Our story begins in 1975 when two young artists, Jon and Suzanne Winston, realized that the community needed a great art store. They set up shop in a picturesque storefront on Barre Street in downtown Montpelier.
In 1982, Jon and Suzanne had discovered a better location at 22 Main Street in downtown Montpelier. By the fall of 1982, Jon and Suzanne were ready to move on. Ray Brown and Jody Wilson had decided to give up art teaching and framing careers in Boston to relocate to Vermont. In January 1983, with a passion for art but no business education they became the proud and terrified owners of The Drawing Board.
In 1987 the Browns invested in building a frame making shop in the basement. This allowed them to improve their services and expand their inventory of frame moulding and art materials. Then, the devastating flood of 1992 hit Montpelier. The Drawing Board suffered huge losses. The shop was gutted and was completely restored and renovated to its 19th century charm.
In 2007, Ray Brown retired from the business after a stroke. After his recovery, Ray went on to pursue his love of painting full time. In 2011, long term manager Liz Walsh become part-owner in perpetration for Jody's retirement in 2017. In August 2017, the torch was passed on to Liz Walsh as solo owner of The Drawing Board.
In 2020, The Staff at The Drawing Board celebrated 45 years in downtown Montpelier with the addition of a new classroom space on the second floor of the building! Here's to the next 45 years of inspiring artist in Central Vermont!
Along with reopening the art supply and frame shop at 22 Main, The Drawing Board took on the challenge of bring a print shop back to Montpelier at 32 Main St.
On July 11, 2023 The Downtown in Montpelier was devastated by a major flood. The Drawing Board took on about 8.5ft of water completely filling the basement and rising a few inches on the street level. With the help ofthe generous support from volunteers and the community, The Drawing Board reopened in October 2023.