At Angles and Art, customers can buy artwork and get almost anything framed. More than just a gallery, it's a framing studio, and the only one in town. At first, it appears to be an art gallery. Paintings, photographs, blown glass, tiles and sculpted shoes are on display. But as you walk further into the room, the walls are lined with hundred of samples of moldings for frames and that's where the "angles" come in.
For the past 30 years Angles and Art has been framing everything from paintings to high school diplomas. Harmke Lawrence, owner of the studio, said that in the past, there were other framing businesses in Haverhill, but they have all disappeared.
"It's because we are good," said Lawrence. "We have made it through whatever economy there has been, we have a loyal customer base, and we provide an excellent service."
Angles and Art provides good service because it has adapted with the times.
"The technology behind framing is becoming more tech savvy, and some of the materials have changed," said Lawrence. "The matting and glass are more high tech than they used to be. For example, mattings are all either acid-free or cotton now."
And the glass they use for framing is stronger and more protective. Museum quality glass that shows no glare and protects art from ultraviolet rays is also available, though it costs considerably more. The sky is the limit. Whatever you need, Angles and Art can provide it.
And though technology has changed the framing aspect of the business, the artwork for sale has changed as well.
Lawrence used to sell only limited edition prints by nationally known artists, but now every piece in the gallery is original work produced and consigned to Angles and Art by a local artist. They even have a photographer-in-residence, Robert Hahn.
"There is a wealth of talent in the area," said Lawrence. "Why not use it?"
The art they sell is not limited to paintings or prints. There are plenty of painted landscapes of beaches and flowers, but there are also photographs, sculptures, and blown class. There is even a display of large, brightly colored sculpted shoes — perhaps reminiscent of the city's past as the Queen Slipper City.
"I want to expose people to different mediums of art. It's good to see people express their talent," said Lawrence.
Lawrence doesn't paint or take pictures herself. "The framing is my art," said Lawrence. "It's a constant source of creativity."
Lawrence has a collection of enlarged and framed vintage posters of Haverhill hanging on the wall along the stairs that lead to the downstairs gallery.
Frames are not manufactured in the studio but, in most cases, they are assembled there.
The frames arrive in pieces called chops. Lawrence puts the chops together, then puts the matting, glass and the art to be framed, together.
Not every piece of art brought in is something one would expect to be framed.
"Some people come to us when they want to figure out a creative way to display something," said Lawrence.
For example, a woman brought in a wedding cake topper she had inherited from her mother and wanted to display it in her home. Lawrence fixed the topper and found a suitable glass display case for it.
Her next project was going to be figuring out a way to frame or display a tea set.
Not everyone who comes to Angles and Art has their piece framed by Lawrence.
"Sometimes they just ask for advice or ideas, then pursue it on their own," said Lawrence.
Lawrence said framing can be costly, so it's important to do it right the first time.
"The most important things are quality, quality and quality," said Lawrence. "We offer the best service and the best product."