Press Release

Mayor Newsom Opens Blick Art Materials In Central Market Cultural Arts District And Announces New San Francisco Arts Market

Opening of Blick Art Materials and New Arts Market at U.N. Plaza further anchors arts revitalization in Central Market neighborhood

08/18/10- Mayor Gavin Newsom today cut the ribbon with executives from Blick Art Materials at its new, expanded venue at 979 Market Street. Blick, a premier source of fine art supplies, framing/print services and gifts for artists, students, teachers and creative minds, has moved from its location at 1414 Van Ness Avenue into a much larger, more centrally located space on Market Street. The new store will stock more than 30,000 fine art products and the largest selection of stretched canvas in the country. Blick will also nearly double its employees in San Francisco, from 7 to 15 in the new store.

“Blick’s opening on Central Market and the weekly Arts Market at U.N. Plaza are major new milestones in our efforts to foster the growing cultural arts district in Central Market,” said Mayor Newsom. “Blick and the Arts Market will be cornerstones in attracting artists and arts entrepreneurs to the area and continue its economic and physical transformation.”

Mayor Newsom also announced a new San Francisco Arts Market, co-sponsored by Blick, which will be kicking off beginning Thursday, August 19th in UN Plaza and will run weekly on Thursday afternoons and evenings through the end of the year. The Arts Market, as well as upcoming events such as 24 Days of Central Market Arts, are all part of the Mayor’s Central Market Partnership, a comprehensive, public-private effort to revitalize Central Market through the arts. The City was recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in order to shepherd both near- and long-term efforts to transform the area into an eclectic and thriving arts and entertainment district.

A recent survey by Theatre Bay Area found that approximately 75 performing arts groups in the Bay Area are interested in expanding or relocating to Central Market. The City is prepared to capitalize on this interest by providing assistance with identifying space, feasibility studies, and financing for capital projects that focus on the arts district. The Mayor recently announced an $11.5 million loan fund for arts-oriented commercial projects in Central Market.

Edward Ogorzaly, Blick’s President of Retail, said Blick’s decision to open at this location was due to its central location, visibility, and to the momentum building around the cultural arts district on Central Market. “We look forward to serving the arts community in the City as well as in the immediate neighborhood and we are eager to participate in the transformation of the area,” he commented.

Blick Art Materials is a family-owned business that began celebrating its 100th anniversary in April. Blick is an industry leader in fine art supplies on the internet, mail-order and retail with more than 30 stores nationwide and growing. More than 75 percent of Blick’s employees are artists themselves. The Market Street store will feature a state-of-the-art Design Center providing custom framing and next-day service on quality digital canvas and prints. Blick’s Market Street store will host a number of community events between now and September 12th.