The state of the Art Store – WE ARE OPENWe are announcing some tragic news. As of the first week of December we decided to cancel classes until positive covid cases had come down. A needed respect to our local community.This decision was shortly supported by my mother, Pam Kendall (class manager), many of you met over this last year, testing positive in the 2nd week of December. The outbreak was found to be from an apartment building meeting to discuss bonuses given to the staff held shortly after Thanksgiving. This meeting attended by many other tenants ALL MASKED and SOCIALLY DISTANCED. This meeting produced a high positive testing result (almost all attendees) and many others were hospitalized. My mother’s doctor then misdiagnosing, disallowing any preventative therapies during this time. She was then denied hospital care due to the chaos as the cases grew and people were sent home. My mother put up a very strong fight, again having her doctor not stop a medication that was suppressing her kidney function. Her health cascaded, made sure her husband (my father) and I were safe and entered the hospital for the 2nd time with severe difficulties in breathing. She passed in early January of underlying conditions caused by her psychiatric medication inducing this kidney suppression. Before her passing, she said this last year was a blessing for her after fighting back from long term black mold poisoning causing her mental illness and loved meeting you all. Before restarting the Art Store in 2019, she and I had discussed that her love for people and it gave her much joy to help others. That she also loved being part of the team to rebuild the Art Store. In this, she saw why art is so important to quality of life. The community and our staff will miss this beacon of light.At the time of my mom’s positive testing, our staff was tested which resulted in all negative results. The store was sanitized. Exhausted. Quarantined. The testing included any contacted staff. Patrick Harper (our painting instructor) tested NEGATIVE at this time. 8 or 9 days later, he admitted himself into the hospital for respiratory distress. At which time, he tested positive. He had taught classes in his home and in other studios. No Art Store classes were being taught by this instructor at the time (he was in Mexico for dental surgery during this window) so no contact to students was determined. Our assumption is that the separate outbreak was from Mexico. He passed in early January as well. We lost an amazing instructor, artist and friend in Patrick Harper. This community will sorely miss.Please remember that my mom’s apartment meeting was of all attendees masked and properly spaced. That a strong immune system is needed to survive this pandemic. My sister and I were able to get the frontline meds to my father who also was positive shortly after contact with my mother, He is nearly recovered at 84. The therapies from, frontline doctors do work but need to be administered during the first phase of the symptoms (exhaustion and loss of taste and smell). Any misdiagnosed person such as my mother (6 day misdiagnosing by her doctor) is past this window. BE ASSERTIVE! Make sure the proper therapies are available. Kidney function is very important to this disease. Take it from somebody like me, a stage 4 systemic candidiaisis victim of our medical system. Kidneys mean a lot as mine failed due to the toxins released from a systemic infection similar to Covid. Please discuss with your doctor if any of your medications are ones that cause kidney dysfunction.We are not closing. Just on a classbreak. At this time, the community needs therapy outlets and art therapy is one of the best there is for anxiety. As well as online retailers have abused communities for years. Its time to shop local as much as you can. Support your locals instead of online businesses hundreds and thousands of miles away. Please remember that curbside and in-store pickup is still offered.We have sanitized and quarantined as needed. The studio is being used for cleanup of the Christmas season but will most likely be reopening for classes in March. We are watching the covid numbers expectantly and will only reopen the studio as the community is in less danger. – Keith Kendall, owner and manager, The Art Store, LLC.