Though he called himself “Framer to the Stars,” I never saw any stars in Bill’s Custom Frames. But I did see plenty of artists.
Every artist has their favorite framers, and ever since I was in art school Bill has been one of mine. When I later worked as an art dealer, Bill helped me to frame hundreds of pieces.
Bill’s Custom Frames is a hub, a place where chance meetings occur, ideas and information exchange.
In the middle of it all is Bill Fielder, a damn fine framer who’s been in business since 1972. Sure Bill’s got talent but it’s really his personality that keeps everyone coming back.
Bill’s one of those characters who always greets you with a huge smile and by the time you leave, you’re smiling too.
He’s crazy for old Volkswagens and black velvet paintings. People give them to him in homage and gratitude. The fact that Bill’s walls are covered with black velvet paintings is a testament to his community’s appreciation.
Community. It’s strange how much more that word comes to mean when there’s a tragedy, a loss.
Bill Fielder, “Framer to the Stars” passed away last week. He’s left a big hole in an arts community where his own star had shined so bright.
At a party held in his honor, artists filled the space to say farewell. Bill was loved.
The stories came out.
Deeply devoted to local artists, Bill always came through. He’d work nights and weekends to help someone make a deadline.
He’d make emergency house-calls to galleries if a frame needed fixing.
Many an artist has found themself desperate for frames but short on funds. Bill was always open to a trade if an artist was in a pinch.
He opened a small gallery in his shop too, proudly showcasing local talent.
Showing at Bill’s Custom Frames has been a tremendous opportunity for artists to get their work in front of other artists. There’s nothing better for feedback, networking, and community.
What about your own art community?
Can you identify the Bill Fielders in your life? Our world is full of those wonderful unsung heroes who make an artist’s work possible. Why not show your gratitude?
Have you hugged a framer today?
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