Former Cartoonist Opens Paint Box Gallery & Framing

After years of talking about opening an art gallery and custom framing shop, Philip Kirkpatrick, an artist who drew a weekly cartoon for Arkansas Business prior to its redesign last year, and his photographer wife, Cathy, finally got the opportunity.

In mid-September, the couple opened Paint Box Gallery & Framing at 705 Main St. in North Little Rock, next door to the Argenta Bead Co., in the purple building.

The location was home to the Ketz Gallery, but it closed in July and the Kirkpatricks hated to see it go. So with Cathy’s prodding and 19 years of custom framing experience on his side, Philip Kirkpatrick made a call inquiring about what was to become of the space. From there everything just fell into place.

The 1,500-SF gallery now features the Kirkpatricks’ work and that of other Arkansas artists: Karlyn Holloway of Austin, Jan Ironside of Rogers, Marty Smith of Cabot, Angela Green and Robin Bookhout of North Little Rock, Dixie Shelton of Little Rock and others.

From small greeting cards for $5 to $1,300 paintings, with limited edition prints, photography and ceramics in between, Kirkpatrick said, there is something for everyone.

In the years to come, he said, he hopes the gallery becomes a main destination for people who are looking for art in Little Rock and North Little Rock. “And I especially hope they’ll think of us when they want to get something framed,” he added.

For anyone else looking to turn the talk of owning a business into a reality, Kirkpatrick warns against underestimating the costs for things such as advertising, starting a website (which he’s still working on) and giant utility deposits.

“Everything costs way more than you think it will to start a business,” he said.

But by just giving the place a new coat of paint, doing some minor rearranging and purchasing used equipment, the Kirkpatricks were able to launch the business for less than $20,000, which they financed through Bank of the Ozarks.

The Paint Box Gallery & Framing is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (501) 374-2848.