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About Us

Plaza Artist Materials has been serving artists since the summer of 1960 when Rubin Zelenko and business partner Hy Boss opened the first Plaza store on 58th Street in New York City, in an apartment building aptly named "The Picasso." Unparalleled customer service was as much a priority then as it is today. The owners prided themselves on the Plaza promise to deliver art supplies anywhere in Manhattan within an hour, no matter how big or small the order. Through the mid-1980s, Plaza focused on providing supplies to commercial customers in the New York tri-state area.

In the early eighties, the second generation of the Plaza family continued the legacy of the founding partners, with Cliff Zelenko, Steve Caplan and Eric Zelenko leading the business. Starting with our Richmond, Virginia location in 1987, our company began to expand down the east coast and into the Midwest.

Today, Eric Zelenko and our fantastic team continue to carry on the Plaza name and his father’s mission—to provide one of the most comprehensive selections of product available and deliver the best possible customer service to artists of all stripes. We now have locations in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Cincinnati, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee. Our newest location was opened in Philadelphia in late 2013. Although times have changed, our goal remains the same: whether shopping with us locally or online, our customers are our top priority. No matter how big or small your purchase, we want to help you find great art supplies so you can make the art you love. We offer a huge selection of fine art materials, creative gifts and custom framing services. We also provide a full range of workshops, classes and demos in our stores so artists can connect with each other and try new mediums.

The communities that we serve and the people in them are the heart of our business, so thank you for supporting Plaza.

Plaza, Then & Now

Hy Boss rings up a customer, 1961.
Hy Boss rings up a customer, 1961.
Rubin Zelenko and an employee in the Plaza office, 1960.
Rubin Zelenko and an employee in the Plaza office, 1960.
The original storefront on 58th Street, New York City.
The original storefront on 58th Street, New York City.
Plaza employees preparing orders for delivery, 1960.
Plaza employees preparing orders for delivery, 1960.
Winsor the cat, with CEO Eric Zelenko in Silver Spring, Maryland, early 1990s.
Winsor the cat, with CEO Eric Zelenko in Silver Spring, early 1990s.
The original Plaza logo, 1960.
The original Plaza logo, 1960.
A Plaza employee at the counter in Towson, Maryland, 2014.
A Plaza employee at the counter in Towson, Maryland, 2014.
Employees show off their Plaza tees in Richmond, Virginia, 2012.
Employees show off their Plaza tees in Richmond, Virginia, 2012.
Our newest location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014.
Our newest location in Philadelphia, 2014.
Staff training in Nashville, Tennessee 2014.
Staff training in Nashville, 2014.
Lucky Zelenko checks out a wooden art mannequin.
Lucky Zelenko checks out a wooden art mannequin.
Savings Card designs over the years.
Savings Card designs over the years.

Timeline

  • 1960 – Plaza Artist Materials Inc. is founded. The first store is opened on the Upper East Side in New York City at 210 East 58th Street.
  • 1968 – Plaza acquires Crane-Gallo on Madison Avenue. Both locations are run by Plaza, with a focus on commercial customers in the New York Tri-state area.
  • 1987 – Plaza Richmond opens near the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • 1992 – Plaza opens its location in Silver Spring, Maryland.
  • 1995 – Plaza acquires Griffin Supply in Nashville.
  • 1998 – Plaza acquires Visual Systems – DC, Baltimore, Bethesda, Rockville and Fairfax.
  • 2001 – Plaza acquires Towson Art in Towson, Maryland.
  • 2001 – www.plazaart.com launches.
  • 2007 – Plaza acquires Wilson Art Stores in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • 2013 – Plaza Philadelphia opens in University City, Philadelphia.

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