Shadow Boxes: Preserving Valuable Memorabilia through Custom Framing

Art Techniques

 Shadow Boxes: Preserving Valuable Memorabilia through Custom Framing

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

In this article, we’ll take a look at preserving cherished memories in ways you may not have thought of before. These could include wedding memorabilia, first baby, graduations, etc.

When it comes to preserving and displaying something three dimensional, custom framing in a “shadow box” can make the item much easier to display and add a creative twist to enhance the item.

 Vista Galleries’ designers have had the opportunity to apply the shadow box technique to a variety of cherished items. Here are a few examples:Football JerseyThe football jersey

 Knives

A unique knife collection, amassed from travel to many countries

 

medals

A collection of military medals, cleverly displayed in a frame with a three-dimensional effect achieved by a dowel and mirrored background

cigarette packs

A collection of authentic antique cigarette packs from World War II:

 purse

 A fantastic beaded vintage purse uniquely displayed

Displaying these items in a very aesthetic frame and custom-made shadow box enhances their appearance and makes them much easier to display.

It gives them a museum-quality and feel that demonstrates how special these items are to their owners.

If you have something special that you would like our designers to make a shadow box to preserve, please let us know or bring the item in to our galleries.

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you this information on some up-to-date art and framing techniques. If you have questions about any technique related to art or framing, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

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Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com.

See what Vista Galleries’ professional designers can do for you.  Come in or call our Galleries today.

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Meet Our Staff: Award-Winning Artist and Designer Kristen Santucci

Meet Our Staff:

 Award-Winning Artist and Designer

Kristen Santucci

Kristen Santucci

In this section, we will introduce our staff to you. You will see that many of our framing designers are also accomplished artists themselves. In our first profile, we introduce Kristen Santucci, an accomplished painter and designer.

Kristen was born in Cheverly, Maryland. She has always been creative. When younger, she was interested in making many different kinds of crafts. By the time she got to high school, she became interested in sewing and fashion design.

In her senior year of high school, Kristen made her own clothing and even designed and made clothing for family and friends.

Kristen and her family moved to Clearwater in 1988, where her first job was in a local arts and crafts store. She worked in their custom picture-framing department.

She loved seeing all the art framed and sold so she thought she would try her hand at painting.

Three on beach

Since then she has learned different techniques and mediums. She now paints mostly with oils and is inspired by the beautiful beaches on the west coast of Florida.

_Scenic 12

The revival of figurative painting in the new millennium has inspired Kristen to paint images of the female figure.

dragon tatoo back

 

In her recent “Kimono Series,” she paints with a sense of ambiguity; faces hidden, combining drapery and pattern with the figure.

 

Kristen's Girl in Blue Kimono

Kristen’s art is not only displayed in several art galleries locally, but is on display by collectors in the U.S., France and China. Kristen’s painting above,  “Girl in Blue Kimono” sold recently at the Bright House Corporate Headquarters gallery in Feather Sound.

Kristen says, “The framing selection that Vista Galleries offers really enhances the beauty of each piece of art.”

You can see here Kristen’s lovely award-winning art.

Kristen’s picture below won Best of Show in Dunedin Creative Artists Guild’s April show at Sterling Art Studios and Gallery.

KS_art_award

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Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com.

See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and  designers can do for you.

Come in or call our Galleries today.

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Art Techniques: Texturizing – A Unique Way to Treat Art

Texturizing – A Unique Way to Treat Art

 By Betsy Hecht Cramb

 Texturizing is a unique way used for many years by Vista Galleries to treat art. This method of treating a print makes it appear to be an original oil color or acrylic painting. Additionally, texturizing dresses up a print before framing and eliminates the need for glass.

Texturizing Example Jazzy

These examples demonstrate texturizing with pictures along the lines of jazz music. One of our professional designers accomplished this method of texturizing using a clear acrylic gel medium and careful brushing to mimic the lines and brushstrokes of the original painting.

Texturizing Drum Set finished and framed

Another advantage of texturizing applies to particularly large pieces of art. The texturizing medium seals the print without the need for glass and thus makes the piece lighter and non-glare.

