What do you say about the man that owns your favorite place in the whole world, exemplifies compassion, tolerance, humility, and the spirit of adventure? Not much.. but he IS the coolest cat on the block. Any block. And Copper will back us up on this. Dave came up to Alaska because he had gotten a taste and knew it was home. Shortly after arriving, he started working at Blaines as a cashier where he met his beloved wife, Rene. Eventually, they would take up the mantle of Blaines’ legacy.
Though he had a long career with the railroad, Dave is also a fantastic artist. He has used it all; oils, acrylic, watercolors, gouache, and more. He even taught art classes. He and Copper are beloved by everyone at the store. Dave has passed the torch to Amanda, but we love seeing him in the store. We couldn’t ask for better stories of Anchorage’s past, the adventures Dave has been on, or the history of Blaines. He’s one-of-a-kind, and he’s ours. But the time has come for us to let him spread his light to the rest of the world. We suppose we’ll share him… if we have to.
Amanda is our store manager and resident super hero. Some people say she is a superstition; others say she’s born of pure mythology… but she’s real. Her super powers include organization, rearranging displays to hold three times the amount anyone else can get out, making products appear out of thin air, and welcoming unsuspecting employees to work. She is a beam of sunshine. She has a degree in art, her specialty being oils, but she’s experienced in most media. Amanda isn’t afraid to get on the floor (sometimes literally) and do the dirty work. She’s fair, understanding, and dedicated to making Blaines our home. She is the future of Blaines, and we couldn’t be happier. Oh, and did we mention that she’s also an excellent friend and mom?? We’re very happy to have her as our leader, and very grateful to be her chosen family.
Cade is a lifelong Alaskan and an incredible watercolor and oil artist. He specializes in plein air painting, but has an unbelievable amount of knowledge about pretty much every art style and topic out there, including digital art. In fact, Cade is our resident product knowledge guru. He is hard-working, dedicated, genuine, and generous. He’s well known in the Anchorage art community, probably because he’s always got a kind word of support and encouragement.
Cade is also our brand-new Framing Manager here at Blaines! His attention to detail, propensity for soaking up knowledge, and thoughtful nature are already proving helpful in his new position, and he is building a team of framers that Blaines is proud to call family. CONGRATS, CADE!!
When it comes to the Blaines elite, Georgia comes to mind. She is the spirit of our store and an amazing artist. Focusing on tone and form, her eye for sultry shapes and fantasy design are unique, and her art can often be found at The Look in Anchorage. She is a breath of fresh air and her knowledge is vast. She has been with Blaines for over 13 years, is a lifelong Alaskan, and one of the most supportive people you could ever hope to meet. If you ever need a dose of cheer with your art shopping, come say hi to Georgia.
Alicia is a watercolor and oil painter, and she’s happy to share her expertise with you. She is also kind, supportive, and compassionate. Not only is she creative, she’s also brilliant! She has a graduate degree in Marine Biology and is a published researcher, but decided that art is her passion and changed direction. In the store, Alicia is the coffee bar manager, keeps our book section packed of useful info, and she schedules our gallery shows! You can see her art adorning the walls behind the coffee bar and looking out over the store. She also makes a MEAN frappe.
Andrew is an Alaskan transplant from the equally frozen state of Minnesota. He is an incredible cartooning and ink artist. His pieces are tonal, moody, and layered to perfection. Andrew is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people around, always eager to make everyone’s shopping experience painless. Andrew is supportive, an amazing teacher, and a ray of sunlight for his co-workers. He’s quick witted, down-to-earth, and our resident music enthusiast. He’s full of knowledge about most things in the store, but his expertise lies in pens, alcohol markers, and tonal art. If you’re looking to explore cartooning, manga, or drawing emotive faces, Andrew is your new go-to.
Aside from being our resident tabletop gaming expert, Crystal is also a powerhouse in a sweet, gentle, patient package. After her career as a cytogeneticist (yeah… we know… wow), Crystal followed her heart to a career in the art world. Though she had a minor in art, and has explored many facets of making, Crystal’s favored medium is encaustics. At Blaines, she can typically be found behind the framing counter, but she’s always eager to help and inspire. And she’s very good at it. You might say it’s.. in her genes.
Amy is one of the most enthusiastically helpful humans you will ever meet. We’re not even sure she’s entirely human; she’s very likely part angel, too. Her outlook on life is bright, her passion for art is inspiring, and her love of people is genuine. Amy loves exploring her artistic side and fearlessly creates, pouring her heart into her projects. But she also pours her heart into all of the interactions with customers and her fellow staff. She also makes amazing coffees! Amy and Kaladi are like a match made in caffeinated heaven!
Ian is one of the very hard working members of the Framing department here at Blaines. He is quick with a joke, a silly little dance, or a cheerful word. Ian has a background in art, having attended an art institute. While he’s an amazing artist with charcoal and other dry media, his passion is for creating amazing sculptures and creations from found items and other non-traditional art forms. From gears and gadgets, to plastic and wood, his creativity knows no bounds; nor do his generosity and compassion. When he’s not at work, he enjoys customizing dolls with his lovely daughter, caring for any number of creepy crawlies and fur babies, and just being a super rad dude (we’re pretty sure he can’t help that part, though). His energy, can-do attitude, and smile are among our favorite things about Ian.
Gwen is one of the recent new additions to the Blaines family. She is soft-spoken, gentle, kind, and always thinking of ways to make people feel safe, loved, and accepted. She also has an educational background in art! Her favorite medium is markers, and her line art is animated, quirky, and unique, just like her. Gwen may be one of the most compassionate listeners we’ve ever had. Her genuine concern for others makes her a great friend, co-worker, and human. We’re so excited she’s on our team. We can’t wait to see what she does with her platform, her art, and her STUNNING teal hair!
Noah has a seemingly encyclopedic understanding of art. The history of colors, the history of brands, the way things are manufactured… they all live in his genius mind. Noah specializes in oil painting; specifically figures and portraits. And yes, he painted this stunningly accurate portrait of himself. While Noah’s medium is oil, his ability to absorb and synthesize information about products, artists, and processes makes him a force. Honestly, he is even learning the ins and outs of coffee art. Noah’s intelligence, passion, and interest in others’ stories makes him an addition to Blaines that we never knew we needed, but seriously adore.
Aaron is our newest Blaines family member. While he’s only been here a very short time, he has already shown his drive, determination, and hunger for knowledge. He is a BEAST (in the BEST possible way) when it comes to soaking up information, helping customers, and exceeding expectations. What a powerhouse of a human! He loves animation, dry media, and has an appreciation for digital and graphic art. He definitely brightens up the mood with his engaging, curious, and unstoppable energy. We’re excited to learn more about Aaron, and so very happy to have him in the shop with us while we do!