Curator Tours Art Supply Warehouse Like Kid in Candy Store

By: Jayna Hintz, curator of education on November 2nd, 2011

On October 24, four Woodson Art Museum staffers met in the parking lot at 7 am to take a road trip to Kimberly, Wisconsin, near Appleton. The four of us headed out to visit the Jack Richeson and Company art materials warehouse and studio.
It was a perfect day to spend with Woodson Art Museum co-workers. We arrived at Jack Richeson at 9 am and were greeted by Steve Fusfeld, senior account executive. After a welcome and a cup of coffee, we headed into the warehouse.
What’s so great about a warehouse?
Think about something you love and then imagine a whole warehouse filled with it. I love art supplies, so trying new art supplies is exciting for me. I felt a bit like a child entering a toy store. These are my kind of toys: easels, paint, sketchbooks, stretcher bars, and so much more. Did I drool? Ask my colleagues.
We observed stretcher bars and easels being made. The workmanship of the Jack Richeson employees is amazing. My favorite stop in the warehouse was our visit with the two women in the paint-making department. Based on certain formulas, they mix paint for over four hours, age it for months, insert it into tubes, and apply labels. The labels are all hand painted, too. Kudos to these women; I now appreciate my oil paints even more.

After the warehouse tour, we explored a variety of mediums in the studio. Our new favorite is . . . (drumroll, please) Shiva Artist’s Paintstik oil colors. We tried them on fabric for rubbings and used stencils with a brushing method. Of course we discussed the many ways we could use these paint sticks in programs offered at the Museum. 

We left confident we’d forged a partnership with Jack Richeson and Company and look forward to many collaborative ventures.

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