When the Frame Becomes the Art

After receiving a frame as a gift, Linda Myers obsessed about making it bigger. Today, she pieces frames to create stunning art.

Linda Myers reinvented herself about 15 years ago when she sold her flower shops in Plainsboro and Hightstown and began to ponder her next chapter. “I’ve always been very artistic,” she says. “I bought the house in Asbury Park and thought, I’ll just see what happens.” Then a friend gave her a gift: a picture frame. “I kept looking at it, thinking how I could make it bigger, thicker, wider,” she says. Before she knew it, she was making art by piecing frames together and adding fabric, beads and paint. Fabulous Frame Art was born.

Myers scours flea markets and garage and estate sales for old wooden frames. Back in her basement workshop, she assembles them, one inside the other. “I have about 100 frames in my basement waiting to be married together,” she says.

Once assembled, Myers paints the frames in rich jewel tones like gold and burgundy, always highlighted with black. She uses fabric swatches and assorted beads to add dimension and interest.

Each frame takes Myers a couple of weeks to finish. “I almost never know how it’s going to come out,” she says. “Once I start, something happens. It’s magic.”

Initially, Myers worked with a miter box and a small saw on her dining room table. Now she outsources the cutting. “I’m not a carpenter, so I don’t want to do that.” But she faces other challenges with ingenuity. She recycles heavy-duty cardboard tubes—the kind used for rolls of carpet—to make large, cylindrical outer frames for her creations. Myers cuts the tubes in half lengthwise, joins them at mitered corners and applies the desired finishes.

Myers’s frames are available online, and she has exhibited them in galleries, including a recent one-woman show at Toulouse Gallery in Asbury Park, a few blocks from her house. She says she’s sold about 50 of them, at $350 for the smallest to as much as $3,900 for the largest.

Myers still works on her dining room table, surrounded by the rich hues that inspire her. “I like lots of color,” she says. “I’m attracted to Indian and Moroccan things. I don’t know where it came from—I’ve never even been to those places.”

[justified_image_grid exclude="featured"]

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required
Required not shown
Required not shown