The Art Shop brings custom designs to life

by Danielle Jackson


As the second-oldest business in Greensboro, The Art Shop has quite a history. And while it’s always had a focus on art and custom framing, the retail business has evolved through the years as well.


But just because its focus is on art doesn’t mean that only art lovers should stop in.


“If you’ve ever felt intimidated walking into an art gallery, you won’t feel that way here,” says Arlene Dolin, vice president and co-owner of the retail art business.


The shop exudes a feeling of casual elegance rather than stuffiness, allowing customers to peruse its collections — including original oil paintings and limited-edition graphics on canvas — and ask its expert staff questions along the way. Even its entrance is welcoming, with an atrium adorned with beautiful columns.


“You’ll see everything from traditional still lifes to contemporary works by the world’s most collected artists,” Dolin says.


“We also have whimsical sculptures, traditional bronze sculptures and fine art glass.”


A storied past

Dolin and her husband, Lenny, purchased the shop in 1989 from his father, Stan, who bought it in 1964 and moved it up Market Street from its original downtown location. The Art Shop’s current space at 3900 W. Market St. is only the fourth spot for the gallery in its 111-year history — all on the same street.


Its original focus was on art, custom framing and photography, but when Stan Dolin took over he dropped the photography aspect of the business and concentrated on custom framing, art, and supplies. Today, the Dolins, who built a state-of-the-art gallery in 2000, focus exclusively on art and custom framing.


The Art Shop also offers expert hanging services; art, framing and photo restoration; and free design assistance. Its commercial art and framing division serves hotels, office buildings, and medical facilities throughout the Triad.


Through its Web site, the shop has developed an extensive international customer base, selling and shipping art and framing to clients throughout the world. And its experienced staff — five of whom have been there for a decade or more — can handle everything from the most basic to the most complicated framing projects.


“It’s quite unusual in retail to find a business with such long-term employees, but we’re a family-owned business and I think that translates into a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for anyone visiting our gallery,” Dolin says.


“A highly experienced and knowledgeable staff is our biggest asset.”


Danielle Jackson is editor of Triad Living, Wake Living and Fifteen501 magazines.


All about art

The Art Shop, located at 3900 W. Market St. in Greensboro, will host several events this fall and early winter, including a two-man show featuring Korean-born artist Sam Park and Hungarian artist Siska Nov. 19-20 and a holiday open house Dec. 3. For more information on the retail art gallery, call (336) 855-8500 or visit