Spring is finally in the air here in Northwest Montana!! Spring cleaning, clearing out & getting ready for new energy is what’s on our minds! After an interesting 2016, both nationally & personally, we are ready to be heading into our 14th year of business with fresh ideas & optimism! Lucky number 13 came with a bit of the extremes when it comes to running a business…..and being trolled by white supremacists the day before Christmas certainly capped off an intriguing year!! This helped us realize, though, that we will continue to speak up for what we think is right without apology and also the importance of our community that we call home…..I am proud to have lived here for much of my life & I consider my kids fortunate (and spoiled) to have grown up here as well, in this amazing & naturally beautiful region of Northwest Montana!
I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who’ve walked through our doors over the last 13 years, for giving us the chance to serve you!! Whether you are born & raised locals, transplants or visitors, we appreciate your business & will do our best to keep serving you in this special town! Picture framing is an interesting trade. While it usually gets bumped aside in lean economic times, it’s the type of business where we get to personally help a customer pay homage to their original artwork, special family heirlooms or simple decorative touches to a home, office or public space. Over the years, we have gotten to frame up some incredible items that have required special care. Many of these items that we have had the honor to frame evoke emotions & memories of meaningful trips, cherished family members & special events for our customers. It’s been economically challenging at times, but fully rewarding. Being able to offer a gallery space for emerging, non-traditional artwork & outdoor sculpture has also been an enjoyable part of our business and participating in Whitefish Gallery Nights has given us the opportunity to contribute to the cultural & artistic visions of our community. All in all, we want to encourage our community art patrons & framing customers to keep supporting your locally owned, unique businesses, no matter who they are. The money you spend here gets spent in other local businesses throughout our community. It’s easy to get lured into online sites or big box stores that claim to offer lower cost alternatives, but I can tell you, we have options for every budget & every style & we will always guarantee your satisfaction. If at any time, you look at that picture on the wall & feel that it wasn’t the right color or you notice a flaw after bringing it home (“perfection is a myth”, but we do our best to reach it!!), we encourage our customers to bring it back & we will make it right!! Below is a small sample of the thousands of projects we’ve framed over the years. My pictures really don’t do them justice and there have been so many projects that I haven’t managed to get pictures of!!
I’d like to share just a little bit of how & why we ended up in this business & in this town in the first place!! Peter is an Indiana native who found me, Michelle, a Whitefish native, in Seattle Washington, while both working for the Washington Public Interest Research Group in 1992. Peter then landed a job at Central Avenue Co-op & we started raising our family of two boys….we have fond memories of living in South Capitol Hill, soaking in the diversity of the city & participating in various arts related activities, markets & music events. I really do miss Seattle!! In 1998, we moved back to Whitefish & with the support of my immediate family, along with a very extended family, we began establishing our life here. We both participated a little bit here & there within the local arts community, Peter doing life drawing & writing groups, as well as photography……me facilitating mom & toddler art with Stumptown Art Studio & working with at-risk youth in group home settings, encouraging arts participation within that population, as well. In 2003, we welcomed our 3rd son into our lives & that triggered a need & a desire to open our own business. Peter had worked for about five years framing for Ben Franklin & having some of his own personal art background in painting & photography, we felt like this would be a fun & needed service to expand on in the growing town of Whitefish. We opened our shop in May of 2004 and within the following year, a group of shops/galleries began Whitefish Gallery Nights, which has become a mainstay monthly event, every first Thursday of May through October. As far as life beyond our shop, for the last several years, you will most likely find us on the sidelines of a soccer field watching any one of our three boys playing their favorite sport!!
Finally, I’d like to give a little sneak preview of our upcoming gallery nights season. May 4th, we will be featuring Daniel Foust with his digital painting prints…… June 1st will feature Jeff Troupe with his plein air oil paintings of Whitefish & Glacier locales……. July 6th we will feature ceramic & mixed media sculpture artist, Charity Flowers…….August 3rd will bring us Linda Hendrickson & her colorful acrylic/mixed media paintings……..and September 7th will feature acrylic artist Judy Cockrell. October 5th TBD soon!! For more information on gallery nights, go to http://www.whitefishgallerynights.org or look up Whitefish Gallery Nights-First Thursdays on Facebook. Contact us with any questions you may have about our events and/or our framing services! We look forward to doing business with you & come by & visit anytime, M-Saturday, 10-5PM (or a little later, we offer by appointment if necessary!!) & say hi to me, Peter, Daniel or Karen!! http://www.thewalkingmanframeshop.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-863-ARTS (2787) and you can find us on Facebook as The Walking Man Frame Shop & Gallery and on Instagram as thewalkingman2004. Cheers & Happy Montana Day!!