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Tru Vue® Framing Competition Award Winner Becomes First Canadian to Win Major Industry Award

By Maureen O'Connor, Tru Vue® Marketing Manager

Andrea Tucker Hatch won the Fan Favorite Award in the Tru Vue® Framing Competition, based on results from an online poll conducted during the West Coast Art and Frame Expo (WCAF) where her piece was on display at the Tru Vue booth.



The moment


Andrea’s entry titled, “They All Remember It How They Need To”, captured memories from a premiere event for the Jersey Boys movie, held in the hometown of one of the actors playing a major character. The movie marked the breakout performance of Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi, who hails from Stettler, Alberta, Canada, where Andrea owns the custom framing shop, Cabinet of Curiosities.



The entry is a shadowbox that features photos and items from the premiere event as well as one of the movie’s promotional posters. One of the features that made Andrea’s piece stand out was the way she used unusual materials to create it.



The design


Andrea took a visual theme from the movie posters design; creating the shadowbox to mimic the alley in the image with a frame wrapped in bricks in shades of gray. This was accomplished this by using a textured modeling paste called Lascaux Extra Course Modeling Paste, found online and in some art supply retailers. The paste is made of a polymer similar to acrylic paint, and is very stable and appropriate for conservation-grade projects.



“Using the modeling paste required patience,” said Andrea. “I had to work in six-inch segments and then move to a different spot in the frame to be careful not to knock it while it was drying. My hair dryer came in handy to accelerate the process.”



Thinking outside the frame


Taking the elements beyond the frame, Andrea incorporated a lamp that replicates the one from the movie poster on the outside of the actual frame. The lamp is flexible and can be moved for the best impact when hung.



The lamp was custom-made by Andrea with help from her local hardware store. The light itself is a bendable flashlight, which is connected to a lamp post made of PVC hot water pipe. Exploring the kitchen section of the store, Andrea found a mini bundt pan to serve as the curved shade and a cupcake carrier that was used to create the street light cover.



“The local hardware store doesn’t even question me anymore when I come in with a crazy idea,” said Andrea.



The base of the lamp post is a small speaker intended to play the soundtrack from the movie or, because it is Bluetooth, anything else from a compatible device. The speaker is a story of trial and error. The original design had it underneath the model car that sits at the bottom of the frame, but through multiple experiments, the sound was distorted and vibrated everything inside the frame. Andrea made the decision to move the speaker to the lamp post base and wrapped it in the modeling paste bricks for a seamless addition.



Inside the frame, Andrea used Optium Museum Acrylic® to encase the invitations to the premier and mount the photo of the marquee from the event, which sets in the bottom left corner of the frame. The marquee photo was printed on clear film and adhered to the Optium Museum Acrylic, allowing the light to filter through from the back. This light source also is what illuminates the bricks below in the blue a blue hue. The blue tint comes from the reflective quality of the ink used to color the modeling paste.


The overall buzz


A former art conservator, Andrea began custom framing when she opened her shop Cabinet of Curiosities 13 years ago. This was her first year entering the Tru Vue competition, and she was surprised at how many people wanted to stop and talk about her entry.



“It was more about interest in the pieces versus the competition,” Andrea said. “Most of us at WCAF are independent shops, so being able to get together, talk about our work and broaden our network is really important.”



As the first Canadian winner of a major international framing award, Andrea has received plenty of support from her community, including one of the province’s most popular television programs, which is planning a segment on the piece. For now, the piece is on display at Cabinet of Curiosities with a reception planned sometime in May. Andrea hopes that Michael will attend if he has a break from his acting commitments.



Andrea appreciates the support and describes it as humbling. “In a town of 5,000 people, though, they don’t let you have an ego,” she added.



Competition aside, Andrea views projects like, “They All Remember It How They Need To”, as an example of the kind of work custom framers can use to showcase their skills and stand out.



“In order to set yourself apart, it’s important to do something unique enough to make people stop and say, ‘This is really cool,’” she said.



The theme of the 2017 Tru Vue Framing Competition was Tru Frameable Moments™, which celebrates the ability of custom framers to capture life’s most treasured times. For more information on the Tru Frameable Moments, click here.

This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.

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