Art, design, five-star service; it’s all about the details. At Queen City Concierge, I really enjoy my detail-oriented work. I realize, however, that as much as I care for details, I will never be perfect. As my mother would say, “I am perfectly imperfect.” Because of this, I am thankful that I can count on others to make me look good when I need a little help. Art is everywhere, and I appreciate the emotion it brings when I see it, but I do not consider myself an “Art-y.” My go-to guy for such matters is Jon Piper at Piper Custom Framing & Fine Art; if you have ever met him, you would know why. Jon is a down-to-Earth guy, and knowing him for five minutes will make you feel like you have been friends for years. In addition, his great selection of frames and his ability to create a real piece of art out of any child’s doodle, a family photo, or an exquisite piece you just had to have,a ssures that you’ll enjoy the final product.
I was fortunate enough to have spent a day with Jon recently. After parking in the lot located behind the store and heading in through the back entrance, I had the feeling of walking into someone’s workshop–probably because I did. As I was looking around, Jon greeted me with agreat big smile. He was eager to give me a tour and I was eager to take it! However, it was early and ridiculously cold outside, so we decided to enjoy some coffee to warm up first. While we sat and chatted, I couldn’t help but stare at the frame moldings that cover the entire wall behind the counter. How he keeps track of them I will never know. When I’ve brought items to Jon for framing in the past, I have imagined him as Ollivander from the wand shop int he Harry Potter movies, and it makes me smile. After coffee, we headed down to the lower level where the uncut moldings are stored and sized. I received a little education on the types of wood, how molding is constructed, and got a sneak peek at some really unique pieces. My favorite was a molding covered in tobacco leaves–the texture created was really something.
We then headed back up to the workroom so Jon could show off cool tools like the Eclipse. The Eclipse uses measurements entered into its system to make an incision into the mattes used for framing projects. Jon has teased me saying he will rename it after me so that Ashlee is always there, but I think he wants to rename it after me because, like the Eclipse, I am awesome! After joking around a little more, we moved on to the best part–the gallery. Every time I make a trip to Piper’s I love to stroll through the gallery and see the new pieces, but this time I had a tour guide and got some background on my favorite ones. I’ll spare you the details of my favorites and let you choose your own, for art is unique because of its ability to evoke a different emotion and spark a different memory in all of us. So I invite you to stop by Piper’s to enjoy the beautiful blown glass of Thomas Maras, to encounter the unbelievable wooden bowls of Drake Wood, to get lost in the dream-like world Eyob Mergia creates in his paintings, to experience a new perspective of South Dakota life through Greg Latza’s lens, and to support the amazing talents of our other local artists. Thank you to Piper Custom Framing & Fine Art for a great day!