Forstall Art Center – Birmingham, Alabama
1990 was a big year for us. I moved to Birmingham from New Orleans, my wife Annette moved from Dallas, we got married, and opened Forstall Art Center. Our first shop was in downtown Birmingham, but we soon moved to the suburbs. This past January our journey came full circle when we moved back downtown. We have long dreamed of owning our own building and living above our shop.
As with many cities, Birmingham’s downtown is going through a major revitalization, and we feel like we got in at just the right time. Built in 1903, our building has 20 foot ceilings with massive steel beams and oak rafters and exposed brick walls. The first floor is our shop and framing center, artist studios are soon to open on the second floor, and we live on the third. There is also a classroom space on the mezzanine, which looks out over the first floor. We love the walkability of downtown. Our church, grocery store, friends’ homes and some of our favorite places to eat are all down the street or around the corner.
We have carried Royal Talens products since opening our doors in 1990. Among the lines we carry are the Rembrandt oil colors, Amsterdam acrylics, Rembrandt pastels, Van Gogh Oils, Bruynzeel Pencils and Van Gogh watercolors. Selling Royal Talens products for over 25 years now, we have come to appreciate their dedication to quality. Every tube, bottle, pencil or pastel is crafted to a consistent level of quality that our customers have come to rely on. And we love pointing out to our customers that these products are made in Holland.
Rembrandt ambassador Terry Strickland has taught at our shop for many years. Terry is a wonderfully talented portrait painter, and passes her wisdom on to her students each week in her classes. Royal Talens sees the value of having artist ambassadors throughout the country to help educate the public. This kind of support is a real asset to us as retailers and supporters of our local art community.
We look forward to many more years of doing what we love and are happy to have Royal Talens as a partner on our journey.