After moving to Rhode Island from out of state, a couple was left with the labor-intensive task of unpacking their life’s possessions. Close to 50 pieces of artwork and mirrors in various sizes remained un-hung in the historic home they’d just purchased.
“It’s the intimidation factor,” says Geoff Gaunt, co-owner of Providence Picture Frame in Rhode Island, about why some people are hesitant to hang their own wall art. Lack of time and the desire to have the job done correctly are other factors that drive customers to seek out Providence Picture Frame for their art-hanging expertise.
In the past, Providence Picture Frame has helped customers display everything from tribal masks and iron artwork to large crisscrossing boat oars over a fireplace and even an airplane propeller that was at one time used to fly the open sky.
It all started with a mirror
A 40-pound gold-leaf mirror is what initially prompted the new residents to call Providence Picture Frame. The old sea captain’s dwelling, built in 1801, had walls made of fragile horsehair plaster, a common feature in structures of this period that have a tendency to crack easily under pressure.
“Frequently this is exactly why people call us,” says Gaunt. “Rather than sweat it out, they call us to put it up so they don’t have to worry about it.” The couple wanted to install the valuable and very heavy mirror above the Victorian mantel in the dining room, but they were afraid of securing it properly.
In less than a half an hour, Carl, an installation expert and artistic consultant for Providence Picture Frame, had managed to find a wooden wall stud to support the large hanging mirror—a challenging task in a home of this age because building codes and regulations had yet to exist so there was no way of knowing where the next stud would be located.
Safety is the first order of business when hanging any item, says Gaunt. For children’s rooms, he suggests using security hardware—which is also used to protect valuable artwork against theft—to secure the piece of artwork in place and swapping out a glass pane for an acrylic one inside the frame so it doesn’t shatter.
An expert eye
“Once safety is addressed, we look at the design and where would be the best place to put the artwork,” explains Gaunt. Clients won’t have to worry about whether or not they’ve hung their favorite piece of art at the right height or if it’s being showcased to its fullest potential. And it will hold up to daily dusting and cleaning. “We stand behind everything we do,” says Gaunt, who adds that the company employs full-time staff to focus on delivering just this service.
“A lot of people might think about it as a luxury, but it is really affordable,” Gaunt points out. Providence Picture Frame installs artwork in homes and commercial businesses from Rhode Island to New York. “We know what we are doing,” he says, “and we do whatever we can to make our customers happy.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Chris Vaccaro
Art Installation: Providence Picture Frame
**As seen in Southern New England Home magazine’s 2012-2013 print edition.