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.
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.
For more than four decades, Merion Art & Repro Center has supplied artists, engineers, architects, and other professionals with the building blocks of creativity. One needs only to look down an aisle for inspiration. In one area lie hundreds of paints and canvases ready to be transformed into watercolor masterpieces. In another, clay waits patiently for the right sculptor to come along and mold it into its true form: an even bigger ball of clay.
Beyond art supplies, Merion encompasses a fully equipped copy shop and a custom-framing center. Here, expert framers help clients select from thousands of frame and mat styles, honing in on the perfect design to preserve photos or parking tickets autographed by the best traffic cop in town.
For nearly 30 years, The Paperia has equipped patrons with the pulp-infused goodies they need to announce celebrations and correspond with friends and colleagues. Brightly colored invitations and announcements broadcast news of impending nuptials or upcoming graduation to two-ply paper-towel use, and a selection of unusual greeting cards issues heartfelt or comical salutations. Boxed or loose stationery and envelopes sport designs appropriate for personal or professional use, and gift-wrap hugs gifts such as address books and journals so that shoppers don't have to keep the nature of their presents secret by burning them before the party.
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.