2004 Top 100 Award  

Texas Art Depot Named to Décor’s Top 100 List

Palestine’s own Texas Art Depot is among the winners of the prestigious Décor Top 100 Art & Framing Retailers Award.

The winners were officially announced in September at Décor’s International Art Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, and then published in the October 2004 issue of the magazine. Mike and April Johnston (owners of the art and framing gallery) were on hand at the Decor Expo in Atlanta when the results were announced. A gallery in Spring and another in Austin were the only two others from Texas to receive the award.

Texas Art Depot’s entry was aimed at the category “Retail Aesthetics & Design Over 1200 Square Feet”. Décor said, “this year’s entries showed a noticeable increase in complexity and professionalism.” “Obviously a lot of people have businesses they are proud of and they devoted a lot of thought and energy to their entry.” The article went on to say, “the list of the Top 100 was in no particular order but…these retailers impressed our panel of judges, whether it was for design, profitability, or marketing. Something stood out with these retailers, enough for us to single them out among their peers.”

Mike and April believed their gallery and frame shop in Historic Downtown Palestine was unique, but the Top 100 award confirms it. The large downstairs framing gallery is spacious and well lighted, while the art gallery is upstairs in what was once the “Sandez Hotel”. The individual rooms of the hotel are separate theme galleries, featuring Western, Mediterranean, Military, Christian, Wildlife, Landscape, and most other venues. Some of the rooms are set aside for certain artists, such as the ones for Thomas Kinkade, and G. Harvey. The main lobby upstairs is reminiscent of an old west bar or train station and is often used for special events by groups who are looking for a unique place to hold a meeting.

Texas Art Depot is becoming increasingly known for it’s large inventory, relaxed atmosphere and superior service. Many customers are from out of town, and April has noticed that once an out of town customer finds Texas Art Depot and recognizes what a gem they’ve found, their friends and neighbors come in for a visit in a few weeks. This word of mouth advertising is great, but it is a slow way to grow your business according to April, who has noticed a marked improvement in her business since moving from Beth’s Originals on Queen Street last year.

Palestine’s Dogwood Trails, Hot Pepper Festival, and the Texas State Railroad are all good venues for introducing the now confirmed best art gallery and frame shop in Texas to visitors far and wide. Texas Art Depot is located at 301 W. Oak St. in downtown Palestine, Texas and features art prints and canvases from America’s and the world’s foremost artists. They have sculptures, collectible hand painted duck decoys, duck stamp prints, and of course, a complete custom frame shop utilizing the most current technologies. Computerized mat cutting makes the most difficult V-groove and designer mats quick and affordable. Texas Art Depot will be celebrating their first anniversary downtown during the Hot Pepper Festival on Saturday, October 23, 2004 and everyone is invited.

Source: Palestine Herald Press – October 21, 2004