Arts & Culture

Top Art Supply Stores In Connecticut

February 10, 2014 8:00 AM

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If you’re a professional or amateur artist looking to start work on your latest masterpiece, there are plenty of large chain stores around that sell the supplies you need. But Connecticut is also home to several independent stores owned and operated by art experts who can give you individual attention and find you just the right materials. Whether you want to draw, paint or sculpt, you won’t go wrong at any of these local art supply shops.

The Artware Store
48 W. Main St.
Mystic, CT 06335
(860) 536-8339
www.finerlinegallery.com

After spending over 10 years in Groton, the Artware Store moved to Mystic in 2007. It’s part of The Finer Line Gallery, which provides custom framing and sells paintings by local artsts, many depicting scenes from the Connecticut shoreline. If you would rather create your own paintings, there are adult art classes available for beginners or advanced painters. The Artware Store sells high-quality brushes, oil and acrylic paints and canvases to use in those classes.

Hull’s Art Supply & Framing
1144 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 865-4855
www.hullsnewhaven.com

Hull’s has been a part of New Haven since 1947 and has consistently impressed throughout the decades with its vast selection of art essentials. It specializes in poster and foam board, of which it has a great variety, along with over two dozen pads for everything from pastel to watercolor. Art professors at nearby colleges can work with Hull’s to provide affordable course materials for students, which the store will pack in complimentary tote bags. And if your creativity runs towards building models, Hull’s has a large department that sells those materials and accessories.

Lily Pad Arts & Framing
34 North St.
Willimantic, CT 06226
(860) 423-3223
www.lilypadart.com

Lily Pad is one of the largest art supply stores in Eastern Connecticut. Its staff is made up of artists who will be happy to assist you in finding just the right paints, inks and brushes, and can place special orders for items not in stock. The Lily Pad often has specials on its supplies and also carries a large inventory of easels, chairs and drafting tables. And because it’s so close to UConn, it frequently assists students and faculty with projects as well as offers special discounts.

Related: Top Toy Stores In Connecticut

Max’s Art Supplies
68 Post Road E.
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 226-0716
www.maxsartsuppliesct.com

Max’s has been part of Westport for over 50 years, consistently impressing customers with its wide selection of products. The large store carries just about anything an artist needs, including perhaps the most impressive displays of markers, pencils and acrylics in the state. You’ll find long shelves filled with sets for every conceivable medium, including cray pas, charcoal and oragami. There are plenty of books and supplies for children, including hard-to-find tempera sticks, a fun alternative to crayons. Max’s has special discounts for professional artists and students, and if you’re buying something as a present, it can be gift wrapped for you.

Art Emporium of Old Saybrook
288 Main St.
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
(860) 388-1419
www.artemporiumofoldsaybrookct.com

Owner Robert Jerome started Art Emporium of Old Saybrook 30 years ago, and the key to its longevity is the relationship he has with customers. He and his staff always give special attention to everyone who walks through the door, giving advice and recommending the right materials. The inventory isn’t as large as the chain stores, but it includes high-quality items like Williamsburg oil paints. Jerome will happily try to get you something not in stock, always telling you the price before placing the order. Art Emporium of Old Saybrook also carries items that set it apart from other art supply stores, such as Melissa and Doug games and toys, and even vinyl records.

Related: Top Stationery Stores In Connecticut

Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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