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.
Brent is basically the most incredible framer in Alaska. Maybe the world. We may be biased, but he’s pretty great. He’s pragmatic, dedicated, hard-working, and patient beyond words. He also has a killer sense of humor. He is witty, thoughtful, and has a great eye; especially when it comes to emphasizing the beauty of art. Oh, and did we mention that he is also an artist?! He’s well-versed in most artistic mediums. Brent is among Blaines elite, having experience running not only the framing department for over a decade, but having helped guide the culture of the entire store, too. He also has great taste in music! Is there anything Brent CAN’T do?? We think not.
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.
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.
Melody is our resident media maven. While she doesn’t identify as an artist, she often says that her passion for art- and the catharsis it brings- helped her complete her PhD in media psychology. Melody is a published researcher, and social media expert; she uses her vast experience in research to fuel the online content for Blaines. If you’re talking to Blaines online, it’s probably Melody. She loves experimenting with new art forms regularly, and is currently working on finding her artistic voice. When it comes to bullet journaling, zen style doodling, or social media branding, she’s your diva!
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!
Odessa is a new addition to the Blaines family. She is hard working, attentive, and friendly as can be. She works primarily in acrylic, but has recently begun exploring watercolors. Her art is unique, expressive, and vibrant. If she is in the store, she will likely be the first person to greet you, and won’t hesitate to do everything she can to make your visit enjoyable with no pressure, but lots of support. She’s an incredibly quick learner, and her passion for Blaines and art is nearly palpable. And her smile is contagious (seriously, we dare you to see her smile and not smile back… go ahead.. we’ll wait).
Lindsey is also a new addition to the store. She is a go-getter. Her networking and customer support skills are second-to-none. If Lindsey is in the store, the energy level is guaranteed to be at least doubled. She is a walking piece of art; from her hair down to her shoes, she is a beacon of creativity and artistry and we adore her. She’s tenacious, enthusiastic, and pragmatic. She is also an artist, specializing in mixed media art. She’s a sponge for ideas, especially ideas for creative applications and customizations. She could breathe new life into just about anything. Even Blaines.