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The Art of Framing @ Gallery Frames on Elmwood

Recently opened Gallery Frames on Elmwood provides a full range of art services, from art installations to minor art restoration, to building custom frames. In addition to these services, there is also additional space for a variety of uses, including a gallery setting for occasional events, and a display area for artwork (for sale). 

Mainly, though, Gallery Frames is a custom picture frame shop. Co-owners Jeffrey Vincent and Peat Bellomo have made their number one priority customer satisfaction. They order the products, assemble the frames, cut the mats, and basically do all the work themselves.

“It’s just the two of us, it’s personal,” Vincent said. “We’re in a beautiful building, it’s a nice experience. People walk in and they enjoy the woodwork and they enjoy the galleries. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by art while you’re framing your work?”

Sometimes, people come in with odd requests, but they always do their best to provide customers with what they want. This kind of treatment is such a valuable resource in the art community. The experience and process at Gallery Frames is drastically different than getting a similar service at a big-box store, like Michaels or JOANN Fabric.

At the chain stores, most of the work is done off-site. Distributors have deals with them so they are the only framing options available. You are not necessarily getting a custom frame like the ones offered at Gallery Frames.

“Not to mention, it’s a person to person situation,” Vincent said. “You don’t go to a random grease monkey to get your car fixed, you go to your local mechanic that you know. It’s not dissimilar from that kind of situation – wouldn’t you want to go to the local business, to get the personal treatment?”

For a Buffalo analogy, Bellomo compared it to going to Tipico Coffee over a chain like Starbucks. It’s about supporting local and getting quality work from people you know and trust.

Part of the reason Gallery Frames has this established trustworthy service, is primarily because of Vincent and Bellomo’s history in the business. Both owners grew up in Buffalo and have a lot of experience in the art community.

Vincent is the “art guy” of the pair. He received training at the Cleveland Institute of Art and from Maryland Institute College of Art. From there he’s worked in galleries and museums, and on his own personal work for decades.

Bellomo is the framing side of the business. He got into the art of framing from a friend and various teachers along the way.

“I just kind of fell in love with the trade,” Bellomo said. “I got classically taught every step of the process for at least for six months, just doing one task. I learned to like it, it was fun. And you start to have fun with customers when you get to know what you’re doing.”

People who surround themselves with art know the value of a good frame. It’s more than putting a border around a piece; it’s about design, protection and enhancing the work for viewers.

“When you’re framing,” Vincent explained, “everything was chosen to support that image as an overall design project, rather than just the piece of art. The frame is there to support, protect, and embellish the entire experience.”

Getting two people like Bellomo and Vincent, who are so passionate about their trade, is a true treasure right here in Buffalo. Feeling rewarded each time a customer is pleased is what makes this business worth it for them.

“That’s what’s cool about this,” Bellomo said. “We get to do that for people – the customers get excited, sometimes emotional.”

Vincent added, “If there’s just one customer that comes through and they’re just incredibly pleased and grateful, it’s worth the world.”

Gallery Frames on Elmwood | 419 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo, New York 14222 | Facebook

Written by Abby Wojcik

Abby Wojcik

Abby Wojcik is a student at Canisius College majoring in English and creative writing with a minor in women and gender studies. She is the Features Editor of The Griffin Newspaper and an Executive Board member of Women & Gender Studies Club at Canisius. She is also a freelance writer with The Lancaster-Depew Sun and Rise Collaborative. She is passionate about journalism, poetry, art and all things Buffalo. When not in the classroom, she can usually be found in local coffee shops drinking a chai tea latte.

View All Articles by Abby Wojcik
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