From Justin Vining, Royal Talens Art Ambassador:
I recently had the opportunity to spend two days working with the Preston Arts Center in Louisville and I left that experience completely blown away by their commitment to supporting the arts in their local community. The “newest” member of their staff has been with them for over 5 years now which tells me a couple of things:
First, Preston’s is obviously a great company to work for, but second, their employees have a deep understanding of not only the product, but also the needs of their local community.
I also had the chance to spend a lot of time with both Don and Andrew Preston. It is of no surprise to me that, under their leadership, the Preston Arts Center continues to serve their local community with sincere passion and commitment. We are already discussing a future event next spring and I look forward to my next visit with Preston’s.
From Andrew Preston, Vice President at Preston Arts Center:
Preston Arts Center was founded as Preston Paint and Wallpaper in New Albany, IN in 1941 by Roena and Andy Preston. Our original selection of art supplies fit into one cabinet and were mostly intended for use by signwriters in the off-season to occupy their time and talent. As time marched on, larger businesses took on house paint and wallpaper fell out of favor. In the late 70s, a fire was ripping down the block towards our store with 55-gallon drums of paint thinner in it. The fire marshal soaked Preston Paint and Wallpaper, leaving little more than soggy merchandise and ruined fixtures. At this point, Don Preston and Kathy Brennan returned to take over the family business and grew the store to what it is today.
Under Don and Kathy’s guidance, Preston Arts Center came to be. In addition to our service and knowledge, Preston’s has an extremely active and popular selection of classes for a wide range of experience and interests. Some of our classes are solid technical classes, while others have grown to be social gatherings, with some students returning time and time again for over a decade. Customers are also able to take advantage of our frequent and free demos and learn from practicing artists who focus on technique over product.
Our staff is made up of trained artists who are encouraged to listen to the needs of the customer, assess an appropriate course of action, and find the most fitting solution to the customer’s concerns. This approach, when coupled with a low-pressure sales style, gives our customers confidence that we are here to help and are on their side.
For years, Preston’s has carried Royal Talens products in various areas of the store. Recently, we picked up Ecoline watercolors and brushpens, and Amsterdam acrylics and mediums. While Ecoline has performed well and brought many delighted “oooos” and “aaaaaas” out of customers, Amsterdam acrylics have been the real shining star. With an unbeatable selection of reliable colors and size-to-price ratios the cost-conscious artist can get behind, Amsterdam has outsold the line of paint it replaced 3-to-1.