Close up of Texture

Look at the various examples of texturized art when you come in to the showroom at Vista Galleries. Get up close so you can see the texture of the brush strokes and appreciate how this method makes the print look much like an original. With this method, the art print is perfectly sealed so you just pick the most appropriate frame for the piece.

Texturized Jazz piece

As we are featuring the Jazz music theme for the next few months, in anticipation of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, we thought we would share some pieces to illustrate the technique along that line.

If you would like to see one of your favorite prints texturized by one of Vista Galleries’ talented professional designers, bring it in to Vista Galleries.

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you this information on some up-to-date art techniques. If you have questions about any technique related to art or framing, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com.

See what Vista Galleries’ professional designers can do for you.

Come in or call our Galleries today.

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Our Artist of the Month – Lorraine Ulen

Our Artist’s Portrait of the Month – Lorraine Ulen

Lorraine Ulen

 Day-Dreamer-1000 Lorraine Ulen

This month, we begin a series of portraits of our artists. We are proud to know so many wonderful artists who entrust Vista Galleries with framing their work.

This series of artists’ portraits begins with one who paints remarkable portraits of the life around her. Whether it is wildcats, wildflowers or wild birds, Lorraine Ulen captures the essence of her subjects in utter clarity.

Using acrylics, oils or watercolors, Lorraine paints with remarkable clarity that conveys the personality of the bird, tiger or plant she paints. In each work, Lorraine invites the viewer to share the undeniable affinity she feels for her subjects.

Interlude (Bengali)©

Often working in series, she will create several related pieces that share a particular idea or genre. She frequently represents her love of wildlife and nature in her work.

Lorraine has successfully completed commissions in a wide range of art styles from portraits to commercial label art. She enjoys the challenge of creating works with a deeply personal meaning for her clients.

Lorraine works and teaches out of her studio, ArtTrysts Studio in Clearwater. You can visit the studio website at www.arttrysts.com. She is also active in the art community and is a member of several local and international art associations. Her award winning art is on display at many shows and various venues in Florida, Georgia and Connecticut. Her pieces are in private collections throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the Untied Kingdom.

The Twins©

What Lorraine says about her art:

“My world is a constant dance – of color, light, texture, form, and the ever-shifting balance between them – that seduces me and compels me to paint. Wildlife artist Robert Bateman’s statement, “Art is the celebration of the thing you are painting” resonates with me, as each of my paintings is a celebration of that dance, that balance. It is a visceral connection to the spark of a life or the exploration of the profound beauty in the ordinary. It is an expression of my delight in what I’ve discovered about the thing I am painting, and an invitation to the viewer to cut in on the dance…”

These few examples of her recent work illustrate that delight perfectly:

You're Next! II©

Please see other samples of Lorraine’s work on her website at: http://Lorraine-ulen.com.

Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these short portraits of our artists. If you would like to be a featured artist on one of our monthly blogs, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

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Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com.

See what Vista Galleries’ professional designers can do for you.

Come in or call our Galleries today.

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The “Framing” of the Capitol Theatre

The “Framing” of the Capitol Theatre

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

Framing a theatre you say, how is that? Downtown Clearwater has seen its landmark Capitol Theatre go through a remarkable transformation. This culminated in its grand re-opening on December 18, 2013.

The interior of the theater is now ready to host a variety of excellent performers ranging from stand up comics such as Jay Leno (he has been there twice already since retiring from Late Night TV on NBC) to musical greats such as Judy Collins and Tom Rush.

What should not go unnoticed however are the stunning art works, framed to perfection on its interior walls, carefully installed by the staff of Vista Galleries. The pictures below show the installation of art in December of 2013 by Jason Fuller and Glen St. Jean, along with Vista Galleries’ owner, Peter Lowes, positioning and hanging the artworks flawlessly in the halls and foyer of the theater.

