By Matt Schickling
Wire Staff Writer
It’s not about the size of the gallery, but the amount of art it can display.
Forever In Frames, a custom framing and matting store located on York Road in the heart of Hatboro, hosted the opening reception for a three-month exhibit that showcases regional artists last Friday. The space is tiny, but the walls are covered from floor to ceiling with a combined total of around 60 pieces from nine different artists from Bucks and Montgomery counties.
“It’s not easy to find places to show your stuff. I wanted to reach out and find people to support,” Melanie Eyth, the main organizer of the exhibit, said. “We’re just trying to uplift and encourage art and culture in Hatboro.”
Eyth has been doing this for a few years now after Hatboro’s Main Street Manager Stephen Barth originally came up with the idea. Eyth, a dancer, poet and photographer herself, organizes a monthly display at Hatboro Federal Savings Bank, where she works. In doing this, she has met several artists of various mediums who want more places to display and sell their work. It only made sense to bring the art to the man that frames it.
“The shows tend to be fairly successful. They bring a lot of people in the first few nights,” said Ron Hornberger, owner of Forever In Frames. “It gives a chance for local artists to get their work out in front of the public.”
Though he did not actually frame any of the pieces on display, Hornberger understands the benefit of hosting the event, both for his business and for the community. When originally approached by Barth and Eyth for use of his space, he gave little hesitation. This is now the fourth or fifth time Forever In Frames has hosted a showcase, but it’s not without its advantages, Hornberger said. The store takes in 30 percent of all art sales.
As for regular business, “If you’ve got it, I can frame it,” Hornberger said and he’s not kidding. The backend of the shop was strewn with odds and ends of various framing materials the day before the opening, and he was unsure whether he’d be able to make space for the influx of people.
On opening nights, the shop is filled with people, often with a line out the door. The art ranges from photography to drawing to all types of painting, and the range in prices matches the variety. Pieces are on sale anywhere from just under $100 to just under $1,000, and the items are priced by the artists who made them.
“I don’t do a critique process. I kind of just give everyone a chance,” Eyth said. “Art is subjective. It adds so much to the community. It’s about expression, communication, telling your story, telling who you are.”
The exhibit will be open during business hours through October and the art will remain for sale as long as it is on display. Forever In Frames is closed on Sundays.
“This show is just one example of the exciting revitalization going on in Hatboro,” said Barth. “A new life and creative energy has been breathed into the borough with the opening of many new businesses, restaurants and construction activity over the past two years. Hatboro is becoming one of the ‘it towns’.”