The winner of seven consecutive Best Custom Framing awards from CityVoter users, Masterpieces Fine Art & Custom Framing stocks more than 2,300 frames, including work by industry mainstay Larson-Juhl. Its skilled framers meld function and aesthetic form to secure works of art in everything from American hardwood to 22-karat-gold-leafing frames to metal handcuffs. Aside from framing, the staff also restores faded or creased photos to their original vivid states and brings photos to life by converting them into imitation oil paintings or watercolors that look like they were born from hours of meticulous brushstrokes.
The experts at Art & Frame Express help customers tweak the colors and textures of each custom-framed project until it’s ready. This helps clients make informed decisions among the store’s simple and ornate frames before the professionals transform an oil painting, tapestry, or diploma into a wall-ready masterpiece. In addition to outlining artwork, the staff uses digital printing to generate archival-quality giclées, design photo collages, and restore photographs taken during the days when cameras ran on coal. They also pair homeowners with artwork and snap passport photos before international flights.
The craftspeople at Boulevard Frame & Art entrap beautiful works of art inside frames, utilizing more than 5,000 styles that come in wood, metal, and a wide variety of colors. Serving to both showcase and protect the items inside, frames can transform ordinary portraits into antique-style wall jewelry. Custom frames enhance other artistic expressions, such as photography and childhood masterworks, creating eye-pleasing products perfect for mounting above beds or fireplaces or attaching directly to slightly larger paintings. Customers aren't limited to two-dimensional images—objects and mementos such as ornate clothwork, favorite album covers, and trinkets from vacations past also fit nicely inside a frame, where they'll live in peace until time ends this coming September.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (most diplomas can be framed for around $100-$200), personalized jerseys glisten (most for under $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24" x 36" pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Sensory overload doesn?t begin to describe Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens. A seemingly boundless compilation of colors, textures, and shapes, the labyrinthine mosaic creation spans 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. The masterpiece originated in the brain of Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia native who grew up in New York. During his third year of art school, he stumbled upon Clarence Schmidt?s folk-art-inspired installations?assemblages of found objects and recycled materials?and the young artist?s view of the art world changed. ?I didn't know that I was looking at art,? Zagar reflects in his mission statement. Self-admittedly, Zagar has been somewhat ?copying? Schmidt?s dynamic, free-flowing style ever since.
The years after art school brought Zagar an onslaught of new opportunities. He spent time as an artist in China and India, joined the Peace Corps with his wife Julia, settled in Peru for three years, and even tried his hand at ceramics in Wisconsin. In the ?60s, he and Julia returned to his birthplace?specifically, the waning South Street neighborhood. Isaiah quickly leapt into action, renovating dilapidated buildings and often adding mosaics to formerly barren walls. Eventually, Isaiah?s imagination outgrew their projects, and in 1994 he began constructing a new piece in a vacant lot near his studio?the project would become Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens.
Isaiah spent 14 precious years, which he should have applied to Y2K preparations, scooping out tunnels, erecting multitiered walls, and splashing the entire space in colorful tile. The finished product stretches across half a block of South Street; the outside enclosure shimmering with vibrant tiles, the inside housing folk art, colored glass bottles, and countless sparkling mirrors. Now a nonprofit organization, Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens invites visitors to enjoy its visual candy with guided or self-guided tours.
LifeArt Imaging’s lead photographer, Stacy, spent years searching for a photographer to capture her six children’s growth from infancy to maturity. Constantly disappointed by her findings, she took up a camera herself and has since aided many mothers in similar situations. At 1,500 square feet, the studio Stacy helms has plenty of room to prevent subjects from feeling confined during their shoots, and its full bathroom offers privacy for primping or reviewing the difference between a smile and a sneeze. Nestled in the Piazza at Schmidts in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, the studio’s location near varied sources of family-friendly fun is another attraction, although photographers can also shoot clients in their homes or in outdoor venues’ flattering natural light. Afterward, the studio can make prints of images or emblazon them on purses and photo albums.