Welcome To One of Western Canada’s Largest Fine Art Supply Retailers
We are a fourth generation family run business which has been supplying artists of all ages for over 50 years. Established in 1959 Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials provides excellent customer service combined with a broad spectrum of products and technical knowledge. Clients from Beginner to professional find everything they need to achieve their artistic goals.
A Little History
On a bustling little street corner in the back room of the “Buy Rite” grocery store (Now Analog Coffee), began the early days of what was to eventually become “Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials”
In 1959, while selling groceries to the neighbors along 17th ave. ( Marc would deliver groceries with his little red wagon); John and Hanna Beeger decided to tap into their passion and appreciation for art by selling art materials on a table in the back room of the grocery store. What started out as a table of art materials would soon ignite a new vision…that vision was to build and establish a successful and respected Art Salon & Framing shop. To achieve this dream, Jan and Helena Beeger, John’s parents, came from Poland to Canada to help establish the new “Art Salon”!
As such, in 1968 Mona Lisa Art Salon was built and born into its new location ( next door to the grocery store).
In its early beginnings, Mona Lisa operated as a Gallery and Framing shop ( between 1968 and 1977).
In Conjunction with local artist, the young gallery had artists come from as far away as Poland, Holland, Czechoslovakia and France. The spectrum of artists included many oil painters, sculptors, potters, ceramicists, watercolourists, screen printers, wood cut and block printers and weavers just to name a few!
On the framing side of the business, the reputation grew to be known as second to none when it came to the old world craftsmanship and perfectionism.
This all encompassing art centered business created by the Beeger’s paved the way for the third generation of Beeger’s
In 1978, Marc Beeger (John & Hanna’a son) joined the business and the next vision was to be realized.
Marc initiated a transiton from Art Gallery, into a full retail art materials and frame shop. Softly guided by his parents and with a fresh new enthusiasm, innovative ideas and an old world perspective on customer service, Marc began to gently grow the business. In 1980, Jolanda Cundy ( John and Hanna’s daughter) gradually began to take over some of Hanna’s responsibilities and as such, John & Hanna; with their 2 children beginning to run the business, slowly began to step back and started practicing for retirement.
Over the next 24 years Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials gained great recognition and respect for being the destination store for a broad spectrum of art materials, highly knowledgable staff, and above all, exceptional customer service.
In 2004, Marc’s daughter Jennifer Beeger ( 4th generation) decided to embrace and carry forward the Beeger family’s passion and pride for the arts & art materials world by beginning her “Mona Lisa Schooling” under the guidance of her father.
From there forward, with fresh eyes and a new found energy for change and exploration, Jennifer’s quest has become making something that was great, into something even better! Jennifer and the new generation of Beeger’s are excited and ever grateful for the opportunity to carry on the Beeger family’s very own work of Art that is “The” Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials.
Thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years and continue to support us, and thank you to those that are new to our family’s embrace! We look forward to serving you all and supporting the arts community for many years to come.
Opening day of the “Mona Lisa Art Salon” October 17th, 1969
Lieutenant Governer Grant MacEwan was present for the opening Day in the gallery photo.
Sr. John Beeger, John Beeger(son) Lt. Governor Grant MacEwan and Alderman John Auger all present at the opening day of the Mona Lisa Art Salon (see photo above right).
When it comes to the longevity of retail shops in the Beltline, Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials Ltd. is a true grand master.
About the Store
Located at 1518 7th street S.W. the family-owned and operated business has been on the same block for nearly 54 years, and in its current building since 1968.
The 3,000-square-foot shop carries a range of fine art supplies and materials-there are about 25,000 different items in stock-to suit any skill level.
Product lines include Winsor Newton, Golden, Holbein, Rembrandt, Schminke, Sharpie, Staedtler, Faber Castell, Canson, Arches, Kolinsky, Speedball, Van Aken, Liquitex, Fabriano, M Graham&Co, Prismacolor, Krylon, Gotrick, Logan, Pilot, Sculpey and many many more.
Please stop in and say hello to the staff and family here at Mona Lisa we look forward to seeing you and establishing an ongoing relationship with you . “Creativity starts here”
Please enjoy our website and keep coming back to our “Blog” page to see what’s new and what we are featuring.