Monday, August 24, 2015

Ainsley and Erik Jacobs Featured Artist Interview

Photographers Ainsley and Erik Jacobs were our Featured Artist Contest winners for the month of March. Two winners you ask? How can that be? They are a team – a wonderful, lively,  husband and wife team who capitalize on each others’ strengths to create strong imagery. They’re in business together and create art together. Ainsley has the eye and Erik loves the technology, pushing very basic kits and equipment to its limit to create captivating photographs inspired by car racing, horses, travel, and every day life. Read on to feel their energy and get inspired! Read more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Shelby Grubbs Featured Artist Interview

Artist Shelby Grubbs was our Featured Artist Contest winner for the month of February. A very young artist, she strikes me as someone who is going to make a name for herself someday. A recent grad of Notre Dame University, she tried to pursue a practical path in life by studying business, but it was just making her miserable. So she switched to art on her own terms and has not looked back since. Her work is focused on the female figure: highly original, beautiful, yet often disturbing images, she explores loneliness, and desolation. In her own words, “I primarily explore the relationship between the individual and the external environment. I explore the combination of the mental and the visual landscapes.” I expect great things from Shelby in years to come. Read on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Peter Rinjo DeWood Wins Featured Artist Contest

I am pleased to announce July's Featured Artist Contest winner: Peter DeWood. Learn a bit more about Peter and his artistic technique in this press release that was sent to the media.

Using traditional Japanese sumi inks and acrylics on handmade papers, DeWood blends an abstract sensibility with the calligraphic and paired-down aesthetic of East Asian art to produce a unique body of vibrant modernist work. DeWood enjoys working with students, especially at the secondary level, to introduce this form of painting.

Mountains & Rivers

The winning piece, “Mountains & Rivers” was created in May of 2015 and inspired by the idea of perception vs. reality. “Mountains are mountains. Rivers are rivers. Nothing missing, nothing extra,” the artist says.

DeWood recommends floating the artwork on top of the mat and using a simple black metal or dark walnut frame with a narrow face. A black, gray or red mat would make a striking backdrop for DeWood’s piece.

To contact DeWood or follow his work, visit his American Frame gallery or his own website at

Monday, August 10, 2015

Art Fairs – Should the Artists be Taxed?

As I continue to enjoy art fair season in NW Ohio/SE Michigan, I’d like to pose a question that I think might stir up a bit of debate: Should exhibiting artists be charged tax on the sales that they make in a ‘street fair’ venue?

I ask this from the perspective of the artists’ advocate that I am at heart. To clarify, when I use the term ‘artist’ I am referring to those working in any fine art medium including photography, ceramics and sculpture.

Think about what a great art event does for any community. It attracts tourists and brings out the locals, creating a lot of energy and excitement along with a great boost to the local economy. Without the artists, there is no ‘boon’. The artists themselves can have a great show or can walk away with absolutely nothing. The local stores, restaurants and hotels benefit no matter what from the artists’ presence.

I often think about what an artist has to go through to exhibit and participate in such events. First, there is the process of creating and presenting a body of work to be juried into the show. Generally, there are non-refundable application fees that must be paid for this consideration. Then, there is the expense of the venue itself (that can run into the thousands) for which most artists also have to provide their own tents. And then there is the cost of travel, the cost and labor of transporting the work to and from the show, and lodging. Now, if Mother Nature is feeling kind, it can be a guilty pleasure to sit outside, talk to buyers about one’s art and call that ‘work’ but that kind of luck can be rare, especially here in the Mid-West where high heat, summer storms and humidity can truly make one ‘toast’.

Terry Abrams booth at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Here is my point: Professionals of any kind make what they do look easy. We don’t see the back-story, only the result - the beautiful presentation. The exhibiting artist goes through so much to bring this joy and excitement to our communities. Why, on top of all of this, should they be taxed on the sale of their work?

I posed this question to a couple close art loving friends (one a doctor, the other an attorney) on a recent evening walk. Being great friends, I can always count on them for lively debate. Here’s the counterpoint.

When a city hosts an outdoor art event, there is a tremendous amount of investment, planning and other logistics that insure a great experience for both the artists and the public. It’s the city’s obligation to attract the best possible audience for the artists, giving them maximum exposure and opportunity to be discovered and sell their works, so a great promotional effort is necessary. The city also provides safety and security services, requisite sanitary facilities, coordinates parking and volunteer efforts, and blocks off streets for the exhibitors.

I hadn’t even considered those realities.

