“I have known and worked with Tony Mines and Art Creations for over three decades. During that time, I have been both distributor and manufacturer to them with multiple product lines. When I think of Tony, I think of honesty, fairness, and integrity. He has always been a pleasure to work with.
Art Creations has remained a viable retailer in the Chattanooga area not only due to pure, hard work, but also due to the close relationship they have with their artist community, as well as their ability to adapt their business model as times have changed. I am especially pleased to see that both Jason and Jessica have stepped in to take the reigns and continue this fine legacy as Tony takes a well-deserved rest.
We recently participated in their 6th annual "Art Expo" event last month. Although I wasn't able to attend this year, our art ambassador, Vic Hollins, did, and she tells me it was fun, interactive, successful, and that she had a blast! It is always great to support one of our long-time independent art stores and all of us at Royal Talens wish them many more years of great success moving forward.
All the Best to Tony, Jessica, Jason and Family!” - Dennis Metcalf, Key Account Manager, Royal Talens North America
Founder, Tony Mines, opened Art Creations in 1973, upon his return from serving in Vietnam with the US Army. Art Creations is proud to be the oldest fine and graphic art supply store and archival custom frame shop in Chattanooga with the original owners. After working in the shops on weekends and holidays for as long as they both can remember, Tony’s children, Jason Mines and Jessica Mines Dumitru, are now co-owners of Art Creations. Tony’s sweet mother, Ms Lillie, worked for many decades with her son before retirement at the youthful age of 88, which makes their shop a three generation run family business. With Tony’s recent illness of Acute Myleiod Lukemia, Jason runs the frame shop production and Jessica oversees all operations at both store locations in hopes of making their father proud in the next generation of the family business.
Our story may not be unique in that it is a family run business. However, what does make us unique is how all of this happened. Jessica and Jason both grew up with the intention to choose other life paths instead of working at Art Creations. Jason served in the US Army and Jessica was an attorney representing the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. However, Jason discovered his knack at framing and quickly settled into his role in the frame shop almost 15 years ago. Jessica left the practice of law and, with her husband and two children, moved back to Chattanooga in 2016 to help her father run the business when it was clear that Tony’s health was declining due to a battle with Myleoid Dysplastic Syndrom (the precursor to AML).
Art Creations has been able to be a success story for the last 46 years because we are constantly adapting. Art Creations began as a custom frame shop. It saw major success during the 1980s and the framing of limited edition prints. When that business declined some in the 1990s, we adapted and incorporated more fine and graphic art supplies. We saw this industry grow and develop successfully during the later 1990s and early 2000s. And, thankfully, we had a multi-prong business model, as the recession hit in 2009, Art Creations had several industries and avenues, including school kits, to rely on to keep us financially healthy. Tony has a motto that nothing is set in stone – tomorrow is always adaptable. Art Creations hopes to maintain his success by adapting once again with the changing industry of online sales and social media marketing.
Finally, customer service and building unique experiences for our customers helps set us apart from sterile online purchases. We host a demo table each week with new and exciting products to try, we host classes and workshops, we have themed promotions based on traditional and very non-traditional national holidays (i.e., National Splatter Paint Day). We try to make it as fun and relevant as possible for our customers of all ages and skill levels.
Our relationship with Royal Talens:
While we carry many lines of Royal Talens products, our current hot items are the Ecoline markers, the Van Gogh Watercolor build-your-own pan sets, our Rembrandt pastels and Amsterdam Acrylics. These four lines, in particular, are constantly on re-order and our customers rave about their quality!
Royal Talens has always been there to support Art Creations in every manner possible, whether it be personable reps, product support or even personnel support, such as sending an extremely talented Royal Talens ambassador artist to demonstrate their products. Royal Talens always has our back and we hope to carry their products for decades to come.
Art Creations 6th Annual Art Expo:
Art Creations hosted our 6th Art Expo on April 5th and 6th. Our Expo featured demo tables with products to explore and play with, hands-on workshops for a more in-depth explaination of certain products, and store-wide sales! We had 12 demo tables, where our reps featured the fabulous products from many of our product lines. Royal Talens supported Art Creations by sending their amazing Ambassador, Vic Hollins, to showcase their Van Gogh watercolor pan sets and Ecoline brush pens at her demo table and also in a workshop for our customers. Vic is an extremely talented artist and excelled in explaining to our customers the value and quality of Royal Talens’ products, which, in turn, created high sales for those lines. Thanks to the support from our manufacturers and distributors, like Royal Talens, our Art Expo was a success and we look forward to next year’s event!
"Art creations is what local art stores should strive to be; Incredibly informed about the art products they carry and authentically welcoming. The Art Expo that they annually put on is full of affordable workshops, raffle baskets and sales. This also offers the customers of the stores great facetime to learn about and try out the products first hand. If you are in the Chattanooga Area, do not miss the chance to visit Art Creations, as their stores & staff are truly a gem!" - Vic Hollins, Royal Talens Art Ambassador