Blick Art Materials on High Street has announced it will be closing March 9 after serving the Columbus community for 17 years.
Blick — located in the Short North — made the announcement on Instagram, citing difficult parking, construction and development as major causes of the closing.
“We ask that you stop into our store, share your memories of shopping here, a store that has been a cornerstone of the #shortnorthartsdistrict for so many years,” the post said.
Undergraduate art students have been the most vocal on the loss of Blick, as many art classes require high-quality materials that can only be found in a specialized store. In addition, the walkable distance made the store accessible for students who lack access to transportation.
“I’ve talked to people who do not have cars, and they all say it’s extremely inconvenient. They don’t know where they’re going to go anymore,” said Sage Schroll, a third-year in zoology and vice president of Art-Effect, a student art activism organization.
In order to maintain a presence in the Short North, Blick will be hosting pop-up shops on campus. In addition, many of the materials artists need can be found online.
In spite of this, some students, such as Varuni Sureddy, a fourth-year in economics, don’t think pop-up locations or online stores will serve the same purpose as a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment.
“I believe as artists we feel very connected to sensory experiences,” Sureddy said. “Buying paints online might be practical for people, but as artists they might feel connected to a place because it speaks of experiences in a whole other dimension.”
Sureddy, president and founder of the campus art activism group Art-Effect, lives on campus and does not have a car, which limits her options to purchase supplies. More than just an inconvenience in practicality, Sureddy said the loss is also personal.
“Visiting Blick is like a ritual for me whenever I go to the Short North because, as an artist, I just feel I’m at home,” Sureddy said. “Even if I don’t go buy any stuff, me and my friends — we just go there … I’ve been doing that since my freshman year. Blick is like an identity that resonates deep within the artistic community here.”
Blick Art Materials will have clearance sales leading up to its closing.
The staff declined to comment when asked about Blick’s closure.