Cool vibes at the art supply

An event honoring Paul Solis Cohen was held last Wednesday outside of Catskill Art Supply in Woodstock where he was presented with the ‘keys to the town’. (Photo by Dion Ogust)

Friends, former employees and former customers gathered at Catskill Art Supply in Woodstock last week to mark the end of an era and celebrate the next chapter in owner Paul Solis-Cohen’s life. The event, a surprise to Solis-Cohen, included the awarding of the Key to the Town by town supervisor Bill McKenna.

“Paul ushered in the next new era during 42 years of overlapping eras,” Solis-Cohen’s wife, Maria DeFranco said during the tribute. “And now? The future is now! The paint is flying. The hawk is flying. Revel in the next act, my dear. You are fun to watch.”

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Woodstock institutions like Grand Union, Duey’s and Deanie’s are all gone, but Catskill Art Supply has remained, she noted. Solis-Cohen recently closed the art and office supply part of the Woodstock location, while the framing shop, graphics and copy service and curbside pickup will remain. The Mill Hill Road location opened in 1978 and soon, the business expanded, adding the Kingston location in 1983 and Poughkeepsie in 1988. 

The change is part of an effort to consolidate the art and office supply end of the business to survive an ever-changing retail climate made even more challenging by Covid 19. He closed the Poughkeepsie store in 2019 and converted it to a next-day-delivery location.

Solis-Cohen will use the former retail space in Woodstock for warehousing to supply the Kingston store, which recently moved from Wall Street to the Kingston Plaza.