At Creative Framing, the staff is immersed in art. For more than 30 years, the artists and collectors in Taos have trusted Creative Framing to preserve and frame their paintings and other art.
Everyone who works here is also an artist. They bring their creative eye to their work and also offer their own paintings, prints and pottery for sale.
Painter Jim Cox has owned the business since early 2016 when the shop moved to its current location on Salazar. He says that with all the artists that need to frame their work and all the collectors in town, the business is thriving.
Creative Framing is still accepting orders for holiday delivery and is offering 10 percent off when you mention this story.
Expert staff and special projects
Cox credits the success of the business to the staff and their special expertise and care. Sherrie Kotowski who was with Creative Framing for 13 years previously, has rejoined the team to help with some of the innovative and challenging projects that come into shop. “She is one of the best framers I’ve ever worked with. She continues to be a vital part of the business,” says Cox.
Recently, Lisa Davis brought in a large textile piece purchased at the October Wool Festival. The double-sided felted wool piece with a labyrinth on one side and an abstract diagonal motif on the other was so beautiful that she wanted to be able to see it from both sides.
With Kotowski in the lead, the staff worked for three days to create a custom approach that made use of two plexiglass frames back to back to allow the piece to be viewed from either side. “Some jobs have a life of their own and we just try to keep up and react to all the challenges. This was a major job and a brand new adventure as far as framing goes,” says Cox.
Bryan McCullah is also on staff bringing his expertise in Indian arts and blankets. “We are proud to have McCullah on staff. He is Taos artistic royalty, being related to R.C. Gorman through his mother,” says Cox. McCullah cuts, joins, and assembles customs frames.
Painter Olga Teresa Baigas also helps out organizing the office and keeping up on paperwork and Zaq Garcia has been assisting for more than 10 years. “I’d like to acknowledge all the help from the staff that contributes to our success. It’s been a wild ride. We are beyond busy. I cannot do any aspect of this by myself including framing, orders, or running office,” says Cox with gratitude.
Current and historical artists
The client list at Creative Framing reads like a who’s who of Taos artists. Current prolific painters Inger Jirby and Ed Sandoval are frequent customers as are Nancy Ortenstone and Pierre Delattre, who frame their colorful abstract paintings. Stephen Kilborn works with Creative Framing to display his distinctive paintings of New Mexico scenes of landscapes, churches and petroglyphs, to name a few.
Collectors who own pieces by famous Taos painters bring their pieces for framing. Recently a couple brought in a painting of St. Francis de Assis Iglesia by Martin Schaeffer for reframing.
The piece was done using a beautiful custom handcarved gold leaf frame from the Mayen/Olson group in California. Other recent framing has included a piece by Agnes Martin, known for her grid paintings, and Robert Daughters, one of the Taos Six.
Creative Framing is a full-service, museum-quality custom frame shop. By appointment or on a walk in basis, the staff provides custom design and consultation services. They are willing to spend the time needed to pick out just the right frame and matting. “We have so many framing options and we want to match the look with piece of art. There are a lot of forks in the road,” says Cox. He explains that some galleries have a signature look such as a traditional gold frame, while others like each painting to look different.
Everything that touches the art work is conservation and museum grade, including the glass, matte, and backing. Protection against our bright New Mexican sun can be achieved through UV glazed glass. The staff aims to do as much of the custom work as possible themselves. “This is a labor intensive process, like a construction job in miniature,” observes Cox.
Cox offers painting instruction sometimes at the shop or at the east studio of the Blumenschein Museum. He was the first guest artist at the successful Art in a Glass program held at KTAO.
Love of the work
One of the benefits of working at Creative Framing is the chance to see so much beautiful art every day. Cox says that it is flattering for their customers to bring them special pieces and trust that they will do the job right.
When asked what he loves most about the business he says, “Being here is a treat for the eye and the mind. I love being part of a successful business that provides people with the opportunity to have museum quality framing services. I think the long history of the business reassures people that we are going to be here and do a good job. I’m trying to steer the boat in the right direction.”
Kotowski says that the shop is steadily busy and stays up-to-date on the latest technology with regard to archival procedures for protecting valuable pieces of art. “It’s great to be able to provide high-quality service in Taos and save people a trip out of town to take care of their framing needs.”
She brings her long history in the business and an equally long list of resources to the work, knowing who to call for a special frame or to help solve a problem. McCullah adds that he loves being around all the art and being able to service the needs of Taos artists.
At Creative Framing, they are excited to take on new challenges from custom framing to shadow boxes to display work in multiple dimensions.
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