CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Twenty-five years of local history go up for sale Saturday when the contents of Pro-Art & Framing in Charleston hit the auction block.
"If you're an artist you can definitely come in and get your fill of whatever you need," said auctioneer Andrew Robinson.
A downtown Charleston staple, Pro-Art & Framing incorporated in 1986, and was a popular resource for artists. In addition to art supplies and custom framing services, owner Jack Trail frequently showcased the works of local artists in the store's front windows.
Trail declared bankruptcy in February. The closure of the store at 187 Summers St. took many local people by surprise.
"Every time we've been over here to start straightening things up we've had two or three people stop by and ask if they're open again," Robinson said.
Trail has not publicly discussed the store's closing. Bankruptcy trustee Bob Johns said Saturday's auction is to help pay off creditors.
Inside, most of the store's contents remain in place. It looks like staff just locked the doors to go to lunch and never came back.
"I think they just cleaned out some paperwork and things and everything just stayed on the shelves," Robinson said.
Although starting to gather dust, shelves remain stocked with paints, brushes, easels and other equipment. Robinson said everything will be for sale.
Contents left in the store include dozens and dozens of art prints by the late William D. Goebel, who made a name for himself doing intricate line drawings of famous buildings throughout the state. "I think we've probably got 100-some Goebels," Robinson said.
He said art prints will be sold individually, but the contents of the store are so vast most items will be sold by lot.
"With this much quantity we're going to have to sell an awful lot of lots," Robinson said.
Other items up for sale include drafting and drawing tables, artists' canvasses, modeling clay, plaster of paris, art books, sketchbooks, poster boards, drawing tools, matting and framing materials. Store fixtures will also be for sale.
The auction begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. Robinson said potential bidders can get a preview of the contents beginning at 9 a.m. For information, call 304-545-7378.Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.