Who We Are
As a fourth generation family run business, established in 1959, Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials has been proudly enabling diverse artists from all backgrounds and skill levels for over 60 years!
Over the years, Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials has gained great recognition and respect for being the destination store for a broad spectrum of art materials, highly knowledgeable staff, and above all, exceptional customer service! We bring a family-first approach to all that we do, which has truly helped us enrich our fellow artists and adapt to all the changes that come our way. Our community and service is of the utmost importance to us, and we are so grateful for each person we connect and build with, day in and day out!
We want to extend a massive thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years and continue to support us. And of course, Thank you to those that are new to our family’s embrace! We look forward to serving you all and supporting the arts community for many years to come.
A Brief Timeline
1959 - Mona Lisa began on the bustling 17th avenue in Calgary Alberta, operating out of the back corner of Buy Rite grocery store (now Analog Coffee)
Details: While selling groceries to the neighbours along 17th Ave. John and Hanna Beeger tapped into their passion and appreciation for art by selling art materials on a table in the back room of the grocery store. This ignited the vision to build and establish a well respected Art Salon & Framing shop. John’s parents (Jan and Helena ) then came from Poland to Canada to help establish this new “Art Salon”!
Established in 1959 Anthony Benjamin, 1969
1968 - The second generation elevates the business as Mona Lisa Art Salon was built and born into its new location (next door to the grocery store).
Details: In its early beginnings, Mona Lisa operated as a Gallery and Framing shop (1968 to 1977). In conjunction with local artist, the gallery had artists from all sectors (painter, sculptors, potters, weavers, and more!) come from as far away as Poland, Holland, Czechoslovakia and France. The reputation of the framing business rapidly expanded, due to its pristine work with old world craftsmanship and perfectionism.
1978 - A Third Generation begins as Marc Beeger (John & Hanna’s son) joined the business - The next vision was soon to be realized!
Details: Marc initiated a transition from Art Gallery, into a full retail art materials and frame shop. Softly guided by his parents and with a fresh new enthusiasm, innovative ideas and a traditional perspective on customer service, he began to gently grow the business.
Marc Beeger & his mother, Hanna Beeger, Mona Lisa
Artists’ Materials Ltd. Click here to read article (03/21/04).
1980 - A new beginning takes place as John and Hanna’s daughter, Jolanda Cundy, gradually began to take over some of Hanna’s responsibilities and as such.
Details: John & Hanna slowly began to pass on the business, and began 'practicing' for their retirement. For years to come, the business continued to expand and adapt to the needs of artists across Western Canada. Whether spotlighting local artists, organizing events, weaving together the arts community, or simply building meaningful connections, Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials focused on bringing a family dimension to all aspects of the business, allowing us to build relationships and expand the business with pride.
2004 - Fast-forwarding to the Fourth Generation where Marc’s daughter Jennifer Beeger decided to embrace and carry forward the family’s passion and admiration for the arts & art materials.
Details: To better serve the arts world, Jennifer began her “Mona Lisa Schooling” under the guidance of her father. From there forward, with fresh eyes and a new found energy for change and exploration, Jennifer’s quest has become making something that was great, into something even better!
2022- Remaining grateful and eager to be heading Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials Jennifer continues to carry on the Beeger family’s very own work of Art that is “The” Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials. In doing so, our official online store was launched as a means of continuing to do what we do best - enabling artists and creatives!
Future - Many more beautiful moments and memories to come...We look forward to creating them with you!