Joe Miller of Cheap Joe's Art Stuff
Joe Miller of Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Joe Miller of Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff in Boone, North Carolina.

The Cheap Joe’s team shares the following:

Our hearts are heavy as we share the passing of our fearless leader and founder, Joe “Cheap Joe” Miller.

Some of you have known Joe for many years and share the shock and sadness we are enduring. Joe lived his life demonstrating immense courage, gentleness, and a beloved spirit which we are all so lucky to have known him for.

Born on February 17th, 1939, Joe’s life was always connected in some ways to the arts. While he initially set forth to become a taxidermist with dreams of becoming a museum conservator, he eventually settled in at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Pharmacy. It was in practice at Boone Drug and while moonlighting as an artist that he began a small, corner “shop” he jokingly named “Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff.” The name stuck, and Joe later left his pharmacy career to grow Cheap Joe’s into a force in the art materials world.

Joe built a solid foundation at Cheap Joe’s – one rooted in personal, friendly, often humorous interactions. It was how he approached his customers (often personally delivering packages when traveling across the U.S.) and how he approached his business partners. It is with honor and great respect that we carry forward this tremendous legacy.

Joe’s passion and dedication to the art world earned him numerous accolades and awards – his highest honors being the recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, American Watercolor Society Dolphin Medal, North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and NWS Arts and Humanities Award for his contributions to his extremely broad community.

Cheap Joes Art Stuff - Joe Miller

It is at the request of Joe and his family that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Brushes for Vincent – a charitable organization designed by Joe to give persons in distress healing through art.

Funeral services will be held privately for the family.

For Joseph Miller and the Miller Family,
Written by Brian C. Dubberly


  1. I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Miller’s passing. I’ll always remember when I first met Joe in 1980. He was so friendly and we loved talking about the Arts, I was an Art instructor on Myrtle Beach, SC and then in Virginia. I always bought my supplies from Cheap Joe and sent my students to him also. It has been over 40 years and He will be missed by mauny people. Sending my regards to all his family and co-workers, may he rest in peace,
    Pam Nixon

  2. I am so sorry to learn of Joe’s passing. I have enjoyed over the many years the catalog and the emails, especially the two minute art tips. Great inspiration from Cheap Joe’s I have received! May he rest in peace! This is such a loss!

  3. This is so sad and a tremendous loss to the art community. May God’s blessings be on his family. I have bought supplies from Cheap Joe’s ever since he sent out that first flyer for art supplies for sale many years ago. I have always liked his humor and integrity as a good business person. We will miss you, Joe. Rest in Peace.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. I only did business with him from the long distance of Maine. Cheap Joe’s was always where I looked first for what I needed. What a wonderful life he seems to have had. Sympathies to his family. He will be missed.


  5. I have purchased art supplies online/phone orders from Joe for about 40 years. Always top quality and great prices.
    I would love to have met Joe but felt like he was a super guy from video messages and ads. It was a privilege to teach one of his online workshop last year. My sincere condolences to his family, rest in peace Joe.❤️

  6. It is with great sadness that I learned of Joe miller’s death. He was so kind and caring. The day I arrived for a workshop at Cheap Joes rain was pouring down. As I was struggling to get my supplies out of the car Joe ran up and said, “Let me help you!” That rush to help me as I struggled was my introduction to Joe. I’m sure many people have experienced his kindness beyond compare. I, like so many others, will miss him very much.

  7. I just found out about Joe Miller’s passing which was announced by Julie’s video. I’ve been a customer for several years and always loved getting his catalogs in the mail and the supplies I had ordered. I do wish I could have met him. I only was able to make a trip to the store in Boone only once and at that time it was the only Cheap Joe’s art store. I’m living here in Virginia and I do wish we could have his store here! Mr. Miller will certainly be missed by many of us who love to paint and enjoy art. My heart goes out to his family and those who had worked with him. May they feel the comfort of the Lord’s arms around them.


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