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2012 - Spring Issue
Casas Bonitas
Art & Accessories
Article: Jessica Muncrief
Photos: Bill Faulkner
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Whether it be monetary, sentimental or perhaps both, what you choose to display on the walls of your home has value. Just like anything you value, you should protect it and get the most enjoyment out of it as possible. For artwork this means you need to put a little extra thought into framing choices. Presentation and are both crucial concerns so we went to expert framer Padma Mott of MVS Studios in downtown Las Cruces for some advice on how to truly appreciate and enjoy your artwork.


Photo Captions

1.) Brothers and Sisters -
     Michael Poncé. By
     changing the frame,
     mood and tone of the
     piece also changes.

2.) Another example of how
     custom reframing can
     enhance your art's
     aesthetic appeal.


MVS Studios
535 North Main St.
Las Cruces, NM 88001
Presentation - "A big misconception art buyers often have is that they assume the artist framed the work and that it is part of the artist's complete vision. Sometimes this is the case, but often times artists simply choose the least expensive frame and these rarely have conservation elements," says Padma. Changing the frame can not only ensure its conservation, but it can also significantly change the mood and tone of a piece, helping it to be more compatible with your personal style and décor tastes.

Taking a look at this painting, Brothers and Sisters by Michael Poncé, it is evident how matting and framing can take your art pieces to the next level. The first example is framed in what is known as a gallery frame, which is a simple black frame with a white mat. This design tends to work for most pieces since it is neutral, but it does not do much for the overall mood of the piece. "In this case, the frame is really the focal point," says Padma, "It jumps out because it has less to do with the piece."

Padma did a custom framing for the second example to enhance the aesthetic appeal and make it more personal. "Here the outer frame and mat work with the color and feelings of the piece and create a sense of balance," she says, "That is what we strive to do at MVS Studios, match the frame to the artwork so that it is all one package."

Preservation - Just as you protect your monetary investments in a bank, ensure that you protect your art investments. "At least as important if not more than appearance, is ensuring that what we put on the artwork does not harm it," says Padma. "At MVS, we focus on archival framing." Archival framing, also known as conservation framing, involves protecting the piece of artwork from dust and dirt in the natural environment, the damaging effects of light, and humidity and temperature changes. This is done by paying close attention to the materials used during the framing process including the glass, matting, backing and mounting equipment. "Archival framing has a lot of gradients," notes Padma, "If a piece is very valuable and really needs to be protected, have it done by a professional."

A little knowledge of framing lingo is necessary to ensure you do not damage your artwork. For example, matting labeled as "buffered acid-free," is not 100 percent acid free. "The back of the mat is acid free, but the interior of the mat is wood pulp which will eventually burn through and start to damage the piece," Padma explains, "And it isn't something that takes decades to happen; within two years you start to notice damage to the artwork." Placing cardboard behind the artwork can also result in damage and burns. Instead, you will want to ensure your matting and backings are made of cotton or rag board.

The type of glass used is also extremely important in ensuring conservation. Padma cautions, "If you use just regular glass, any sunlight will fade it very quickly. Red is the first color to go, so if you look at your artwork and it is starting to look a bit green, then it is getting damaged." For the best preservation, you must at a minimum use glass with UV coating. MVS Studios goes a step further, typically employing museum glass which features not only UV protection, which filters out 97 percent of the harmful effects of sunlight, but also an anti-reflective coating which helps to ensure the art work is visible under the glazing.

To ensure that your art looks great and that it is thoroughly protected, take your art piece into Padma at MVS Studios. She can help you choose the perfect framing and matting combination that will enhance the artist's work and reflect your personal style. She will also utilize the best quality materials in the framing process to preserve your valued artwork for years to come. ///
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