From left to right,
William Welch, vice president of ArtLine Ltd.; Kathy and
Jim Thiel, CEO and owners.
WAUKESHA — Twenty-six years ago after a serious car
accident, Kathy Thiel started ArtLine out of necessity.
Kathy was in art sales and after the accident she was in
a wheelchair. She wasn’t able to walk for six months and
her past employer let her go because she was a
saleswoman who couldn’t travel and see clients.
that point Kathy decided to pick up the phone and call
past clients, people she previously worked with, and
started her own company.
started her company from her hospital bed,” said William
Welch, vice president of ArtLine. “She got orders from
clients before we really had a business.”
Founded in 1992 by Kathy and her husband Jim Thiel,
ArtLine, Ltd. has established itself as a premier art
and framing company but is also the leader in developing
an entire line of interactive therapeutic art for memory
care. Additionally, they design and manufacture high
quality case goods including lights, cabinets, mirrors
and bulletin boards — with American materials from
American small businesses.
actually do about 10 percent of our business in
Wisconsin and 90 percent of our business is national or
in Canada,” Welch said.
Life Stations are sold to nursing homes and memory care
facilities to provide therapy that utilizes the habits
memory patients used to have and helps them remember
what they used to do, which increases cognitive memory.
Waukesha-based ArtLine is family-owned and as a family
has been at the forefront of the process, production and
looked at requests from our clients for other types of
products they were looking for so we developed a whole
line of therapeutic interactive memory care art then we
went and developed memory skill life stations,” said
Another reason why the memory products were created was
that Welch’s grandparents had Alzheimer’s disease and
the family experienced watching them deteriorate over
time, so they realized there was a need for a product.
Memory care products include audio art, tactile art and
life stations and more.
Stations were created specifically for residents
diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
station allows patients to utilize habits that they used
developed a kitchenette, a workbench called The
Handyman, and a gardening station,” said Welch. “They
can still continue to do what they used to do when they
were living on their own and helped them to remember the
things that they used to do which increases their
cognitive memory. “One thing that Kathy always stresses
about this business is that everybody that works here,
every objective that we have and every product is made
to help people,” Welch said. “It’s a very passionate
information on ArtLine, Ltd can be found at