Springfield National Art Store Begins Closing Sale After 51 Years in Business

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) — It’s been a hub for local artists for more than half a century, but now the National Art Shop is closing. Thursday was the first day of its final sale.

Jean Sanders and her husband Jerry have run the National Art Shop since 1970. They have been based near Missouri State University since 1986.

“We’ve made a lot of friends and it’s bittersweet,” Jean Sanders said.

Jerry opened the shop after his mother and twin sister struggled to find local art supplies. Fifty-one years later, the couple retires and closes the shop.

“We have to do it one day, so we decided now was the time,” said Jean Sanders.

At the start of their liquidation sale, Sanders said she thought they would be busy, but the turnout has been nothing short of amazing.

“It was overwhelming. Of course, it was emotional,” she said.

Long-time customers share the same sentiment.

“I literally cried,” Francie Wolff said.

Wolff said, for her, this loss is personal. She’s been coming to the store for as long as she can remember.

“It’s the only place artists can go to get the right coaching at a reasonable cost,” she said. “Customer service, personalized service. It’s just… There is no replacement for this store.

Wolff was one of countless customers who lined up for hours on the first day of the final sale. Sanders said the support was just amazing.

“It was a very tiring day, but it was worth it,” she says.

She said she and her husband are grateful to be part of this community.

“We’re still going to be here, but we’re just not going to work,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the store will still offer custom framing until the end of April. It plans to stay open until June.

The closing sale should continue until everything is gone in the store.

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Laura J. Boyer