International Art Materials Association

    eNews:  July 31, 2019

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is the last day to apply . . .

Namta’s Grant Program provides a great way to demonstrate the effort you or your association are making to support Art Advocacy in your community. The program awards grants to applicants who support the arts in any of four categories:

  • Public Art
  • Art Education
  • The Military
  • Health and Healing

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2019 Grant Program Sponsored by

The Namta 2019 Membership Satisfaction Survey is being sent by email today.  Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback. Contact Karen with questions.

Before You Listen to Your Customers

by Tom Shay

When small businesses are asked about their advantage over chain stores, big box and online businesses, the most frequent answer “customer service."

If the business owner is asked to elaborate on their answer the owner often points to the comments online as well as those seen in the store and throughout the community. The owner will say “They all tell us how much they love our business."

I think the “customer service” answer and how it was obtained can be a bit biased. When you ask the business owner how often, or if, they have looked at their business on Yelp or Google, frequently the answer is they have not looked in those places to see what others have to say.

This past week I visited my hometown, small community in the northwest hills of Arkansas. The only grocery store in town is a Wal-Mart.

When I visit, there is a favorite ice cream I enjoy. Produced by Yarnell’s, it is called Whoo Pig Chewey which is a salute to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Visiting the store, I found many flavors of ice cream by Yarnell’s but none of my Whoo Pig Chewey.

People working in a Wal-Mart are easy to identify by way of their sleeveless vests and I happened to find one walking down the aisle. Their name tag identified them as a department manager and I asked if the frozen foods was their department.

With a confirmation, he asked how he could help me. As I spoke, he explained the product was not going to be made by Yarnell’s this year as they did not renew their licensing agreement. He further stated that he understood that Yarnell’s was expected to have the same product or something very similar with a new name.

While his product knowledge was impressive, what happened next was amazing. He said, “Let me call the vendor and see what I can find out."

As we stood in the ice cream aisle, he took his cell phone and called someone named Jack. Their conversation went back and forth with questions and comments. And when he hung up, he told me Jack did not have any definite answers at this time.

While I make a point to visit many businesses to gather these experiences for my writing, I am not used to someone making this much of an effort. Far too many times when a customer walks into a business and finds an empty spot where an item they want resides, they get an answer in the vein of, “We are out of that item. The sales rep should be in soon and we will reorder then."

As a fourth-generation business owner, while I hold my tongue, I want to sarcastically ask if they have heard of a device called a telephone and that this sales representative or the manufacturer might have a phone they could call to replenish their inventory.

I do want to see every small business thrive. I have a love for them that no other business could match. However, that love requires a similar feeling from them.

Is this person at Wal-Mart is a fair example of the service you can expect in their stores? No; there are too many “war stories” of customer service to believe they have found the secret to customer service.

However, before we as small businesses “hang our hat” on saying we have great customer service, we need to hear what others are saying about us, and what any competitor is doing. Definitely we need to do this before we listen to our customers and believe what they have told us.

Tom Shay is a fourth-generation small business owner, author, columnist, coach and speaker who has authored several training manuals for retailers that can be found in the Resources section of the Namta website – His knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future. You can learn more here -



Art Advocacy - Art Matters

About Art Therapy

from the American ArtTherapy Association

The Profession
Art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.
Art therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns. Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.

Who Are Art Therapists
Art therapists are master-level clinicians who work with people of all ages across a broad spectrum of practice. Guided by ethical standards and scope of practice, their education and supervised training prepares them for culturally proficient work with diverse populations in a variety of settings. Honoring individuals’ values and beliefs, art therapists work with people who are challenged with medical and mental health problems, as well as individuals seeking emotional, creative, and spiritual growth.

Where Art Therapist Work
Art therapists work with individuals, couples, families, and groups in diverse settings. Some examples include:

hospitals, schools, Veteran’s clinics, private practice, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, community clinics, crisis centers, forensic institutions, and senior communities

How Art Therapy Works
Through integrative methods, art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal articulation alone. Kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, and symbolic opportunities invite alternative modes of receptive and expressive communication, which can circumvent the limitations of language. Visual and symbolic expression gives voice to experience and empowers individual, communal, and societal transformation.

•  Read heartfelt stories from Art Therapists on American ArtTherapist Association's Story Page.

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Fact of the Week #203: Public Art is used as a tool for fostering community revitalization, social connections, and improved health outcomes.

Read more Facts on

Also on, visit Art In U.S. News  and Art In Canada News - news articles that highlight the advancement of art and the use of art to build business and help the community.


Do you or your company have a story about Advocating for the Arts - fill out this form, or email [email protected]

The Question Is . . .

 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Members - answer this question before August 11 to be in a drawing to win an Art Matters T-shirt.

The picture below of the Board of Directors cutting the ribbon below was taken at the opening of one of the Chicago Navy Pier Shows that took place after 2000. What year was the show?

Hint: answer on

One answer per question please.

At the end of the year, whether you've won a bi-weekly drawing or not, everyone who has answered correctly will be entered in a Final Drawing to win a $100 Gift Card.

You will receive one entry in the Final Drawing for each correct answer you have submitted.

. . .  to the last question

The winner of an Art Matters T-shirt for the July 17th Question is Robin Hayes from Chroma Inc.

The Answer was "on the Resource page"

Welcome New Members

In Arezzo, a Tuscany town 50 km far from Florence, the cradle of Renaissance painting, land of ancient traditions and strong inspirations, in 1999, from the twenty years experience of its founder in brushes’ production, the young and dynamic brand “Tintoretto” was born. From the very beginning we based ourselves on the research of quality of raw materials and of the manufacture process, developing over the years a wide range of brushes allowing us to meet any artistic need, which make us a leading company in Italy in the field of fine arts brushes.
Tintoretto is a 2020 Art Materials World Exhibitor

Established in 1993, Gamma Trade Company is in the Solnechnogorsky District of the Moscow Region of Russia, and is a leading company of haberdashery, sewing accessories, craft kits and art supplies in the Russian market. Gamma produces and distributes embroidery kits, is the owner of a number of trademarks, and works in direct contact with leading manufacturers. Gamma looks to create relationships with craft goods wholesalers, retail chains, and suppliers.