 Capitol Theater’s Sordid History

Originally opened in March of 1921, Capitol Theatre had a seating capacity of almost 1,000 people, very large for its day. Managed by various movie companies (EJ Sparks, Paramount, ABC-Southeastern Theatres, and Plitt Southern), the theatre played the movies of the day and was frequented by big names such as Donald Roebling, who had his own reserved double seat. The theatre also offered Vaudeville on Friday nights in the 1930’s.

The Capitol Theatre closed its doors in October of 1980 after a succession of different owners tried to make a go of it. It was then owned by the Taylor Family.

The Royalty Theater Company signed leases with the Taylor family in February 1981, who renamed it Royalty Theater. Renovations on the building were completed later that year.

Two of the people who had tried to keep the theater open in late 1979 were manager Bill Neville and Jerry Strain. Eerily, during the 1981 renovations, workers found Bill Neville’s murdered body in the balcony. Two people were arrested, convicted and jailed for 25 years for the crime. Bill’s ghost, along with other varieties of supernatural haunting have been reported in the theatre over the years.

The theatre remained in the Taylor family estate until sold in 1996. In July 2008, the building went into foreclosure.

A New Capitol Theatre

Fortunately, for downtown Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area, the City of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall joined forces in January of 2009, purchased the theater, and renamed it Capitol Theater. Ruth Eckerd Hall, who manages the 750-seat theatre, has now renovated and revitalized it to perfectly suit the varied world-class performers who come to Clearwater to perform in it.

Vista Galleries is proud to have contributed to helping make the interior of this historic building look contemporary while maintaining its classic Mediterranean-revival style beauty. We appreciate the trust that the designers at Decker Ross Interiors showed by recommending Vista Galleries to “frame” the new Capitol Theatre.

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Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation.

For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at

info@vistagalleries.com.

See what Vista Galleries’ professional designers can do for you.

Come in or call our Galleries today.

 

Refurbished Front of Capitol Theatre

Refurbished Front of Capitol Theatre

Interior of Capitol Theater  Refurbished

Interior of Capitol Theater Refurbished

Glen and Justin hanging art in foyer

Glen and Jason hanging art in foyer

Beautifully hung art in hallway of Capitol Theatre

Beautifully hung art in hallway of Capitol Theatre

Peter and Glen hanging art

Peter and Glen hanging art

More art, framed and beautifully suited to hallway

More art, framed and beautifully suited to hallway

 

 

Clearwater Jazz Holiday Releases 2014 Winning Poster

Clearwater Jazz Holiday Releases 2014 Winning Poster

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

Once again, as they have for the last 34 years, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday has chosen its favorite and thus, winning poster for this year’s Jazz Holiday.

Pictured below, Rick (R.J.) Hohimer’s winning design cleverly includes the marquee of the newly renovated and restored Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater, announcing the Jazz Holiday for 2014. Managed now by Ruth Eckerd Hall, Capitol Theatre has developed into a trendy music hall and a popular venue for comedians and other performers since its restoration last year.

Fans of R.J. Hohimer, known as a “Jazz Age Artist,” will be able to buy reproductions of his poster to take home as a souvenir from this year’s Jazz Holiday. His work reflects the style of “narrative expressionism.” In his paintings, Hohimer tells stories of inspired musicians spontaneously making music of the moment. He captures the total environment of jazz and creates jazz on canvas. Critics have said that Hohimer’s art envelops the viewer by “creating alluring scenarios and inviting active participation in the story the artist has begun. The uniqueness of his art is that each time we look, we eagerly walk inside each painting;” allowing us to contribute our own imagined endings of the stories he tells on canvas.

This year’s stellar, world-renowned jazz event will take place from October 16th to 19th in Clearwater’s Coachman Park.

The Jazz Holiday Foundation just revealed the poster at a party held at the Lokey Mercedes-Benz dealership on Tuesday, June 17th with music performed by the Clearwater Jazz Holiday Combo and Ruth Eckerd Hall Jazz band. E & E Stakeout Grill and Guppy’s restaurants provided the hors d’oeuvres and drinks for the gala. This always eagerly anticipated event gives attendees a taste of what they can expect to adorn their walls with this fall.

