Framing florals

March 05, 1998|By Teri Johnson

Eileen Berger

The art, not the frame, should make the statement, says Eileen Berger, owner of Just Lookin' Gallery in Hagerstown.

"I tell people to buy the art they love, even if they don't think it'll go with the room," she says.

Berger says most people match frames to the furnishings in their home.

"My choice is to frame for the piece. You should be able to hang it anywhere," Berger says.

If you match your frames to your furniture, you might run into problems when you decide to redecorate, she says.

You'll probably still love the art, so it's best to frame each piece to bring out its character, she says.

Berger says many people don't know what they're looking for when framing their art.

She will offer some pointers Sunday, March 15, from 1:15 to 2 p.m. at Hagerstown Junior College Alumni Association's fourth annual Flower and Garden Show.


During her seminar, "Fantastic Floral Framing," she will demonstrate how different mats and frames can change the mood of a piece of art.

Berger wants people to bring artwork so she can show them how to enhance it.

A mat, usually a solid border, both enhances and protects the art. It separates the art from the frame, keeping the art away from the glass.

Mats are available in a variety of colors and textures, offering looks such as marble, metal and parchment. They can be wrapped with fabrics such as silk, linen, burlap, suede, lace and velvet.

Matting adds color, either subtle or dramatic. A double or triple mat can help coordinate your walls with your overall decorating scheme.

The mat you choose can make certain colors recede and other colors pop forward, Berger says.

"The eye goes different places based on what color it is reacting to," she says.

Framed FlowersShe says the mat shouldn't overwhelm the art.

"If you have a pastel piece and put a dark mat on, your eyes will jump out to the mat," she says.

Selecting a frame can be difficult because there are so many choices, says Berger, 45, a former professional photographer.

For example, there are more than 3,000 frames available at Just Lookin' Gallery.

The gallery at 40 Summit Ave. has been open for three years and specializes in contemporary and ethnic art, including African-American, African, Native American, Asian and Southwestern.

Frames range from wood to gloss, matte and textured finishes, and they can create a formal or informal look.

"A really good frame works on whatever it was that drew you to the piece," Berger says.

A frame also can make a difference in how you respond to the art.

Berger says clients have brought in framed pieces that they hated, wanting to know if the gallery could sell them.

"Put it in a different frame, and they walk out loving it," she says.

Berger says people often get intimidated at frame shops and are afraid to ask questions.

The point is to obtain a finished product that you love, she says.

Frames don't have to house a photograph or print. You can frame just about anything, from jigsaw puzzles to kitchen utensils, medals to wedding invitations.

"You want something truly spectacular that works in your environment," she says.

Framing tips

Eileen Berger of Just Lookin' Gallery offers these framing tips:

* The frame should complement the art, not overwhelm it. Avoid the tendency to "overframe."

* Design the frame for the art, not for your decor. It can harmonize, but you may decide to change furnishings. A frame designed for the art will blend with many things.

* Work with the shapes and textures of the art. Use rounder frame profiles for flowing art. Save the blockier frames for art with strong lines. If art has a lot of texture, choose a less polished frame.

* Ornate frames are fine if that's what you love, but use a simpler matting so you don't overpower the art.

* Never permanently mount an original work of art or any piece that has the potential to increase in value.

* Matting can be used to enhance both the color and texture of the art. There are hundreds from which to choose.

* Glass is an important element in protecting and enhancing your art. A professional framer can show you different options.

* Don't rush. You're going to live with your frame for a long time.

* Don't settle for just "OK." There are thousands of frames available, so make yours unique.

* One of the joys of art is emotional response. Relax and have fun with your framing.

Hagerstown Junior CollegeAlumni Association Flower and Garden Show

When: Saturday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Athletic, Recreation and Community Center at Hagerstown Junior College, 11400 Robinwood Drive

Cost: $3 for adults; children younger than 12 will be admitted free. All seminars and demonstrations are included in the admission cost.

Details: The theme of the fourth annual show is "Country Gardens." Activities include exhibits, door prizes, refreshments, a children's planting corner and a floral art show. Proceeds benefit the alumni association's amphitheater project.

For information: Call Lisa Stewart, alumni coordinator, at 301-790-2800, extension 346.

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