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Springfield’s National Art Shop begins closing sale after 51 years in business

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:54 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s been a hub for local artists for more than a half 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 been running the National Art Shop since 1970. They’ve been in the location 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 her twin sister struggled to find local art supplies. Fifty-one years later, the couple is retiring and closing the shop.

“We have to do it sometime so we just decided now’s the time,” Jean Sanders said.

As their liquidation sale began, Sanders said she figured they’d be busy, but the turnout has been nothing short of incredible.

“It’s been overwhelming. Of course, it’s been emotional,” she said.

Long-time customers share the same sentiment.

“I literally cried,” said Francie Wolff.

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

“This is the only place that artists can go to have the proper framing at a reasonable cost,” she said. “Customer service, personal service. It’s just... There’s no replacement for this store.”

Wolff was one of countless customers who waited in line for hours during the final sale’s first day. Sanders said the support has been simply amazing.

“It’s been a very tiring day but it’s well worth it,” she said.

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

“We’re still going to be around, just we’re just not going to be working,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the shop will still offer custom framing until the end of April. She expects to stay open until June.

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

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