At Westwood Gallery, owners Mike and Lore Fitzsimmons celebrate their love for beautiful artwork with museum-quality preservation and framing of paintings and pictures. Everyone on staff boasts a background in art, allowing them to match a painting's style and period with the perfect frame and also consider the decor back at the customer's house. They can create original oil paintings from photographs, restore weathered paintings and photos, and brighten up bathroom vanities and bedroom walls with custom-framed mirrors. As longtime residents of Westwood, the owners promote the local creative community by hosting gallery parties, setting up photography exhibits, and challenging passersby to define "art" in one sentence or less.
A gallery and framing shop, Arielle's Gallery promotes art appreciation and protects clients' paintings, pictures, and posters. With more than 2,000 options, choices range from budget-friendly to high-end. In-house services include museum quality, conservation framing, archival, acid-free mats, art and museum glass. In the gallery, guests can explore exhibits that span jewelry, fine art, pottery, and glass art. The framing shop stocks exotic woods and miscellaneous mats to customize pictures.
A Maze in Pottery invites brush-wielders of all ages and skill levels to select and custom-slather functional ceramic canvases. The studio's shelf-lined wall brims with more than 300 enticing and unpainted pieces, including cereal bowls ($14), coffee mugs ($13.50), and cat figurines ($13.50), which make ideal chew toys for brave mice. After selecting a piece, customers can get cozy at a table and spend two hours beautifying blank surfaces with more than 50 food-safe and lead-free paints and glazes.
Belly dancer Amira Mor has tapped finger cymbals for Moroccan royalty and shimmied for the prime minister of Jordan. Her moves can be elegant or sensual: she coached Britney Spears through new routines at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City, and has also choreographed for the New York City Ballet. Her moves have also landed her a role Sex and the City 2 and taken her to Guantanamo Bay, where she led belly dance boot camps for U.S. Marines. “From the moment Mor begins her dance,” a reporter for the Star-Ledger wrote, “there’s no doubt who’s in charge.… She wears a fringed bustier spangled with gold, and, for a skirt, slashes of sparkly fabric that whip away from her body as she spins, which she does in a blur of speed.…”
At Amira Mor International Entertainment Company, anyone interested in belly dancing can benefit from the award-winning dancer's instruction. With the help of fellow dance instructor Stephanie, she teaches groups some traditional Middle Eastern moves, drawing on modern innovations including flashy hip movements and songs about fax machines. Additionally, Amira is a certified fitness instructor, so she can also help students on quests for sculpted abs.
As the recession deepened, Metro Art & Frame owner Bo Okuyan found that demand never slackened for one market of art collectors: parents. Mr. Okuyan's business savvy caught the attention of the New York Times' Michael Winerip in 2010, who noted that a steady supply of finger paintings and crafts had caused Bo to rethink his definition of art. “All kids are artists, that’s how we look at it now,” he said. Whether upgrading fridge-hung stick-figure portraits to a permanent gallery or framing a more traditionally priceless painting, Mr. Okuyan and his staff begin with a complimentary consultation, tailoring each project to fit home or office aesthetics and personal style. Metro Art & Frame's acid-free mats center photographs, oil paintings, or post-modern puddles of spilled milk in an ornate, gold-leafed frame or elegant black one. Five types of glass and two flavors of plexiglass guard sensitive paintings from light damage with UV protection, and the shop's selection of contemporary and classic prints lets patrons fill in the gaps in their home galleries.
Family owned since 1968, WestArt Gallery charges toward the half-century mark behind its motto, "You name it, we'll frame it." The business services both retail and wholesale clients at two locations, including one in Yonkers, where all orders are completed on the premises. WestArt clients can also browse the Thornwood show room, stocked with a variety of artwork and custom framing choices. There, steady hands seal special mementos behind glass, such as photographs, diplomas, and apprehended art thieves. When they're not situating frames around keepsakes, the WestArt staff is re-varnishing oil paintings to ensure that pigments remain glossy and vibrant well beyond their expiration date.