In 1971, CBS debuted the classic sitcom “All in the Family,” which is one way to describe the relationship between the founder and the current owner of Frame Art Gallery in Fresh Meadows. But while the Queens-based show has been off the air for decades, the gallery is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month.
Ina Frey opened the store on Oct. 13, 1971, and still works there. Today, her daughter, Donna Drimer, is the owner of both the Fresh Meadows store, located at 190-17 Union Turnpike, and a second store, Matted, in Long Island City, which opened almost three years ago.
Drimer said she never envisioned making the framing business her career, and she surely didn’t think she’d be working with her mother, but more than 30 years after her first gallery job, “here I am.”
Just as times have changed in the last four decades, so has the framing business.
Recently, eco-friendly frames have started to be used, and the customers like the added environmental benefits from using those frames.
Frey said the store keeps current by listening to everything a customer says, by going to art trade shows and by reading books and subscribing to magazines.
According to the store’s Facebook page, Frame Art Gallery is a place that “artfully furnishes your home and you.” Frey said that they specialize in unique and unusual items, which help keep them relevant in the tough economy of today.
“We’ve seen a slight economic impact, but the people who have money still spend it,” she said.
While the store does common custom framing of documents like diplomas and other certificates, they also do more unique projects.
Frey said they do lithographs, paintings, and laminating, frame memorabilia, autographs and sports jerseys and also shadow boxes, which are shallow, rectangular frames fronted with a glass panel, used to show and at the same time protect items on display.
One of the most interesting pieces she’s ever worked on was a shadow box of a sterling silver impression of Israel’s Wailing Wall.
Drimer said she’s done autographed Bill Cosby T-shirts from “The Cosby Show,” pieces of rubble from the World Trade Center after the attacks on 9/11 and birth certificates of a couple of victims of the attacks.
With the holiday season fast approaching, Frey expects an upturn in business. She said that Hanukkah and Christmas are their busiest times.
In celebration of its anniversary and in appreciation of its customers, the store is offering 40 percent off particular moldings during the month of October. For more information, call 718-454-1630.
Frame Art Gallery is open Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.