A first-time entrant to the Tru Vue® Framing Competition, Vivien J. Smith of VJS Studios in East Hampton, NY, won the “Fan Favorite Award” based on online votes from attendees and fans. She was one of three finalists who framed their choice of a textile artwork created by Chilean artist, Andrea Barrios Aguilar, which was commissioned specifically for the competition. All three of these framing packages were glazed using Optium Museum Acrylic®.
Vivien was drawn to the textural and three-dimensional aspects of the chosen artwork and decided a reflective surface would best capture these qualities. The three-dimensional inspiration played into the structural elements of the stacked frame and mirrored lining. The design not only creates depth for showcasing the artwork but allows viewers to see the various angles and depth of the textile. The mirrored surfaces give the piece dimension and adds a feeling of glamour to the design.
To create the stacked frame, Vivien used a Roma Nearly Blackwood frame as the outer frame and a Larson-Juhl frame from the Harlowe line to create the inner perimeter that extended the reflective surfaces throughout the framing package. The textile was mounted above an acrylic mirror backing with mirrored spacers which allowed for three inches of reflective surface surrounding the artwork. With the multiple layers of mirrors, Vivien was able to create ample space without introducing any lines into the framing itself, allowing the lines of the artwork to stand alone. The clever design ensures that the viewer focuses on the colors, textures, and shapes in the art.
Working with Optium Museum Acrylic®
The use of mirrors in Vivien’s framing package made utilizing Optium Museum Acrylic® an essential part of the design. The glazing’s optimal coating enhances the textures and colors while also allowing the viewer to enjoy the artwork from various angles without the distraction of their reflection.
Although she was new to the Tru Vue® Framing Competition, Vivien was already experienced in working with Optium Museum Acrylic. With its lightweight, 99% UV protection, abrasion and shatter-resistance benefits, it has appeal for many of her customers, so much so that she has some who swap it into already framed pieces. Vivien estimates that about 20 percent of her business is in framing textiles, so she appreciates its anti-static benefits and finds it very easy to work with in the studio where sometimes dust can be problematic when working with acrylic.
As the Fan Favorite winner, Vivien will receive $500 in funds to use toward a local market event promoting the competition win and one box of Optium Museum Acrylic (40” x 60”).
While the prize and excitement that go along with winning are draws for competitions, Vivien said that one of the most important benefit is in simply entering. Being able to take an idea and go beyond what is typically expected is a great way to generate design concepts that can be applied to other framing projects.
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