Carson’s Austin Arts closing |

Carson’s Austin Arts closing

by Susie Vasquez

Carson City’s Austin Arts will close its doors in May. The store, offering art supplies and picture framing, has been open for 30 years.

Owner Chuck Beck said the face of business is changing and he must change with it.

“Discount stores and the Internet can sell art supplies cheaper,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point where I can’t compete. I have to change with the trends.”

Beck expects to relocate his frame shop and is considering a number of options, including opening a shop in conjunction with another local business.

The frame shop, which occupies about one-fourth of the 3,000-square-foot store, is providing the bulk of his business. He was also awarded a contract to restore a number of frames from the state Capitol, a project that is expected to take months.

“I’m also doing lots of custom metal work,” he said. “It would be great if I could get a place where I could do that and framing.”

Beck started working in the Austin Arts framing department 26 years ago, when he was 15. He purchased the shop in the early 1980s from Bonnie Hightower.

“I grew up in this shop,” he said. “And I feel good about this move. It’s exciting.”

Beck said he’s been so busy with the closure that he hasn’t had much time to think about the future, but he will be taking a month or two off to consider all his options.

In the meantime, the prices for art supplies will be dropping with time. He hopes to have the supplies sold by the first weekend in May, so he will have time to empty the building.

He said his decision was prompted in part by the death of his landlord, about a year ago. The building recently came out of probate and he was due to sign a new lease soon. A Carson City resident, Beck and his wife, Dawn, have a 5-year-old daughter, Jordan.

Contact Susie Vasquez at or 881-1212.