Whether you’re looking for professional art supplies, decorating your room, in need of material for an art project (because CVS just does not sell construction paper), or scouring for material for Big/Little reveals, you’ll likely find yourself needing to restock on art supplies at some point during the semester. Not to worry—the options are out there. Here are four stores, depending on your needs, to go to:
Blick Art Materials
1330 Chestnut St.
An underground depot with the glossiest hardwood flooring in Center City, Blick Art Materials is the art enthusiast’s El Dorado. Its wide selection features massive shelves of Prismacolor, stacks upon stacks of canvases, convenient tabletop easels, and—a rare find—individually sorted Sharpies of every size, tip, and hue. For any type of art supply you can think of, you’ll stumble across five or six different brands of it in Blick. Given its sheer size and variety, the store is definitely worth carving out your Saturday to explore. Scan the aisles, check out the art demos, and make out with your new haul.
TL;DR: All–encompassing secret warehouse for brand–savvy artists.
The Trip: Ten minutes by Uber or Lyft, fifteen by SEPTA.
Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing
3200 Chestnut St.
Only a short trek from Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall, Plaza serves as the campus go–to for art students and casual artists alike. Ink, brushes, graphite, vellum, charcoal, stationery—Plaza has it all. Even aside from its diverse inventory and famously friendly staff, Plaza’s top–notch custom framing services are also perfect for any artwork you’ve already finished. If you’re aiming to strike a balance between convenient location and heaps of product variety, Plaza is an ideal option. Take your time wandering through its two spacious stories while basking in natural light from floor–to–ceiling windows.
TL;DR: Sleek, good–natured supply store for the travel–averse.
The Trip: Just walk there.
Artist & Craftsman Supply
307 Market St.
Come for the rainbow–colored storefront; stay for the painted ceilings and unique supply of goods. With an equal blend of fine arts and crafts–related supplies, Artist & Craftsman is a great source for yarn, polymer clay, model kits, origami paper, and more. Aspiring multimedia artists and experimentalists could very likely find inspiration in the store’s eclectic offers and lively atmosphere.
TL;DR: Wacky and wonderful.
The Trip: Ten minutes by Uber or Lyft.
3601 Walnut St.
Outshining its name, the Penn Bookstore sells pretty much anything students could ever need—including art supplies. Though its product variety is fairly limited, it is the most convenient location for students who simply need to grab a pack of pencils or a couple of canvases. Stop by to browse the merch section once again, buy a drink from Starbucks, and pick up some sketchbooks and acrylics for your weekend project.
TL;DR: Did I mention that they price–match textbooks?
The Trip: Smack–dab in the middle of campus.