Art Supply Store Spotlight: Catskill Art & Office Supply | Chronogrammies | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Art Supply Store Spotlight: Catskill Art & Office Supply
In front of Catskill Art & Office Supply in Kingston at the 2014 Chronogram Block Party

Believe it or not, in a region known for its long lineage of artists, there wasn’t really anywhere local for artists to consistently get their necessities before Catskill Art and Office Supply opened its Woodstock location in 1978. “There was one place in Kingston that carried a few things, but they were more of a stationery store than an arts supply place,” says founder and owner Paul Solis-Cohen, who eventually opened a second store, in Kingston, in 1983. “We started on a shoestring budget, and I had been a school teacher before [launching the business]. We feel very fortunate to have had such tremendous support from the community these past 42 years.”

With all that the stores stock and the services they provide (custom framing, graphic design, and copying are among the latter), one can easily see why area artists find the outlets indispensable—and why readers have rated the combined retailers as their favorite purveyor of art supplies. The shops carry a sprawling inventory of materials for artists working in nearly every medium, as well as office supplies, greeting cards, novelty gift items, and more. “We have the largest inventory around, in terms of depth and breadth,” says the owner. “Our prices are competitive with any other vendor, and we have a cash-back rewards program that’s very popular.”

While both locations (in 2019 the Kingston store moved from Wall Street to Kingston Plaza, which offers more parking) have been closed during the pandemic, fortunately the business has been ahead of the game by being able to keep artists supplied through its website. “Luckily, we had been preparing our online platform before the virus hit,” Solis-Cohen says. “Obviously, right now we haven’t been able to offer our framing or copying services because our stores have been closed in accordance with state rules. But our website is very easy to use, and we’re able to serve the community that way.”

And although that community has long included dozens of celebrated artists (David Bowie was a regular customer at the Woodstock location), Solis-Cohen is quick to point out that Catskill Art and Office Supply caters to all artistic levels. “All of our staff members are artists themselves, and we work to serve well-known artists as well as those who’ll be well-known in the future and those who just love to create,” he says. “Being known or unknown isn’t as important as the sheer joy you derive from being creative.”

About The Author

Peter Aaron

Peter Aaron is the arts editor for Chronogram.
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