When artists’ pencils run down, or when they’re looking for inspiration, it’s likely that they’ll visit the Golden Eagle Art Supply store on Newtown Lane in East Hampton. Beginning this spring, they’ll have a second option on North Main Street, as well—Studio 144, a new art store and the product of a new partnership.
Nancy Rowan, the owner of Golden Eagle since 2002, and Michael Weisman, the former owner of the Inside Out home furnishing store, hope to have the new location open by June, after searching for about a year and a half for the right spot. They found out about the property, which is across the street from Nick & Toni’s, after the previous owners, Donal and Jessica Fingleton, closed on it in January. The property contains a barn that Mr. Weisman said they’ll be using for a studio and classes, as well as a main house where they’ll sell art supplies.
Ms. Rowan and Mr. Weisman have been friends for 20 years and said they have a mutual passion for art and sharing it.
“There’s something about being a member of the community and really liking to deal with people,” Mr. Weisman said. “There’s a philosophy to this job: You have to be sincere, you have to like what you’re doing, and I think it’s how businesses like this last.”
“I’m an 11th-generation East Hampton local, and seeing the changes that have happened in my lifetime, it’s important to me that there are still family-owned businesses that people can come to here,” Ms. Rowan said. “This is a fun thing that we’re doing. We’re taking it to the next level with this new location.”
That “next level” includes plans to turn the North Main Street location into somewhat of an art community center. Ms. Rowan said that she and Mr. Weisman hope to start teaching art classes for kids and adults while still selling art supplies.
“There are very little things for kids to do out here,” Mr. Weisman said.
“Especially in the off-season,” Ms. Rowan said. “In our old location on Gingerbread Lane, we had classes there,” she said, referring to the Golden Eagle’s former spot in the village. Ms. Rowan said she was thrilled to host the art classes, especially for kids when she became a mother herself. The Gingerbread Lane location closed in September 2013, before the move to Newtown Lane, where the space is too small to hold classes.
“The only reason that I got into this business 16 years ago was, number one, to be my own boss, and, number two, I loved art supplies,” Ms. Rowan said. “I loved being around art supplies and working with art supplies and working with the people that used them with creative energy. So the next step was to have classes,” she said.
“I can’t explain how many people a day come in and are just starved,” Ms. Rowan said. “They need somewhere to go.”
“Even in this location where we offer no classes, people actually come here and stay all day because of the atmosphere,” Mr. Weisman said. “It’s really a nurturing, creative environment.”