Home » Local News » Framing shop shows love of art

Framing shop shows love of art

Harry and Barbara Heesch may be relatively new to the Denver business community, but they’re certainly no strangers to owning their own business.
“Barbara and I have been in business for 40 years,” said Harry, owner of Fine Framing on NC 16 in Denver.
The couple lived in Boston and had their own business there before relocating to Denver five years ago to be closer to family.
The Heesches’ business in Boston had nothing to do with framing. Yet when they decided to move south, Harry adopted a new game plan.
His father was a painter who framed his own work. According to Harry, the results looked amateurish. It piqued an interest for him.
“When I decided to move down here, I basically tried to find out how frames are made,” Harry said.
He apprenticed with a gilder from Tiffany for four years before moving here and opening Fine Framing. Harry also put his newfound talents to a more personal use, reframing all of his father’s artwork.
At the shop, Harry gets the frames he uses from suppliers. Even though he could make them himself, he finds this way more cost and time effective for his customers.
“I have a woodworking and metal shop at home,” he said. “I can’t do it here because of the dust.”
One thing the Heesches can do at their shop is showcase art by local artists.
“We really encourage and promote local artists,” said Harry.
The front of the shop functions as an art gallery, with painting, photography and pottery by talented area residents. It’s something about which the couple feels strongly.
“Local artists just don’t have a place to show their work,” Harry said.
Through Fine Framing, the Heesches have made countless new friends, some artists whose pieces they feature, some customers whose treasured artwork they’ve framed. Both say they love the mixture of southern hospitality and culture they’ve found in Denver.
“This is just a wonderful, wonderful area,” said Harry. “We should have moved here much sooner.”
Although the couple’s surroundings may have changed, their collaborative work efforts haven’t. According to Harry, the two have always worked side by side. At Fine Framing, Barbara mans the front of the store, while Harry works in the back.
“We let him out every once in a while,” joked Barbara.
But in all seriousness, the Heesches know the business they’re in has changed a lot. The mom and pop frame shops have disappeared for the most part as box stores and their mass produced products take over. As a family-owned custom frame shop, Fine Framing is now the exception rather than the rule.
Yet the couple says they welcome the competition. It helps them keep bringing their “A” game to the table.
Perhaps the most unique thing about Fine Framing is a piece of art the Heesches don’t have hanging in the front of their shop: one of modern art’s most famous forgeries, a print of Salvador Dali’s “Columbus Discovers America” that appears to be signed by the artist.
According to Heesch, an appraiser told him the signature is a fake and one of a number of prints of the work with forged signatures. Heesch considers the piece a true treasure.
“It truly is the most unique piece of art we’ve ever had,” he said.
While the Heesches are definitely art enthusiasts, they say they’re far from artists themselves.
“We’re good at painting walls,” said Barbara.
They’re also good at supporting art and their adopted community of Denver at the same time.
In addition to featuring local artists’ works at Fine Framing, the couple participated in last year’s Denver Art Trail, an event that has art lovers spending a day traveling to different locations to view work by area artists.
Fine Framing was a stop on the trail, and the couple featured three different artists. They say over 100 people came through the shop during the event.
“We had people from Mooresville, Charlotte, Davidson and Lincolnton,” Barbara said.
The couple plans on participating again this year. It’s another way to support art and artists in the community the Heesches now call their own.

Fine Framing is located at 120 South NC 16 in the Food Lion shopping center. You may contact Harry and Barbara Heesch at (704) 827-1301.
by Allyson Levine

You must be logged in to post a comment Login