ArtPrize Re-Framing Project - frame usa

Last year at this time I had the awesome opportunity to show some of my art at Grand Rapids' very own worldwide art competition, ArtPrize. It was such a fun experience and certainly a humbling one to invite the public to scrutinize some of my creative work. If you want to read my artist statement, you can click here. You can also watch a really cool video that my husband made about my creative process here. Below is a picture of my entry which showed at The Factory in the building above San Chez restaurant.Once ArtPrize was over, we had to decide what we were going to do with these 5 huge frames. My project was more conceptual than aesthetic, so we really weren't planning on hanging it up as it was in our house (we don't have the wall space anyway). However, we didn't want to just get rid of it either. So, we decided to re-use the large frames for other photos and then re-cut the mattes from my project and put them in smaller 5x7 frames to hang in our hallway.

All we needed were 5 identical simple black 5x7 frames that were ethically made out of sustainable and eco-friendly material. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, that's what I thought at first, too....

Since we started this project or new lifestyle or whatever you want to call it, we've been avoiding big box stores pretty much entirely. (I haven't been to Target since February!) But there are some things that we have found really difficult to purchase locally. It's certainly easy to go to Goodwill or yard sales to find used picture frames for cheap. But it would be rare indeed to find 5 identical frames like the ones we needed. After looking all over the internet for fair trade picture frames that fit our criteria for sustainability, I was officially discouraged. So, I broke and decided we should just go to Hobby Lobby. Well, we walked in... looked for about 5 minutes in the frame aisle... and it was just 'made in china, made in china, made in china' as far as the eye could see... so, we turned around and walked right back out.

I decided I was going to have to lower my standards a bit if I was going to find what I wanted, so I started searching the internet for frames that were at least made in the USA. Finally! I found 5 black frames from Frame USA that were not only made here, but were also made out of eco-friendly wood composite. I re-cut the mattes and pounded some metal hangars on the back of the frames and they were ready to go. They are currently a part of our new hallway gallery that I will feature on the blog sometime in the next couple weeks. Get excited! Cuz it's really cool.

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