The exciting musical lineup for this 35th Anniversary Clearwater Jazz Holiday will include Earth, Wind & Fire, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Spyro Gyra, Boogie on the Bay w/ Marcia Ball & Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, Dr. John & The Nite Trippers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and MORE!

Each year since 1980, the City of Clearwater has held a series of jazz concerts. The Jazz Holiday started as a 10-day series of jazz concerts on the back of a flatbed truck, which traveled from venue to venue around the City. It has now grown into a major regional jazz festival that draws tens of thousands of visitors to an excellent gathering of some of the greatest jazz talent each year. This year, organizers expect more than 50,000 jazz fans to arrive the third week in October to listen to some or all of the performances.

Some of the jazz stars who have shined at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday have included Herbie Mann, Tony Bennett, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck and many more.

In addition, some of today’s most innovative jazz greats such as Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Stanley Clarke, Hiroshima, Spyro Gyra, Acoustic Alchemy, Herbie Hancock and more have recently added their names to the headliners of this remarkable community gathering.

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is a unique community event, open to the public and administered by a charitable foundation, The Clearwater Jazz Holiday Foundation, The City of Clearwater and its volunteers. Not only does the Jazz Holiday bring live music to the Tampa Bay area, it benefits jazz education through its scholarship and educational activities each year.

In their own words,

“It is the mission of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday to be the leading proponent of jazz entertainment and education in Florida through the annual presentation of a world-class, live music festival in Clearwater, Florida during the third week of October and to promote tourism to Pinellas County as a key component of this celebration.”2014-poster CW Jazz Holiday

Vista Galleries’ owners, Peter Lowes and Bonnie Fahoome, who have been framing Jazz Holiday collectible posters for about a dozen years now, say collectors frame and display them along side of many past years’ winners. Vista Galleries, official framer of the Jazz Holiday posters, is proud to participate again this year. They will have a booth at CoachmanPark where concertgoers can place their framing orders and purchase this year’s poster, as well as some earlier years’ posters that may still be available.

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Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation.

For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at

info@vistagalleries.com.

See what Vista Galleries’ professional designers can do for you.

Come in or call our Galleries today.

Congratulations to Vista Galleries designer Kristen Santucci!

Congratulations to Vista Galleries designer Kristen Santucci! She won Best of Show in Dunedin’s Creative Artists Guild’s April show at Sterling Art Studios and Gallery. The show will run through April 30. Sterling is located at 730 Broadway in Dunedin. Come check it out!

KS_art_award

This Week’s Featured Art

“Reflecting Pool”

by Donald Satterlee

rp

Click here to see it framed!

Visit our Factory Showroom in person to see a wide selection of framing options up close.

Talk to us about details on how to make your art original: texturizing, matting, & framing!

Vista Galleries Supplies Capitol Theatre with Art

Vista Galleries is honored be the art supplier & art installers for the new Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. Check out these photos!

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Vista Galleries can furnish your office or business with artwork, from design to installation.
For estimates or questions call: (727) 216-0798 or email: info@vistagalleries.com

“The Ballerina” by Emily Walet

Local Dunedin artist, Emily Walet is delighted to share with you her painting titled, “The Ballerina.”

ballerina

Emily decided to make art her life at the early age of eight when she saw her first image on an Impressionist painting in a school textbook. On that day she created her first drawing ever, which illustrated a story that she wrote for a class assignment.

At the age of 16, Emily had the privilege to witness, for the first time, a ballet performance by a fellow classmate.  She instantly fell in love and was mesmerized by the grace and agility of the dancer. This inspiration moved her to immediately enroll in the local ballet school. It was exhilarating…and oh so painful, those first pair…but well worth every moment!

This personal involvement in the world of ballet instilled a deep appreciation and understanding of the elegance, grace strength and skill that goes into making a dancer. To her, dance is art…and art is a dance of light, color and form.

She hopes that you find “The Ballerina” inspirational, just as the world of ballet inspired her to create it.

If you are interested in obtaining a print of “The Ballerina” please contact us by email: info@vistagalleries.com or call: (727) 216-0798