Framing out of the box

Mary Lou and Jim Wampler work on frames inside the Gallery of Creative Arts.<I><BR>The Eagle/Jill Mallory</I>

PRAIRIE CITY - Last October, the Gallery of Creative Arts on Front Street expanded to include a bigger showroom and a framing area run by Jim and Mary Lou Wampler.

The Wamplers, residents of an area of the Middle Fork of the John Day River, are enjoying the work and look forward to even more to come.

"We seem to be getting busier as time goes by," Jim said. "We have been striving for a two week turnaround time, and so far we're beating that."

He goes to Idaho to pick up some supplies and framing materials.

Jim has a shop setup at home where he can work on frames. Mary Lou thinks she has the best deal, though.

"I get the fun part, working with colors for matting."

The walls are covered with an assortment of frames in several styles and colors, and now that the holidays are past, the couple is anticipating being able to purchase more, offering a variety for their customers to choose from.

"One of the key words we use is 'creative'," said Mary Lou. "We step out of the box and do something creative."

One of the odder jobs they've worked on in the short time they've been open is a large glass art deco piece taken from a hotel and believed to be dated back to the 1920s, owned by a local art dealer.

They are also busy framing giclee prints being sold at a local shop that depict Prairie City, circa 1900. The prints come in four different sizes and are of an unusually wide, narrow shape.

The shop is at 152 Front Street. Info: 820-4284.

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