As The World Turns


by Tina Manzer


It’s back to Texas for Art Materials World, this year in Dallas. The annual convention for dealers and suppliers of fine art materials will be held Sunday, March 4 through Tuesday, March 6, and will showcase products from more than 150 exhibitors, including 15 companies brand new to the show.

The event will be held in conjunction with CAMEX for the third year in a row. The annual buying expo for college stores attracts nearly 1,800 qualified buyers from close to 1,000 campus stores located in the U.S., Canada and beyond. They’ll travel to Texas to see what 500 or so CAMEX exhibitors have to offer in more than 90 product categories targeted to college students, faculty and staff, and parents and alumni. Among the exhibitors of art materials there will be notebook, sketchbook and journal companies like Moleskine, Piccadilly, Hartley & Marks and Exaclair; tool companies Acco Brands, FPC Corp., and Alvin & Company; and a variety of pen, pencil and coloring tool companies.

All registered attendees for Art Materials World and CAMEX will have unlimited access to both tradeshow floors located in separate halls of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center downtown.

Let the Games Begin

The show kicks off on Saturday evening, March 3, with a Welcome Reception at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. The reception will include the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Awards – to Mark Golden, CEO of Golden Artist Colors in New Berlin, New York; and to Allen Shefts, owner of Jerry’s Artist Outlet in West Orange, New Jersey.

The exhibit hall opens the following morning at 9, and the second annual Cornhole Tournament gets underway at noon. “Just find a partner and enter,” suggests NAMTA. The entry fee is $25 per team, and teams must register at the NAMTA booth by 10 a.m. The funds benefit the new NAMTA Art Advocacy Grant Program.

In the exhibit hall, manufacturers will begin presenting product demos at 1 p.m. at NAMTA’s booth/theater/classroom. First up is Danny Ink from Grex Airbrush with a demo of his company’s simple system of four core airbrushes plus a comprehensive line of accessories.

Afterwards, Rebecca and David Zak, cofounders ArtResin, will demonstrate how easy it is to measure, mix, pour and spread the epoxy resin for a flawless finish. The nontoxic clear coat protects and enhances artwork.

Next, mixed-media artist Celia Buchanan will demonstrate reverse painting using Marabu’s Creative Colours. Her project includes collage, mixed-media and pours – all wrapped up in a reverse-painted glass object.

The demos continue at 9 a.m. on Monday with Connie Cook from Crescent Cardboard, who will discuss the benefits of using pre-mounted art boards. At 11 a.m., Kyle Richardson and Kirk Gillespie from Royal Talens North America will discuss the strategy for Rembrandt, Amsterdam, Van Gogh and other Royal Talens brands, followed by tips on how retailers can compete with Amazon. (Hint: it’s through partnerships with Royal Talens and its distributors SLS and MacPhersons.)

On Monday afternoon at 1, artist Tom Jones will demonstrate watercolor painting using MaimeriBlu, Canson Heritage Paper, and Robert Simmons Brushes.

Jacquard’s innovative new products – YouCan metallic Piñata colors, Spirit paper, and basic dyes – will be demoed by Alex Preston at 2. He points out, “Our new products have a lot of crossover appeal to nontraditional customers to attract new, creative people into your store.”

In addition to the scheduled educational presentations at the NAMTA theater, many exhibitors will run demos and special contests at their booths.

Fancy fancy

NAMTA’s President’s Reception will take place on Sunday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The venue is Union Station, accessible from the Hyatt Regency by a covered walkway on the lower level.

The railroad station was completed in 1916 as a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts Classicism, explains The building is rich, lavish, and heavily ornamented, and combines Greek and Roman models with Renaissance forms.

The Beaux Arts style is characterized by order, symmetry, elaborate ornamentation and grandiosity – the ceilings of Union Station are 48-feet high! 

All attendees and exhibitors of Art Materials World are invited to attend. Tickets are $50 per person and include heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages and entertainment.

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