Arts & Culture News

All Asel Art Supply Stores Are Closing for Good

A Dallas staple, Asel Art Supply is closing soon.
A Dallas staple, Asel Art Supply is closing soon. Danny Gallagher
Last month, the Asel Art Supply company announced it would be closing its Uptown flagship store. Now the rest of the chain will follow in its footsteps.

All of Asel Art Supply's remaining seven stores, including locations in San Antonio and Lubbock, will close by the end of the year, according to an announcement posted on the company's Facebook page.

"After 71 years in Texas, all Asel Art Supply locations will be closing by Dec. 31, 2022," the announcement reads. "Please stop by to say goodbye and take advantage of 40 percent off everything in the store. We thank you for all of your support over these many years!"

News of the chain-wide shutdown was greeted with a lot of disappointed comments from customers who said on social media they've been buying their art supplies from the family-owned chain for decades.

"This is very sad for all professional artists and anyone looking for art supplies beyond the current hobby market that is flooded with 'pour' [sic] paraphernalia and alcohol ink," Jessica Mang wrote on Facebook.

"This is so sad," wrote former art teacher Vivian Holland-Media. "I purchased such wonderful supplies for my art students and myself over the years. Thank you for passing on fabulous deals at the art competitions."

"This is so sad ... I purchased such wonderful supplies for my art students and myself over the years." – former art teacher Vivian Holland-Media

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"What????? Nooooo!!!!!" wrote a customer named Patti Smith. "You've been my go-to art supplies source since 1975!"

The first closing took place on Sept. 20, when the chain announced it would close its flagship and oldest location on Cedar Springs Road. Susan Smolenski, the president of Asel Art Supply Inc., said owners had decided to close the 100-year-old building that has housed the store since 1968 after receiving a generous offer on the property.

"We've had offers for years and said no to many of them," Smolenski said in September. "This one was bigger than any one we've ever had before."

We tried to reach a store representative for comment on the latest announcement, but didn't hear back.

The Cedar Springs Road store was in an ideal location to cater to many of the downtown architectural and design firms that regularly need high-quality art and drafting supplies and to art students at the nearby Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

"We're kind of disappointed because we were just getting plugged in," says Liz Wooten, whose son Zeke had just started attending nearby Booker T. in the visual arts program. "It's less than a mile from the school."
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

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