Identical Panel, Different Brand?

ampersand gessobord ampersand value series art supply reviews Blick studio artists' boards panel

My favorite paintings surface, hands down, is Ampersand Gessobord. They're a little on the pricey side...but so worth it, since they're magic. A few months ago however I bought a lot of these Blick panels, they're not terrible, but they have this weird canvas texture on them that bothers me sometimes...they're just not quite as magical.

Then I stumbled upon these at Art Essentials downtown:

I was instantly intrigued, a value series from Ampersand? What makes them different from regular Ampersand? I quickly inspected them only to find that they're the exact same panels as the Blick ones. With the same weird canvas texture, and the strange hang hole in the back of the flat ones, and available in all the same sizes. Have any of you had similar discoveries?

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