July 21st, 2013

More of Modernism's Messengers

As mentioned in a previous blog, there is an exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) that shows the art and artifacts of Alfonso and Margaret Ianelli, a pair of early 20th century illustrators and designers that did some amazing work. The exhbition, mounted by the City of Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson, covers a timeline from the earliest of their work to the work late in life, where Margaret had been committed to a mental hospital, but still churned out illustrations. The following photos are some images I took recently at the exhibition hall:

Ianelli Exhibition Entry

This is the entry to the exhibit on the 2nd floor of The Chicago Cultural Center.

Modernism's Messengers

Life on the farm in Russia book.

My Perplexity

The Ianellis' style was very Art Deco in the 1920's and 30's.


The above array are photos of Art Deco bronzes created by Alfonso Ianelli for the Chicago Adler Planetarium.  

The exhibition runs through the end of August and I would encourage you to stop by and see it. 

Framing For Mental Health

Speaking of mental health, there was an interesting article in the New York Times Magazine this week (7/21/13) titled "Are We There Yet?" It talked about how most living things seek out sensory stimulation, be they new smells, tastes, sights, sounds or experiences. It is, therefore, little wonder that people need to put framed stuff on their walls. That is why we came up with the slogan for our company We Frame Your World.TM The human mind cannot stand emptiness or lack of visual stimulation. To quote from the article, "There's a lot of observable activity in the brains of people who are staring at a blank screen--way more than anybody expected, Dankert says.....It suggests that what we call a restless mind is just that--a mind searching frantically for stimulus. Boredom, it turns out, is a form of stress. Psychologically, it's the mirror image of having too much work to do." This can trigger daydreaming and, consequently, a lack of office productivity.

It is, therefore, important to consider hanging visually interesting things in one's office or workplace, rather than boring, blank walls. There is a therapeutic reason for doing so, not just a need to decorate for the sake of doing so. This goes for your home, as well. What you put on the walls helps you to connect with happy times past, family and friends. It also lets you feast your eyes, over and over, on the objects that give you pleasure, plain and simple. Unconsciously, it helps to calm your mind and stimulate the thought process. Better living through framing............

Exhibition:  Chicago: One City Many Colors

Over the years, we have met a lot of photographers. One of the more interesting and talented ones is a man who goes by one name:  Dimitre. His photos are, mainly, cityscapes and architecture, though his website shows a wider range than that. He is having an exhibition that opened Thursday, July 11 at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. For more info., go to http://www.j2gallery.com or http://www.dimitre.com.

Exhibition: Gary: A Forgotten Landscape by David Obermeyer

A sound man by day for television and movie productions, David is a talented photographer who is mounting an exhibition of photographs showing abandoned, foreclosed and derelict homes, businesses, buildings in Gary, Indiana, taken over the last few years. The images are stark, sad and interesting. Check it out at Perspective Fine Art and Photography, 1310 1/2B Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. Exhibition runs August 1st-25th, with the Artists' Reception on Saturday, August 10th from 5-8 pm. Call 224-200-1155 or visit www.perspectivegallery.org for more info.

Retirement Framing: The Afterthought

As we like to joke about here in our frame shop, nothing quite says, "We care" like a last minute, poorly thought out parting gift for someone moving away or retiring from the office. I cannot count the number of framing projects people bring in to be given to someone retiring or moving on after decades with a company or organization, but with little thought behind them and virtually no time for us to execute properly.  My guess is that, very often, people only learn of these events at the last minute and have to scramble to put something together. In other cases, the person at the top has known about the impending event, but was too self-absorbed to give some thought to an appropriate framed gift or they were constrained from telling anyone to preserve the departing person's privacy. Either way, you're going to call us with a little note of panic in your voice.

Here are some ways in which we pull the proverbial " rabbit out of the hat" for procrastinators:

  •  We frame a mat with large borders that everybody in the office or on the board gets to sign first, that then gets a photo of the place or people concerned for the recipient to fondly remember.

  • We frame a photo of the place or group of people to be recalled later by the recipient, together with an inscription in a "keyhole" mat opening below the photo. 
  • We frame a collage or montage of images that recall the chronology of the recipient's career there. Our computerized mat cutter, along with a number of other creative mounting techiniques allows us to do some very creative things with the composition.

  • We frame a 3-D object that has some special meaning to the recipient. Our shadowbox techniques are superb and we have some really great, easy-to-do ideas that can be done quickly.

If you are at a loss for ideas on commemorating a person's tenure in your organization, give us a call. We can help you with that. Check out some of the framing projects in our Idea Wall section of this website for some inspiration!

Coming Next Month

Recently, our shop manager stretched a trio of very large works of art that were drawings on tissue paper adhered to canvas. We will show you some photos and an explanation of how some of the construction and installation issues were dealt with. Also, we will show you a wedding collage we did for a client and some new prints we are carrying. Thanks for checking in with our blog and we will see you in August! 

Brian D. Flax, CPF

President, Flax Art & Frame Inc.

************************************************************************************************ Brian's Blog is our way of communicating to you, our valued framing clients (and prospective clients) what we are all about: Picture Framing and Framing-related services. That's all we do. Of the 67+ years we have been in business, we have spent the last 23 of them as a framing company. Over all those years, we learned that the customer is king and customer service is everything. So, we focus on the thing that we do best: Being the most innovative, experienced, service-focused picture framer in all of downtown Chicago.

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