142 River St, Santa Cruz, Ca, 95060-2749
Monday through Saturday: 10am to 6pm
Closed Sundays
Sales/Information: (831) 423-1935
Frameshop: (831) 425-7111
Office: (831) 426-6823
Andrew Lenz (Sr.) & Cynthia Lenz
August 1, 1968
Payment Method
Cash, check, credit card, other

This large store features an extensive selection of art supplies as well as Santa Cruz's oldest established picture frame shop. The Lenz Family has deep roots in Santa Cruz. Co-founder Cynthia Lenz's grandfather, a cement contractor, built the Santa Cruz Mission replica in 1931 along with other iconic Santa Cruz landmarks.

Andy and Cynthia Lenz, both with B.A. degrees in Art, founded Lenz Arts in 1968, since they couldn't find all the service and supplies they wanted in Santa Cruz. A retail storefront of 900 square feet (including loft) was opened March 1, 1969 at 1535 Pacific Avenue. They moved in just as Pacific Avenue was under construction to become the "Pacific Garden Mall". That retail location had been the Continental gift shop previously. 

Pacific Avenue, circa 1970

In early July 1972, Lenz Arts made a needed move to its current location (approximately 10,000 square feet) at 142 River Street into a building that formerly housed El Dorado Meat Company. (United Cigar moved into the vacated Lenz Arts storefront on Pacific.)

River Street, 1972

Andy, Cynthia, and Andrew Jr., circa 1974

Lenz Arts was incorporated in 1976. Three years later, Andrew Jr., at age 12, cut his first picture framing mats.

After graduating from UCSC, Andrew Jr. was promoted to Manager in 1989. In the fall of 1991, the Lenzes purchased a small warehouse a few doors down on North Pacific Avenue to hold their many thousands of feet of picture frame moulding and the saws required to cut it. After being forced to sell it, that warehouse was torn down to make way for the condos now found at 2030 North Pacific, so the Lenzes now lease a warehouse elsewhere.

In January 2016, Andy Lenz retired from day-to-day duties.

Lenz Arts, 2015

In March 2016, Andy and Cynthia Lenz were presented with the International Art Materials Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in Houston, Texas at the association's annual convention.

Cynthia Lenz is also retired but continues as a sounding board for Andrew Jr. who runs the daily operations. Andrew's youngest brother Matthew does receiving for the business.

Andrew Lenz Jr. in 2023.


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