June 24, 2019

Artist says goodbye to Williston

Observer courtesy photo Chelsea Lindner in her new Cambridge store, Artists’ Mediums Art Shop, which opened this spring. The Williston store, which has been in the area nearly 20 years, closed last weekend.

Observer courtesy photo
Chelsea Lindner in her new Cambridge store, Artists’ Mediums Art Shop, which opened this spring. The Williston store, which has been in the area nearly 20 years, closed last weekend.

By Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

The shift away from brick-and-mortar stores has been rolling along with the advent of Amazon.com, despite Vermont’s “Buy Local” ethos. This month, it was the final nail in the coffin for the fine-arts supply store, Artists’ Mediums.

But owner Chelsea Lindner said she’d long been awaiting the day when she’d have to shutter the Williston-based art store. For her, the retail business was never the impetus for running an art supply store.

“I was never in the business of buying something for a dollar and selling it for a buck and a quarter. I wanted to work with the artists… and for me, it was all about the art,” said Lindner, who herself is a painter that loves working in oils.

Nonetheless, the presence of the shop, at Cornerstone Drive, off Talcott Road, is already missed by some, she said.

“Even with the doors closed and the closed sign up, I have people yanking on the doors all the time,” she said.

Her new venture beckons, however and is much closer to her North Belvidere home: a Cambridge-based art shop in the gallery tradition, with a variety of artistic local goods on display, organized by creator in a post-and-beam building that used to house Brown & Jenkins, a coffee roaster.

The next two weekends, the new store, called Artists’ Mediums Art Shop, will host a variety of exhibitions, demonstrations and events in celebration of Fall Open Studio Weekend and the shop’s move. Lindner said she’s happy to be featuring so many Williston and Hinesburg-area artists in the new space and to continue to feature the top-notch framing skills for original framing by Kristin Richland.

“We’ve been showcasing the art at the Williston shop for the past decade and in the meantime we’ve been selling art supplies for three decades,” she said, first in Burlington, then soon after in Tafts Corners and then at the location off Talcott Road.

Observer courtesy photo The new Artists’ Mediums store features work by local artists including crafts, textiles and pottery.

Observer courtesy photo
The new Artists’ Mediums store features work by local artists including crafts, textiles and pottery.

“Last year, I said, what do we have that no one else has? What we have is original artwork and custom picture framing…That’s how we got the idea to do the Cambridge shop and have it be all art.”

The new store won’t feature many supplies and she’s just fine with that. “The focus is really on the artists’ works, because there so many gorgeous artworks out there.”

While she said the new shop’s digs are hard to beat —they’re across the street from Boyden Valley Winery with a “gorgeous view,” especially in leaf-peeping season —she said she was also excited for new business to come in, something that had been a challenge in Williston. “It’s an exciting change for us,” she said. Retail work had been stagnant, she said, with many customers coming in to ask questions, then leaving without making a purchase and going home to buy things online.

“I’ve had a lot of people come in and be really sad, ‘We’re so sad to see you go,’” she said, of Williston’s shop. “But I’m excited about it, because I still get to work with the artists, I still get to support the same people I’ve loved working with for years.”

“Unless the art industry changes drastically, you can still pick our brains for a few years, so come on up. I will miss Williston, but hopefully our favorite customers will come and see us up at the new shop.”

Artists’ Mediums Art Shop is on Route 15 in Cambridge. The new phone number is 644-2872.

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