The Art Experience Studio is a gallery where you can select artwork or learn how to best arrange your artwork in your home space of office place. If you are feeling creative, attend our workshops on art. No matter what your reason, stop by to learn about the services we offer to help with all your art and framing decisions.
When the flag is out I am in or call to schedule an appointment.
Since the founding of Art Experience, there have been many changes in the art and framing industry and consequently there have been many changes in Art Experience. We think that story can best be told by looking at the many locations Art Experience has been located.
The journey began in Exton, Pennsylvania with the founding of The Creative Hand, a Fine Art and Craft gallery. We had over 25 of the most talented artists and finest crafters working together in an old Stone house in a beautiful countryside setting. Wonderful memories of living in an area dominated with the artwork of Andrew Wyeth.
Carriage Depot, Amherst New Hampshire
Art Experience found a new home in a small mall in Amherst, New Hampshire. Along with this change came the founding of the Custom Picture Framing shop. With a sporting goods shop on one side and organic food Store on the other, it was the ideal place to be.
Salzburg Square, Amherst New Hampshire
Then came the big move to the Village of Salzburg Square fashioned after the villages of Salzburg, Austria. This was the beginning of art classes for adults and children. It was also a time of teaching at the University of New Hampshire-Manchester.
The Barn, Amherst New Hampshire
Moving into a barn in Amherst offered new opportunities to add artist shows onto the agenda. The barn and outbuildings provided wonderful woodland setting to showcase artists and their work.
The Story of George the Ghost
One of my favorite Art Experience locations was an old barn in Historic Amherst, New Hampshire. The gallery was located on the first floor filled with artwork hanging on walls of old, worn barn board. Customer framing was completed in the workshop on the second floor.
Bette Burns was in charge of the framing and came in at 6 AM to get an early start. One December morning when I arrived at 10 to open the retail gallery, Bette told me that something odd had happened that morning. She was joining a frame, heard footsteps on the stairs, and called out “What are you doing here so early?” When there was no answer she turned around and was surprised to see no one. Bette admitted to feeling uneasy but contributed the incident to a dark, damp, cold morning in an old wooden barn. There were other mornings when Bette felt that she was being watched.She would check the stairs and first floor to find nothing or no one.
One morning Bette asked if I had stayed late to work on framing.She had come in to work to find her framing tools moved to odd places. I tried to make light of this comment, and answered no, but I will admit I found myself nervously looking over my shoulder at sudden noises or creaking floorboards.
It was the morning that Bette came in to find a pile of boxes toppled over, that we decided to take action. Before we closed the shop at the end of the day, we arranged frames and other supplies in the workshop, on the floor and on counters in very deliberate positions. It would be obvious to us if they were not in these same places when we arrived the next morning. Feeling a bit annoyed as well as apprehensive, we found that our unseen visitor had been at work during the night. Things had been moved, very slightly.I think Bette and I learned that moment what it means to be so scared you could “feel the hairs rise on the back of your neck.”
For weeks after that encounter, Bette came in late and I came in early to keep each other company. We tried to be brave and welcoming to our Ghost, whom we named George…thinking that if we accepted him, he would accept us and leave us alone.
We talked to him like an old friend and gave him far too much credit for entertaining us as we worked. There were moments when we felt watched and there were times that we found items placed in unusual places. George got all the blame.
Little by little, George seemed to settle in, or maybe Bette and I just became so use to him that we did not sense his presence that much. If we misplaced something, we laughed that George was responsible. If there was a sudden crash upstairs, I would tell the customer that George must have dropped something. We dismissed the sounds of footsteps on the stairs with a shrug. We patiently re-stacked boxes and searched for missing tools without complaint.
I will never be able to explain what really happened that winter or why it happened to us. The barn’s history, according to past occupants, gave no hint of unusual sightings or sounds. Looking back, I cannot remember the day when George’s presence began to fade from our daily routine.
The day came when we found it necessary to relocate to a larger space. When I think of that New England winter and George, I sometimes wonder if he stayed on with the new occupants.I wonder if George moved their supplies… did he still noisily climb the stairs or did he simply wander off to begin a new adventure in another place.
Bedford Village Shops, Bedford New Hampshire
Art Experience moved beyond its walls by offering art consultation for home spaces and work places. Workshops and classes focused on selecting art for homes and offices as well as arranging art collections for customers.
Downtown Hampton New Hampshire
Relocating to the seacoast village of Hampton brought a new set of adventures to the journey. Forming relationships with other downtown merchants and business leaders who had similar interests in the revitalization of the shopping area, offered many opportunities to work together on promotions, festivities, and fundraisers. It was a bittersweet moment when it was time to close the doors of the gallery.
You’ve been flocked
One summer we joined the “you’ve been Flamingoed” craze and inserted flocks of pink flamingoes around the gallery entrance. A few days later they migrated to the basket barn down the road. A week later they were spotted at the Horace Greely Restaurant having lunch. A few were kidnapped and held hostage by unknown assailants. Nearby retailers who had a sense of humor, joined us in enjoying flamingo sightings and flamingo pranks.
Sadly, the craze did not last long. We were happy to have several of our pink friends return to Art Experience to enjoy retirement among the nearby field of wildflowers.
There are times when I miss those days of “flamingoing”.