Pictures propped against walls, crammed in closets, or carried away by picture-thieving magpies can't be beheld. Increase art visibility with today's Groupon: for $50, you get $100 toward custom framing at Gallery Lafayette in Alexandria.
Gallery Lafayette's in-house artisan proffers customized framing treatments, original prints, watercolors, and locally inspired gifts. Using special conservation-glass and acid-free mat boards, skilled frame-ologists protect prized obedience-school diplomas or Ken Burns–autographed placemats from the damaging effects of light, humidity, and Father Time's righteous fists for unblemished wall- hanging. While the cost of custom projects varies based on size and quality of materials, moldings start at $10.95 per foot and an average order is $180. Though your Groupon is only valid toward custom framing, inside the gallery, customers can find an assortment of pen-and-ink illustrations of Old Town landmarks emblazoned upon tote bags ($30), tea towels ($15.95), and more. Secure a set of eight note-cards ($12.95) to start a one-man letter-writing campaign to rename the Route 1 IHOP to William Howard Taft Memorial House of Pancakes.
Gallery Lafayette is owned and operated by local artist Todd Healy, who spends his days drafting the drawings featured on the shop's gift items, consulting on frame decisions, and keeping his ever-growing bowtie collection under control as it threatens to explode from his back office in a paisley-and-polka-dot avalanche.