20090612

VIRGIN ISLANDS: ARTIST COLONY & ART SUPPLIES

I'm back home after a three-day whirlwind shopping trip to nearby St. Thomas. We bought household items, toiletries, groceries...and (surprise) art supplies. While there, my friend Kim picked up a copy of Art Fusion magazine, where I stumbled upon an ad for Key Art Supplies.
Key Art Supplies, lower level, to right of stairs......They're right on St. Thomas, just a couple of hours' sail from home. After eleven years of living on nearby Tortola, and having to order or bring back supplies from the States, finally they are available closer to home. I can't tell you how delighted this makes me.
Key Art Supplies is located in a charming and funky artists' colony called Tillett Gardens.
I met the proprietor Kimberly Young, also a potter with Everyday Clay Studio, who told me a little about Tillett Gardens' history. Jim Tillett, pictured below, moved to St. Thomas in the 1950s and started an artists' colony on the site of an old Danish farm now known as Tillett Gardens. He was a silk-screen artist who is known locally for his maps of the Virgin Islands.


Key Art Supplies sells quality fine art materials at US-comparable prices. The shelves were fully stocked with brands such as Amsterdam, Windsor & Newton, Van Gogh and Liquitex. Kimberly also takes special orders.

My husband and our friend Kim had a cold drink at Jack's bar while I shopped.



I was in dire need of white acrylic paint, a huge palette knife and a few other items.
Not bad for $50.55.....
Next trip will probably be in a few weeks to pick up my father at the St. Thomas airport, so I'll purchase more things then.

5 comments:

Abigail said...

I've heard of Tillett Gardens but never been. Looks like a visit is in order.

Stephanie C. said...

abigail, it had a cool vibe, & i'd love to go when there's an event. it was pretty quiet (we were the only people around) but i have a feeling it can get lively & really fun.
there's a silk screen studio, a soap-making shop, a clay studio...& a few more fine/decorative arts workspaces.
i didn't have a chance to wander around much...next time, definitely!

Fashion and more said...

wow, looks and sounds great

frogqueen said...

Having lived in St. Thomas in the early 80's, I remember that everyone has some article of clothing designed by Jim Tillett. They were so colorful, and fun to wear. I taught right down the road from his studio and would visit the store often. Fond memories!
Frogqueen

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

frogqueen,
St. Thomas must've been fun in the early 80s, a different world than now.
Now having left Tortola, I rather regret not visiting Tillett Gardens during an event. St. Thomas seemed a world away for us on Tortola. That's the thing about islands: close proximity, geographically, means very little in practical daily reality. (So close, yet so far!)