Culture News

Wet Paint Artist Supply to Stay Open

Good news for fans of Tempe's venerated art supply joint Wet Paint: The shop is going to stay open after all.

Despite announcing the impending closure of the long-running store (which has sold paint and other supplies to local artists and graf fiends for more than 11 years) back in May, owner Jessica Jordan decided to keep things going. Wet Paint was originally scheduled to close on July 1.

According to the 32-year-old artist, plans by two potential parties to take over Wet Paint's Ash Avenue space ultimately fell through. And as a result, she plans to keep the shop open for the foreseeable future.

"We had some issues with the buyers. I don't know exactly what happened, but they decided out of the blue to just back out of the deal," Jordan says. "So basically, long story short, is that they backed out and I decided to keep going. Everything happens for a reason, so we'll see what the future brings."

Jordan says she's currently in the process of discussing a new lease with the property's management, but isn't certain what sort of deal will be hammered out.

"It's going to be open-ended [and] we're just going to ride it out," Jordan says. "We're talking to our landlord [and] she's really cool. Instead of signing like a five-year lease we're going to work something else out. Nothing's guaranteed yet and I can't comment too much. She told us to hang tight, see how we feel, and we'll talk later, which is pretty much where we're at."

In the meantime, Jordan says she will be doing some remodeling to the store, including creating a studio for herself and other Wet Paint employees.

Wet Paint will also continue to participate in Tempe's Final Friday art walk, the monthly event that Jordan helped launch in 2005.

"That's my baby, I helped start it and coined it," she says. "We'll participate in some way or another. Overall, I'm glad just to see it take off again."

Adam Dumper, a longtime Wet Paint employee, is ecstatic that the store is remaining open.

"I'm stoked to be here longer, it's awesome," Dumper says. "Hopefully it all works out that she stays here as long as possible, because I love the place and I like to hang [out here]. And I don't have to look for another job."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.