Picture the Possibilities: Framing Tips for Your Art

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October is National Art & Framing Month. Here are tips about how you can ensure that your art is framed properly and attractively.

October is National Art & Framing Month. Spearheaded by the National Art & Framing Month Council, this month is designed to promote the enjoyment of, and appreciation for, art as part of our daily lives.

“Framing and proper protection for your art is crucial,” says Sharon Burton, owner of Authentic Art Consulting, a local art advisory firm. “Framing adds to the beauty and value of your art collection.” Many people erroneously believe that they can take their paintings or other art objects to any framer, choose a mat and frame, and then have the framer mount the frame, then it will be done correctly, according to Burton. However, this is not necessarily so. Framing is a much more complicated process and it should be done by someone who has been trained professionally in the nuances of proper framing.

To help you make a more informed decision about framing your art, Authentic Art Consulting offers the following information courtesy the National Art & Framing Month Council.

  • A professional picture framer’s job is to provide a good presentation for your piece while protecting the artwork as much as possible. Tell the framer the importance of the piece. Is it a fun poster for the kid’s room or the last portrait of your great grandmother? The frames, mats, glass and methods the framer uses to support the art will vary for each piece depending on its importance.

•Choose the appropriate frame. Frames are available in thousands of sizes, colors and finishes. Many are designed for a specific use. There are special mouldings for mirrors, shadow box frames and art on canvas. Accurate historical designs are also available.

•Mats surrounding artwork have a two-fold mission. They present the art for viewing and they provide air circulation. There are several types of matboards, depending on the level of quality required for the piece. Acid-free is good but it is only one feature of a quality matboard; the fiber content and purity are also important.

•There is a wide variety of glazing available from a custom framer. It can be made of glass or acrylic and can offer ultraviolet protection, extreme clarity and glare reduction.

•The size of the art, mats and molding is critical to a well-balanced design. The frame shop or gallery should have examples on display to demonstrate designs.

•If the piece will hang on a patterned or heavily textured wall, a wide mat will be necessary for comfortable viewing of the art.

•Is the color critical? Bring in swatches of paint or fabrics from the room where the piece will hang. It will be useful when designing the framing.

  • Reframe pictures and reuse frames: perhaps a new mat color is all you need to coordinate your old artwork with your new decor.

•Use Plexiglas on art that will hang in children’s rooms or play areas. It does not shatter like glass and the edges of broken pieces are not as sharp.

•Ask questions at the frame shop—the more you know, the better you can make decisions about framing your art and objects.

Authentic Art Consulting is an art consultancy based in Fort Washington, Maryland, which provides art advisory services to private and corporate collectors, as well as artist representation. The company supports local nonprofit organizations by donating valuable works of art and providing event sponsorship through its community outreach programs. For more information, contact Sharon Burton at Authentic Art Consulting at 888-861-1395 or visit its Web site at http://www.authenticartonline.com.

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Sharon Burton
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