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Passing the Paintbrush

Art Things’ new owner promises to continue the tradition local artists have come to rely on

Laurie Nolan, left, found a new owner for the 50-plus-year-old art store her mother founded in Skye Vasquez, a regular customer at Art Things in West Annapolis.
      Talk about customer satisfaction. Shopper Skye Vasquez liked Art Things so much she bought the store.
      That’s good news for the artists, dabblers and dreamers who can keep up the half-century habit of browsing and buying at Annapolis’ hardware store for art.
      “It’s the kind of store nobody comes to once,” says Vasquez.
      Good news for buyer and seller, as well.
      “I love it,” Vasquez told Bay Weekly. “I’ve been coming here since I was a girl with my grandmother, oil painter Carol Youman.”
      Good for seller Laurie Nolan, too, for she got to follow through on the decision she made in 2016, to retire when Art Things turned 50. Of that longevity, “we are very grateful to our customers,” Nolan said.
      She had grown up with the business, founded by her mother Lydia in one of life’s swift, all-changing moments. The older Nolan couldn’t find the materials she needed for her sculpture class, so she opened an art store.
       The multi-generational parallels are not lost on either woman.
       Vasquez’s goal, she says, is “a new generation of people who love Art Things like we do.”
      There will be more to love, with art classes for children and adults, starting most likely in January. Vasquez promises a full inventory, computerized for the first time. She also promises to keep Art Things’ signature collection of odd Mona Lisas — if not all in the same places.