The Irondequoit Chamber of Commerce is pleased to recognize Frametastic Inc. of Culver Road as the featured business of the month for September 2015.
The art of custom framing is alive and well in Irondequoit. Frametastic proprietor Joan Diem has been in the business since opening the Sea Breeze workshop with husband George more than 40 years ago. Since then, Frametastic has custom framed thousands of paintings, prints, photographs, and other unique items. Art at the Town Hall has been framed by Frametastic, as are prints that will be on display at the new Irondequoit Library. And art is at the heart of Frametastic.
Joan Diem remembers well the day when she and George drove by a vacant house on Culver Road in Sea Breeze. Overgrown bushes nearly covered the small 'for sale' sign, but she knew when she spotted it that the building was perfect for George's next art studio. George's employer, Singer Business Machines, was going out of business and he had an idea to open an art studio and gallery, and do custom framing on the side. The George Diem Art Gallery opened in 1974.
George Diem was an accomplished portrait artist trained by his mother (also an artist and a theatre organist), and also a “jack of all trades" says Joan. George was active in the local art scene, exhibiting at the Memorial Art Gallery Clothesline Festival from that show's second year onward, and selling the first piece of art at an early Finger Lakes Art show.
When custom framing outpaced George's painting, the studio was renamed Frametastic in 1978. George continued to make original art of his own while also repairing and restoring paintings brought in for framing.
Custom framing projects are, says Joan, limited only by imagination. In addition to paintings and photographs, she has framed clothing, coins, sculptures, flags, daggers, sports memorabilia, historical documents and artifacts, keepsakes, collages, puzzles, fans, handmade hankies, and anything a customer wants to proudly or lovingly display.
“Everything that people bring in for framing is so unique," says Joan. “A man once brought in a stuffed pheasant for custom framing—George said, 'I'll never do this again!'" The complicated framing involved constructing a deep shadow box nearly 4 feet tall.
Nearly 1,000 frame options are available at Joan's workshop, and all of the material is in-stock. Frametastic also repairs frames, custom cuts mattes, and offers engraved brass art nameplates. A meticulous practitioner of her craft, Joan fabricates each frame to specification, and cuts glass on-site, in clear, non-glare, and conservation glass options. Her equipment is all original.
In a nod to the George Diem Art Gallery, original paintings, prints, and photographs by local artists are also for sale at Frametastic.
After 51 years of marriage, George passed away about 10 years ago. His self-portrait in oil hangs in Joan's workshop where she carries on the work of custom framing art, valuables, and memories.
“We worked together and we played together," says Joan of creating art and building Frametastic with George. “It was a dream come true for us."
Frametastic Inc. is located at 4397 Culver Road, and is open Wednesday through Friday 10am to 4pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Other times by appointment by calling 585-323-1575.