Located in Zanesville, Ohio, Studio One offers a plethora of art supplies and offers diverse and unique supplies for beginner to advanced artists!  "We want to revive the art movement in our historic town and nourish young artists for years to come."


We have retired and closed our store as of June 30thJill Moloy, Nadine Miller and Heather Williams care of The Studio - Framing & Art Supplies Ltd

Member News

This month, Jill Moloy, Nadine Miller and Heather Williams from The Studio in Lethbridge, Canada, have closed down shop. The Studio was an important part of the Lethbridge art scene since opening in 1989.

They were loyal Art Materials World attendees and very pleasant members. We wish them happy times ahead.

Pictured left to right, Nadine, Jill and Heather


A Notable Quote 

"When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes."
- Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by blank eyes, elongation of faces, necks, and figures that were not received well during his lifetime but later found acceptance. His work modernized figurative painting. and his subjects were distinctively 'Modigliani', each telling a different story about his life and art. Before his death at the age of thirty-five, Amedeo Modigliani also created impressive sculptures and drawings.

As one of his last portraits; the portrait Gypsy Woman Holding Baby (right), painted in 1919 the year before his death, is one of the paintings that support the claim that Modigliani was, perhaps, the finest portrait artist of the twentieth century. To the layman, there is nothing remarkable about this picture, just a rather plain looking young woman in unflattering clothing and set in drab surroundings. To the art connoisseur, however, this is a unique piece of work in the iconic style that Modigliani developed during his short career.


Namta Staff recently found these business articles on the Web that may be of interest to you and your staff.

Handwritten Notes are Still the Best Way

to Solidify Your Customer Relationships

by Jason Aten, Writer and Business Coach

I've traveled a fair amount for work, and I've learned to appreciate the little things that make being away from home just a bit easier. Once, when I checked into a hotel, I got this friendly note. It was a nice gesture -- almost.

The envelope the hotel slid under the door had my name on it, but when I opened it, I found a nice note written to Cedric. Here's the thing: I'm not Cedric. Cedric wasn't staying with me, and I don't think I actually even know anyone named Cedric. Well, actually it wasn't "written" to Cedric. It was printed off on a computer in one of those "handwriting" fonts.

Which made me think about one of the most underrated yet powerful tools in your relationship toolbox - the handwritten note. I'm a big fan. Well, except when it's a computer-printed pseudo handwritten note to someone else. That's just embarrassing.

But when you do it right, I can't think of many things that have a greater return on your effort than taking five minutes to write a quick note to someone, sticking a stamp on it, and dropping it in the mail. Here are a few tips for writing handwritten notes to clients or customers:
Make it a habit.

That's partly because no one actually does it anymore, which is crazy when you think about it. Everyone loves getting handwritten personal notes.

There's something about the experience of going to the mailbox, sifting through the junk, finding something with your name across the front, and opening it to find a note written with real ink on paper.

When you get a note that has been written by hand, it communicates that you were important enough for someone to stop what they were doing, sit down at their desk, take out a pen and paper, and write down something meaningful.

When I was in sales, I made it a point to send a handwritten note to every client that booked, every time someone placed an order, and whenever someone sent a referral.  

I also made it a habit to write three or four handwritten notes every week to existing clients, partners, or other connections. It's a great tool to reinforce the connection you have with your clients, and if you do it right, it can have a huge impact.
Be personal, be authentic, and be brief.

Fortunately, writing a good note isn't that complicated. In fact, following these three rules will help you make a personal impact. Good handwritten notes should be personal to the person you're writing to, not something generic. They should also be authentic, meaning they should fit naturally into the relationship, not something you write just to sell something. Finally, they should be brief. This isn't a love letter, it's a brief note to say thanks, or to congratulate someone on a significant event.
By the way, never, ever include your business card.

Here's the thing, when you include your business card, you basically cancel out every ounce of personal connection since it's now clear that the only thing you were really trying to do is get your information in front of me.

It's like doing something really nice for someone and making sure they know you were the one that did it. Instead, just sign your name.

By the way, this isn't just for business relationships. Write a note for your spouse, or partner, or significant other -- it'll be a win every time. My wife is great at this. She'll stick a note in my bag when I'm traveling. It doesn't have to be long, just a quick note, and it's nice because somehow she always manages to get my name right.

And if you really want bonus points, send one to mom.

One last thing. Circle back to the fact that no one sends handwritten notes anymore. That means that when you do, you'll stand out from your competition. You'll be unique, and your customer will appreciate that you took the time to do something no one else could be bothered about.

That's powerful.

How Starting a Conversation Boosts Social Media Engagement
As algorithms begin to favor user interaction and community sharing, how can brand managers adapt their campaigns to get better organic reach? Here are some tips…

What to Do When Terminating an Employee
If you’ve decided it’s time to part ways with an employee, how do you execute that decision? For many small employers, this is an issue you’ve rarely faced...

The Benefits Of Developing Your Employees Over Managing Them
One of the most interesting workplace trends of the last few years is the rise of the "knowledge worker." These are individuals whose daily roles go above and beyond repetitive or routine tasks and require moderate or high-level subject matter expertise...

Should You Take out a Loan for Commercial Real Estate? How to Decide.
When it's time to expand your business, a real estate loan might be your best bet...

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