I need help with a woocommerce navigation menu

I'm trying to convert my site to a wp woocommerce site. I need advice on the best navigation structure available in wp & woocommerce.

The old site is at http://www.artunframed.com and the new site is at http://artunframed.com/Gallery/

You can see a product page at http://artunframed.com/Gallery/shop/lord-nelson/

Basically, I need to create a navigation structure for 100's of artists and 1000's of paintings.

I'm trying an alphabetical uber menu on the top menu .

I'm inexperienced with woocommerce though. Am I right to assume each artist needs to be a distinct product category?

Each artist needs to have a devoted page/s, displaying the painting thumbnails. eg a Van Gogh page with 20 thumbnails.

Also, could there be a second menu on the left sidebar, grouping artists by art styles eg impressionism ?

Also, would it help (or is it possible) to have sub categories in woocommerce?

Any advice on this would be welcome!