This article was published in High Country Press.

Art Mart is celebrating a double anniversary this year: it’s the store’s 35th year in operation and its 10th year as Art Mart Academy.

The company got its start in 1975 as a survey and architectural supply store. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it sold arts and ready-made crafts. In 2000, John Bond took the helm at Art Mart. Since then, the store has become something more, offering art classes alongside a quintupled inventory of fine art materials. Around 50 High Country residents are typically enrolled in Art Mart Academy classes, which are offered for all ages “from toddlers all the way up to adults,” Bond said.

As the big anniversary approaches, Art Mart has made an effort to increase the eco-friendliness of the store.

“We have increased our selection of environmentally friendly art materials and reduced our carbon footprint. We’re trying to carry materials that are manufactured closer to home,” Bond said.

The eco-conscious art materials Bond mentioned include reused newspaper pencils, biodegradable pens, recycled paper and soy-based crayons, markers, glue and paint.

Art Mart will hold an anniversary celebration Saturday, October 23, at 6:00 p.m. The main event planned is a gallery show featuring an array of work from everyone associated with Art Mart.

“We asked for one piece from many of our customers, employees, students and friends…so it’s really eclectic,” Bond said.

The art on display will include jewelry, sculpture, architectural renderings, oils, acrylics, watercolors and graphite drawings from artists of all ages, from 6-year-olds to seniors.

Bond said the celebration, which will also feature an interactive art table and food, is “truly a community event.”

“We’ve been locally owned for 35 years,” he said. “One of Boone’s longest-running stores.”

For more information on the anniversary celebration and Art Mart Academy lessons, call 828-264-3135 or click to www.artmartacademy.com.

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