Central Art's Historic Timeline
George Ebert was managing Towmotor Parts in Coos Bay, OR for his father-in-law. George’s wife, Sally, was an artist trying to find a place to sell her paintings. They found space for a small gallery in the parts store.
Sally was a smart painter. She needed art supplies to keep up with her paintings, so she bought a rack of paint and brushes. What she didn’t use for herself, they put out in the parts store to sell and the next thing you know, an art supply business began developing. In addition, George got involved in the fledgling business by making custom frames for Sally’s paintings and soon others came to him for framing also.
Laying the Foundation
With the lumber industry failing, Towmotor Parts shut down. George and Sally added more art supplies and converted the parts store to “La Petite Art Gallery”. Shortly after, George and Sally divorced, Sally attempted to keep the gallery and art supply business, but realized that she wasn’t set up to run a business, so she sold it back to George.
A Team Effort
George marries Winnie and asks her to come work at the store. Winnie became a big influence in the business by handling inventory, organizing and merchandising. Together George and Winnie built the business into a reputable art materials and custom framing store with a loyal clientele including customers from as far as Portland and Seattle.
Room to Grow
To make more space for the growing art supply and framing business, George builds a 3 story building on the same property and renames it “Ebert’s Art Center”. The first story was art supplies. Ready-made frames and custom framing occupied the 2nd story of the building. The third story was an apartment that the Ebert family lived in.
A Change of Scenery
George and Winnie move to Medford, OR to expand and open an additional art business with George’s brother and his wife. They bought the old “Fluhrer’s Bakery” building on 6th and Ivy in downtown Medford and refurbished it to make an art and framing store on the first level and apartments on the second level.
Location, Location, Location
The partnership faded. George and Winnie took the art supply portion of the business and his brother and wife took the framing business. George and Winnie moved the store to its permanent home on 6th and Central and changed its name to Central Graphic and Art Supply. In a time before computers, a large portion of the business was ad layout and graphic design products in addition to the art supplies. The Coos Bay store closed.
Building a Framework
Dan buys “The Bevel Works” custom framing, which was in the basement of Central Graphic and Art Supply. Within a year he moves it up to street level next to the store, which is now the classroom. Around this same time Dan marries Ann, who quickly realized she had gained not just a husband, but also a business.
Same Place, New Face
With the emergence of computer graphics the commercial end of the business went away. Store name changes to Central Art Supply to better represent and reflect what the business was going to be focusing on. A new facelift inside and out including a Teal Awning was put up.
Dan sells Bevel Works to go to work for UPS to better support his growing family. The new owner only keeps the framing business for a year before going to work elsewhere. Custom framing is no longer part of Central Art Supply.
A Family Business:
The Next Generation
Keeping the business in the family, George and Winnie sell business to their son Dan and his wife Ann. At that point Dan and Ann have 4 children who become part of the business also by helping with cleaning, putting labels on newsletters for mailing, and occasionally starring in commercials for the store. Since then, Dan and Ann have added an additional 5 children (bringing the total to 9), and all of them carry on the Ebert-child-tradition of working in the family business and can be spotted cleaning, helping customers and working on inventory.
Dan and Ann’s belief and commitment to family has crossed over into their business, where they feel that their staff and customers are an important extension of their family and community.
Dan decides to bring custom framing back at Central Art Supply and hires Peggy, with her many years of framing experience, to head up that department which quickly becomes a leader in custom framing in the area.
Name changes to Central Art to better represent their position in the region as a center for all things art: supplies, framing, classes, events, community happenings and support for local art related organizations. New outside façade improvement, new logo and new website are created to better represent the growth and commitment to the local art community.