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Jon Wisthoff's art class at Williston Ace Hardware & Flooring

Hardware Manager Hosts In-Store Art Classes

An artist and painter, Jon Wisthoff is the store manager at Williston Ace Hardware & Flooring and wanted the residents of Williston, North Dakota, to have a local place to purchase art supplies. So, he added the niche category and came up with the idea to hold art classes in the store to promote the new art department. He posted signs about the classes around the store, and customers immediately started showing interest. Wisthoff hosted the first class in 2017, and he has been hosting around one class a month during the winter since then.

During the pandemic, Wisthoff had to put the classes on hold, but he was able to host them again earlier this year. Typically, Wisthoff will have five to nine people per class, and some have been in almost every class since they started. The classes are open to all experience levels.

Wisthoff has been a painter since 2012, when he took his first painting lesson and fell in love with the medium. He had a long-time interest in art and did pottery, sculpting and carving before taking up oil painting. When he paints, he primarily focuses on landscapes, so that is what he teaches in the classes.

“Most of the subjects I paint are abandoned farms close to where I live, so that is what we work on in class, focusing on everything from the sky to the buildings to water,” he says. “Each subject has its challenges, but it’s really fun to see how the paintings will vary between the artists and the style they put on the canvas.”

Read more Checkout stories about community outreach efforts here, including how Penn Valley True Value owner Scott Gutierrez supports local causes like area Little League teams and the chamber of commerce, how Northwest Hardware in Virginia and North Carolina supports the Salem Fair and how Will Becker and Brownsboro Hardware & Paint promote proper flag retirement.

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About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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