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Our History

From it’s humble beginnings as little more than a shelf of paper, boxes of pencils and charcoal, Arizona Art Supply has in many ways, been a part of the Arizona landscape since the late 1800’s when hardware store pioneer, Amos Elquist allowed a bit of shelf space in his original dry goods and hardware shop.

Later, this small trove of art supplies took up residence in the 1950’s in the old A.J. Bayless store location on Central and Indian School. Shoppers at the newly opened art store could enjoy a special treat after making their purchases by taking a side trip next door to view the unique and memorable merchandise of the past in the A.J. Bayless museum.

In 1951, A.J. Bayless moved to a new, modern store closer to the downtown area, closed his vintage store/museum and the Arizona Art Supply of today was truly born.

Established as a fine art materials store by the Reid family, in the old Bayless location, they expanded their space and inventory, and became one of the largest independent fine art materials stores in the Southwest.

In 2009, the current owners purchased the location from the Reid family and continued to improve on their vision by seeking out manufacturers of fine art products from all over the world to give the artists of Arizona the best and widest selection possible for all their creative pursuits.

In 2010, a record breaking, destructive summer storm with hurricane force winds tore through the Central Phoenix and Paradise Valley areas. One of the resulting microbursts touched down on the Central and Indian School location of Arizona Art Supply, destroying the roof and original brick work walls of the old A.J. Bayless structure. The damage caused by the storm was so extensive that repairing the aging structure was deemed too costly, and another location had to be found.

Arizona Art Supply was moved, with much time and effort on the part of the new owners and store staff to the new site in the Plaza on the corner of 16th Street and Indian School, where it stands today.

Now, over 70 years since the store’s conception, Arizona Art Supply remains the largest independent fine art materials retailer in the Southwest! Offering one of the most extensive selections of fine art materials at competitive prices, classes and workshops, along with generous donations to the artists, art organizations, and schools that support us, we are proud to be a part of the fabric of the art community that is so vital to the heritage and history of Arizona.

Through our close connections with the artists of Arizona, we hope to continue to support and be a valuable resource for the next generation of artists and beyond.

we are getting noticed


Our dedication to artists has brought us numerous awards over the years. We thank the artists who have contributed to this success and hope that we have made a significant contribution to your success as well.

In Arizona, we are consistently awarded the Rep’s Best Art Supply Store and New Times Best Art Supply Store from year to year. These awards mean a lot to us, because they are determined by the local artists who rely on us to support them in their creative endeavors. We will remain dedicated for years to come to ensure that each artist has what they need to achieve artistic success.

Our retail stores are also recognized by Winsor & Newton as Premier Art Centers, a very prestigious honor presented by the worlds largest manufacturer of quality artist materials and presented only to a select group of retailers in the entire United States. This recognition is based on an exemplary high level of customer service and large inventories of all types of media.

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Phoenix Store

4025 North 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Mon-Sat:  9:00AM to 6:00PM,
Sund:  Noon to 5PM

Tucson Store

4343 North Oracle Road, Suite 101  Tucson, Arizona 85705

Mon-Sat:  9:30AM to 6:00PM,
Sund:  Noon to 5PM

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