It is hard to argue against the re-gentrification of State Street downtown. For rent signs, and torn up buildings in disrepair on a major drag through the heart of Loop says a lot about Chicago, and none of it is good. But what is good is that these empty, gutted storefronts are being renovated and new businesses are opening up. Especially the giant two-story Dick Blick at State and Monroe. It’s gonna be SWEET! Yay! Tons of art supplies! Dick Blick will probably make about 80% of its money off of Art Institute students rushing to class from the dorms. If only they also sold drugs and used records.
Dick Blick is open now, but the Grand Opening, according to their website, is February 9th. Don’t shed a tear. Utrecht and Pearl are both chains too, and its not like Flax is the best thing under the sun in terms of supplies. It is more of a frame shop. So be happy, you will now be able to get tons of cool and neato stuff at the art world’s Ikea.
Last year Dick Blick Art Materials acquired all 11 The Art Store stores. So now The Art Store store on North Avenue by Old Navy is part of the Dick Blick family.
Here is some more fun history of the Blick legacy. Dick Blick was founded in 1911 by Mr. and Mrs. Dick Blick. (Mr. Dick Blick is pictured above) It was a mail order art supply company whose catalog was a small pamphlet and its store room a kitchen. Yadda yadda yadda it is now a huge art supply company with a massive mail order catalogue and several stores.