The team at Avant Print and Frame in Kingman, Arizona are passionate supporters of the arts. Each is also artisans and craftsmen in the own right.
As an example, John Erickson is a master framer. As a young man he developed a fascination for art, and for enhancing art with proper framing. And so, a local art and frame store became a favored hangout. It then became a job when he was old enough to be hired. John says, “I believe framing is an artform in itself but only exists to accentuate and compliment the art, not to compete with it. With the right framing anything you love can be a masterpiece and a beloved family heirloom!”
What, you may ask, is a master framer? The designation Master Framer is prestigious recognition for a craftsman that is knowledgeable about technique, art presentation, and construction. To receive a Master Certified Picture Framer affiliation with the Professional Picture Framers Association a framer must have been a Certified Picture Framer for a minimum of five years.
Established in 1971 the Professional Picture Framers Association is an international trade organization that serves the international arts community. It is a network of frame shop owners, and art galleries as well as distributors and manufacturers of picture frame moldings, supplies and equipment.
Members provide an array of services. They eagerly share their expertise and knowledge, provide support through educational programs at an annual convention, and assist with the certification of master framers. The association also offers various business services to members.
The criteria for certification of master framer are challenging. A framer needs to satisfactorily complete an extensive exam that includes mathematics, knowledge of artwork as well as materials and handling. Passage of the exam also requires a knowledge of definition.
A framer must also complete four completely framed projects, with correct matting. These projects are an object, and art in canvas, paper, and textile. Each piece is then disassembled and critiqued by professional framers.
The final step is the framing of an unknown object in an unfamiliar shop. There is, however, a time limit of an hour and a half. That piece is then critiqued by two Master Certified Framers.
It doesn’t stop there. A framer must continue their education with at least five approved classes as well as an evaluation every five years to keep their certification. Erickson’s certification and passion for the craft is one example of the quality service offered by Avant Print and Frame.
But there is more to Avant Print and Frame than providing professional services to photographers and artists. The staff are also major supporters of the dynamic Kingman arts community.
The Sara Peterson Gallery of fine arts on Beale Street showcases the work of Sara and other artists. And Sara Peterson is a found of the Kingman Center for the Arts. This organization is currently overseeing the renovation of the historic Beale Street Theater. It is also the parent organization of the ArtHub, a gallery that also provides a variety of classes in a former bank that was built in 1911.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America