However, the question in my mind still remains; do the taxes from the sale of the art make a significant dent in an event’s budget? Is it really worth making an artist’s work that much more expensive for the buyer? Should street fairs be an opportunity for buyers to choose great original art at the lowest possible price without the discount coming out of the artist’s pockets, given what they’ve gone through to be there in the first place?

I would love to know what you think!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Neal DePinto Featured Artist Interview

Artist Neal DePinto was our Featured Artist Contest winner for the month of April 2015. Take a look at his paintings: they are beautiful, intriguing, colorful and skillfully created. Neal hones his craft the old fashioned way: through hard work, planning and experimentation. Inspired by the world around him, he works from the arsenal of photographs he took while in Europe with the Air Force, serving our country between 1993-1999. Our conversation reveals his passion for excellence and some wonderful advice for other aspiring artists like himself. Enjoy!

Read more

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

EconoSpace Framing Spacers

EconoSpace Artwork Spacers were developed to create a proper airspace between the artwork and acrylic or other types of glazing when floating art within the frame treatment. Doing so prevents problems such as staining, possible adhesion of the art to the acrylic, mold growth, and paper buckling, which can cause damage to the art.

Follow these steps to use spacers in your next custom frame treatment:

1. Prepare your acrylic for mounting EconoSpace. If using UV acrylic, take note of the UV label, as this is your surface side.

2. Position spacers on the reverse side of the acrylic and simply cut to the desired length. Now peel up only the edges of the protective paper, and then peel off the protective covering from the EconoSpace. Adhere the spacer flush with and to the edge of the acrylic. Do NOT attach spacer to the frame. Now work your way around the three remaining sides.

3. Once the EconoSpace is attached, flip the acrylic over and place it on the artwork. Now peel off the protective surface cover. Position your frame, flip over, and then install your securing hardware. Be sure to avoid applying pressure when installing the securing hardware. It is ideal to leave the entire package a little bit loose in order to prevent the art and backing from buckling.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Every Day is Art Fair Day at Our Online Gallery

Art fairs are one of summer’s greatest pleasures. Strolling in the sunlight, a little spending money in your pocket, one little tent after another sheltering a creative mind, seemingly at work right before your eyes: pottery, jewelry, sculpture, paintings. Personally, I’ve developed a keen appreciation for stoneware because one of my daughters is an aspiring ceramist, and I have a lifelong love of painting because my mother is a painter. Having grown up with art being created every day, I used to go into a bit of a funk in the fall, when the art fairs folded up and I knew all that creativity wouldn’t be back for a good long while. I bet a lot of you feel the same way: it’s not just the sunshine you miss in the winter.

Artwork by Laura Barnhardt Corle

While American Frame can’t bring you warm days and balmy breezes in February, we can bring that spark of real-time, contemporary artists at work 365 days a year. It’s right at your fingertips, in fact, at’s Art Gallery. Painters, photographers and mixed-media artists from throughout the U.S. and abroad display and sell prints of their work through our online gallery. And there’s more work at American Frame than you’ve ever seen under one tent. We offer thousands of pieces, every one from an artist actively practicing their craft today and available in a variety of custom sizes, framed or unframed.

Strolling through the art fair is half the fun, and the same is true online, only even more so: “stroll,” or search, by medium, artist, color or subject, such as architecture, florals, landscapes and animals. We particularly recommend browsing our Featured Artist Contest winners to find artists working to make a name for themselves. If you’re the spontaneous type, just browse randomly, roaming through the gallery like you would from tent to tent, stopping when something grabs your attention.

Artwork  by Terry Abrams

Once something does? Choose from several print sizes (set by the artist based on their digital file’s resolution and the images’ optimal dimensions). From there, you can either order the print unframed or use our online framing tool to try hundreds of mat and frame options until you find the perfect treatment. Now that’s something you just can't do at the summer festivals!

American Frame supports working artists, which is why 100% of the print’s price goes to the artist. Unlike many other online galleries, we do not take a cut of artist royalties. We charge only for printing and framing, listed separately in the ordering process. Prints are produced by our professional staff with the highest quality fine art methods available and framed by our craftsmen, then shipped ready to hang. We also make it easy to connect with our gallery presenters. Look for social icons associated with each gallery to reach artists’ websites, Facebook pages and other online resources.

Go to the art fairs and festivals. Enjoy the sun, buy a photograph, a necklace, a painting or a beautiful ceramic fruit bowl. But when the tents pack up and the sun dips low, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. At American Frame every day is art fair day.

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