Just in time for the holidays, Ocean Galleries of Stone Harbor and Avalon is sharing tips for enhancing any art, photo, or print with custom framing. In addition, the galleries are offering 10% off on any new custom framing projects through December 30.
When it comes to custom framing artwork, selecting the right materials can mean the difference between creating a piece that is ordinary versus something truly extraordinary. Since 1986, the design specialists and professional framers at Ocean Galleries have gained invaluable knowledge and experience in this specialized area. Although framing can be a complicated process, they have developed easy techniques to make custom framing less intimidating and more about bringing out the character of any subject, whether it be original artwork, a limited-edition print, or a cherished photograph.
With over 100 years of experience, the framing team at Ocean Galleries has framed a wide array of artwork for professional sports teams, casinos, hotels, and other businesses, as well as individual homeowners. The artwork selections framed by the team range from the Masters, such as Picasso, Chagall, and Renoir, to modern day artists including Peter Max, Romero Britto, Charles Fazzino, Ringo Starr, Graham Nash, Howard Behrens, and others. The gallery staff has also framed many one-of-a kind and unique items, such as needlework, concert tickets, collections, autographs, diplomas, wedding invitations, antique photographs, newspaper articles, retirement memorabilia, magazines, and children’s art.
“There is a definite art to framing,” explains gallery owner Kim Miller, who is an artist herself. “Having offered in-house framing for so long in both of our shore gallery locations, we have developed a series of steps and questions that we ask along the way to make sure the final framed art is perfect for our customers.”
The first and most important step is evaluating the aesthetics of the piece to be framed. What are the colors, textures, and physical attributes of the piece? The framing and matting should always enhance the subject, not distract from it.
The next question the gallery associates always research is in regard to the owner or recipient of the art. “Knowing a little about the recipient of the art goes along way in our selections. For example, if the owner is conservative, a three-dimensional frame is probably not the best direction to take. Instead, a more subdued look will probably appeal more to the customer,” says Miller. Many times, customers will invite their gallery associate into their home to look at placement and existing decor. Since many of Ocean Galleries’ customers live outside of the shore region, they may share photos of their home, which helps give a better feel to tastes, styles, and preferences.
Another important consideration is where the art will be hung, both physically and environmentally. Is the framed piece a fun, focal point of a room, or one of many framed pieces in an area? And what is the environment feeling – casual, formal, etc.? Depending on the answers to these questions, the recommended accoutrements may vary greatly.
And finally, it is equally important that that extreme care is given in the execution process to ensure the final piece meets our high standards and will ultimately make the customer happy once it is hung.
The choices may appear endless to the novice as the full-service galleries offer a wide selection of mouldings and an endless combination of traditional and custom-designed matting. To make the customer’s selection job easier, the design specialists begin the process by offering personalized framing combination suggestions, which will both complement and preserve the art. Miller explains, “It is important to create a PH neutral framing environment to ensure that the item being framed is kept intact and won’t yellow or burn from acidic matting.” Based on the item being framed as well as the taste and budget of the customer, the framing might include a double mat, a mat with a fillet or thin frame inside the bevel of the mat board, a fabric liner such as linen, silk, or suede, or floated artwork that gives the appearance of hovering in the frame.
The technical experts then take over the execution process, which is done entirely on the premises. Their work includes cutting the frames and liners, attaching the pieces, cutting the mats and glass (when used), then putting the combination of items together. The technical team will spend considerable time to ensure that the artwork will be properly conserved, from using acid-free mats and mounting materials as needed, to adding UV-blocking glass and Plexiglas to protect and preserve. The goal is always to create the most professional framing possible in a prompt fashion, providing the customer with a finished piece that includes complimentary hanging hardware to make sure self-installation is quick and simple. Upon request, in-home installation by the gallery’s trained staff may be available for large or complicated installations.
In addition to framing items, the gallery’s team has extensive experience with restoration and repairs. “We’ve seen just about everything imaginable when it comes to repairs,” Miller said. “Whether a frame is damaged or glass needs replaced, or if the piece requires a major restoration, we have the expertise to handle just about any challenging art project.”
As for the costs involved in creating your custom-framed masterpiece, there are many factors to consider, from the finished size and the number/type of mats, to the type of glass, mounting method and, of course, the width and composition of the frame. Miller forewarns, “While we understand that pricing can be an important factor, we always urge our customers to make sure they have an experienced framer work on their project. Over the years, we have had countless repairs on artwork that was framed inadequately elsewhere, resulting in artwork falling out of place, buckling, or not being preserved properly.”
The Ocean Galleries design specialists always work to create a framing combination that both suits the customer’s budget and complements the artwork while ensuring its integrity. “We carry a huge selection of moulding lines, such as Larson-Juhl and the Jane Seymour line from Fotiou, plus we are always adding new lines. Our design team is happy to discuss available materials and provide a complimentary price quote when you stop by with your artwork,” adds Miller.
Throughout the holiday season, Ocean Galleries will be offering 10% off on all custom framing projects, making it the perfect time to make that special art, memorabilia, or photograph a masterpiece with framing that will enhance it.
The Stone Harbor location of Ocean Galleries (9618 Third Avenue) is open from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM Thursday through Sunday during the winter season, with select extended hours for special holiday shopping. The Avalon location of Ocean Galleries (2199 Ocean Drive) is open from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. As always, gallery staff is also available evenings and weekends by appointment. We recommend checking the gallery’s Web site for additional information on seasonal hours. For more information on custom framing or a complimentary framing quote, call 609-967-4462 or visit www.oceangalleries.com
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For more than 30 years, Ocean Galleries has provided quality art by contemporary artists to their clients while practicing the highest standards of credibility and integrity in a comfortable and unpretentious atmosphere. With locations in Stone Harbor and Avalon, New Jersey, the distinguished art galleries feature an ever-changing display of artwork that includes local artists’ watercolors, nationally recognized artists’ originals, popular beach prints, and limited editions. Ocean Galleries also carries fine furniture and hand-made crafts from America and around the world. Both locations have on-premises custom framing with design specialists and professional framers who can offer a wide selection of mouldings and an endless combination of traditional and custom-designed matting to complement and preserve any art. For more information, please call 609.368.7777 or visit www.oceangalleries.com