It’s hard to miss Artmart: Pollock-esque splatters of paint cover its bright-red exterior. Inside, its just as striking. Artists of all disciplines draw from the art superstore’s wealth of supplies and skills to further their next projects. Thousands of colors of paints, pencils, and sculpting materials are in stock here, as well as brushes, easels, canvas and a vast paper selection.
As a locally owned creative marketplace, Artmart has a number of divisions in its store depending on your artistic needs: you can immortalize your pieces and prints at the Framing Center, or stock up on colorful cards, stationery, and decorative paper at the paper boutique. Children as young as three can sign up for the store’s small-group classes, which cover various media including painting, sketching, and sculpting skills. You can be inspired at their Studio which boasts a host of events from fine art adult classes to craft workshops to creative birthday parties.
Joel Marion first cultivated his creativity while enlisted in the Air Force and working as a photojournalist. He taught himself the complexities of shutter speed and f-stops through trial and error. Through his company—Joel Marion Photography—the autodidact has become one of the fortunate few whose avocation becomes their vocation, unlike Michael Jordan, who longed to dunk donuts instead of basketballs. Throughout his career, he has worked in fashion and advertising in St. Louis. By working with area clients for more than 30 years, Joel brings an experienced and creative approach to family, baby, high-school senior, and head-shot portraits. His wife Carol manages the studio while Joel's design and Photoshop specialist, Kelly Tucker, helps their clientele create aesthetically pleasing compositions.
Led by Tom and Donna Otis, Fast Frame Charlottesville's friendly staffers outfit pictures and beautifies abodes with ensembles that turn two-dimensional keepsakes into multidimensional treasures. With a vast selection of borders, Fast Frame tastefully accents pictures of cherished memories, safely preserves and displays sports memorabilia, and even frames flat-screen TVs so they can't leave the living room to go chill with the microwave. Under Fast Frame’s Preservation Plus program, frame craftsmen sequester artwork in an acid-free environment and use framing designed to save artifacts from UV light, ensuring that they retain their luster throughout their display and that they are safe for future removal.
Regardless of which of the hundreds of Target Portrait Studio locations you meander into, you can always count on a similar experience. Tucked into Target retail locations throughout the nation, each studio boasts a staff of professional photographers, premium lighting equipment, and advanced digital cameras. The seasoned crew takes pains to customize photo sessions to suit each customer's vision, setting up desired backgrounds and props before guiding families and high-school seniors through a mélange of poses. Afterward, customers will work with a professional to personalize their portraits with different special effects and styles, such as black and white or sepia tone. They then pick up their physical portraits at the studio in 7–10 days. If they don't feel like holding their breath that long to see the final products, they can access the images in an online gallery within 24 hours of the session, at which point they can order extra prints for gifts, collages, and greeting cards.
Karen Creager, the woman behind the lens at Focus Saint Louis Photography, can shoot photographs almost anywhere in the Saint Louis area. She travels to homes, weddings, parks, and family gathering places to capture the perfect tableau. Creager skillfully photographs everyone from kids to engaged couples to-high school seniors.
Aesthetics Studios is Kris Gaskill’s passion. Through it he gets to help others express themselves as he shoots everything from headshots for business professionals to fashion shoots and boudoir sessions. For special events, such as weddings, he teams ups with his wife Joanna, ensuring full coverage of the hallowed occasion. With videography and editing skills, they can also record weddings and commercial videos to Blu-ray or DVD. To liven up private and corporate events, their DJ can encourage guests to strut on dance floors, and photo-booth rentals give guests opportunities to mug for the camera.