. This is Art-O-Maddic 2.0.”
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