Following the closure of Bushwick Art and Supplies on Flushing Ave., a new art supply Mecca has opened on 36 Gardner Ave. Soho Art Materials, the longtime supplier of paints, brushes, and canvases in the city, has opened a second location in Bushwick above the existing Tinmar stretcher manufacturing. The store, located in a bright and airy spot above of the warehouse, is currently open from 9-4pm with a grand opening planned for Sept. 22.
Johnny Siegel and his father Marvin have owned and operated Soho Art Materials since 1999, while Marvin has been in the art supply business for over 30 years. In 2009, the store relocated to Wooster and Canal St. While rents have soared for both businesses and residents, few artists, if any, remain in Manhattan – Long Island City, Bed-Stuy, and of course Bushwick is where you’ll see thriving artistic communities. “The dynamic has changed. Everyone use to go into the city to buy their art supplies,” says Johnny. As the push towards Brooklyn becomes more apparent than ever, the Siegel’s are more than glad to open a quality supply store in Bushwick. “[The new store] is easy for people to drive to and pick things up.”
The Siegels hope to emulate their city store by selling all of the high end paints, canvases, and supplies they’re known for, but since the Bushwick store is much more accessible by car, they are offering deals on canvases bought in bulk. That means better prices and easier pickup.
In addition to custom framing, a myriad of canvases, brushes, paints (oil, acrylic) and sketchbooks, Soho Art Materials carries Montana spray paint – all important, considering its location in the heart of Bushwick.
Soho Art Materials is truly one-of-a-kind, as Johnny tells me there aren’t many art supply stores left (Blick being the leading competitor). “The industry has consolidated. The ones left cater to the [college market] near Union Square like NYU and the New School.” And while the industry sadly shrinks, Soho Art Materials keeps on going, surely helped by their patented canvas that uses an aluminum frame instead of wood (wood warps over time). As owner Marvin tells me,
“Born in Brooklyn!”
Soho Art Materials is located at 36 Gardner Ave., Bushwick. Hours: 9 am – 4 pm. Grand opening is Tuesday, Sept. 22. with extended hours. (718) 628-3870.