Art Elements gets a facelift

The Art Elements shop has recently been redecorated and revamped. It now looks to serve a broader consumer base and increase its accessibility  to students, according to management.

Blakely McKinney, the manager of Art Elements, said she looks to increase traffic for the store.

“People tell me that they wish they had known about this place sooner on a daily basis,” McKinney said. “It’s surprising to me that they don’t.”

This is part of the cause for the cosmetic changes to the shop.

“I wanted to have a shop that reflected the atmosphere of the arts building,” McKinney said. “I’ve had some less-than-atmospheric jobs, and I didn’t want this to be one. So we opened it up, changed some of the colors and put up new colorful blackboards with coffee-inspired chalk art. It’s made a big difference.”

But McKinney said she doesn’t plan on stopping there. She is looking to expand the store by up to 50 feet within the next year.

“We need to be more than a quid-pro-quo art store,” McKinney said. “We want to offer a full range of products to customers all over campus.”

Art Elements already offers an array of paper, pastels, pencils and a great deal of treats. Joshua Nelson, a barista, said he was originally drawn here by some of those treats.

“I came in for a quick bite, and now I’ve been working here since December,” Nelson said.

Nelson, a sophomore with a double major in English and history, said he loves working for the shop.

“I love the atmosphere,” Nelson said. “It’s my favorite part. It’s really different than anywhere else on campus. It’s got its own flavor. Everywhere else is so rushed; we’re all about getting to the next class, getting papers in and getting to work, but you come here and you’re liberated, and every student could use a bit of that.”

The staff and Brad Beazer, assistant director of retail, welcomed the changes to the store.

“I think it serves the needs of the arts community between the Browning Center and the Kimball Arts community,” Beazer said. “We’ll continue to evolve to meet the needs of this community as they change.”

Beazer said he’s looking forward to the extension of the bookstore.

“We want to tailor this to the arts; visitors are welcome,” Beazer said. “I think that our service is second to none, and we’re dedicated to giving the best possible customer experience that we can.”

Art Elements is located in the Kimball Arts Building and is currently hiring. Those interested can apply through the WSU website, where the position will be listed under “art services.”

“We want you to come,” McKinney said. “We want you to enjoy your time here, and we’re working to make it worth your while. Stop in; you won’t be sorry that you did.”