For over 40 years, almost without exception, Graphic Chemical & Ink has exhibited at the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) show. For reasons that I'll probably never understand, I chose not to get a booth this year, choosing rather to walk the show floor rather than exhibit.
NAMTA is an organization that is geared to the art supply retailer. Most of the exhibitors, including Graphic Chemical, are manufacturers of quality art materials. The show is only open to the trade, so most artists cannot get in the door. I can go on at great length about that particular situation, but suffice it to say that the majority of the members of this group would disagree with my position regarding allowing artists/educators to walk the show and provide manufacturers with input about new products.
Several years ago, I chaired the Art Educators committee of NAMTA. Our charge was to find ways to improve the interaction and communication between manufacturers, retail stores and artists. A number of suggestions were made and rejected as too risky to the industry, and the committee no longer exists.
Anyway, this year's show was held in Reno, NV, and while it seemed smaller than past years shows, I have no doubt that it was quite successful for most of the attendees. We have actually identified several new suppliers and a number of new offerings from some of our existing suppliers. Watch the blog for information on these products in the next few weeks. One product that I am excited about is a new size lino block - a 10 x 20" size that promises to be very popular.
Renewing acquaintances with our friends in the industry is always great fun. At the President's Reception, Susan and I were joined by Gary & Sherrill Owens of EC Lyons, and Martin Lawrence of TN Lawrence in England at the Reno Antique Car Museum. Unfortunately, the kind gentleman that we asked to take the picture below, was apparently visually impaired or so it would seem from the cut off heads of all the men.