by Nick Anis
The other day I was trying to get a discount or
donation of some frames and framed prints for a needy college student the
non profit organization I belong to, Diamond Bar Sister City is helping
sponsor. I phoned the owner of the only local shop I knew about.
Unfortunately, I was swiftly hung up on before I could even explain who I
was and what I wanted.
So, I looked elsewhere and discovered there is also a
fabulous custom frame and limited edition print shop in the South end of
town. Diamond Bar Fine Art & Framing is tucked away in pleasant,
lushly landscaped business center, Pepper Tree Plaza about 50 feet North of
the intersection of Brea Canyon Road and Diamond Bar Boulevard, and to be
honest with you, if the other shop hadn't blown me off, I wouldn't have even
known this wonderful place existed.
The enchanting proprietor and head framer, Kerry Ince
has been framing photographs, paintings, needle art, limited edition prints,
and other assorted art for the past three decades. Kerry has always
been interested in crafts. Her mother enrolled her in art classes
prior to kindergarten and she was an art major at California State
University San Diego and Fullerton. Kerry is quick to point out she is
more of a crafter than an artist; she likes to frame it not to create it.
But the magic she does with artwork is in itself an art form.
Actually there's is a team of crafts people at
the shop including Martin Tolley and Sheryl Simpson who each have 15 years
of framing experience and know their way around art quite well.
Kerry's 15-year-old daughter, Hannah, who looks like a teenage version of
Meg Ryan, serves as the gallery's in-house copyrighter and Webmaster, when
she's not being an honor student and reporter for the school newspaper at
Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton.
While giving me a tour the beautiful 1,850 square foot
gallery that's nicely lit with track lighting and adorned with hundreds of
custom framed original and limited edition artwork, as well as thousands of
frame samples, Kerry shared with me some of the steps involved in custom
I suppose I should fess up that, ordinarily, I'm the
type of person to run down to Costco and get one of those $5 ready made mass
produced frames. "Unfortunately, these cheapo frames really don't
do artwork or awards justice," Kerry explained. "Another
thing that's nice about custom framing is it is one of the last remaining
decorating areas where the customer gets to use their own creativity to
reflect the personality and taste and to best accent the style and decor in
their home or office," she continued.
I seized the opportunity to have Kerry frame an award
presented to a student we are sponsoring from the Mayor of Los Angeles
(where he attends college). This award has seen rough treatment, because the
student couldn't afford a custom frame and could not find an off-the-shelf
frame in that size. Kerry cut a custom double matt in her fully
equipped workshop that nicely complimented the hand lettered and drawn gold
leaf and vibrant colors from the City's official calligrapher artist.
She sized and cut the matting just right, and mounted the award perfectly.
Then she placed it in a gold ornate frame with a UV filtered glass face with
watchmaker-like precision. The result of Kerry's handiwork and talent
is that the award now looks positively wonderful. What an amazing
difference a custom frame job makes when done by knowledgeable and
experienced staff with good quality materials.
This shop can do wonders immortalizing birthdays,
anniversaries, weddings, retirements, and other special events and
occasions. For example, they frame collections or montages such as
military photo or photos, with insignias, ribbons, medals, and buttons along
Another subject area I happen to think custom framing
is absolutely essential for is properly protecting, preserving, and
displaying awards, certificates, citations, proclamations, etc. Back
in the 1990's I received a gorgeous award from the White House. As you
might expect, it was an odd-size. Because I was too cheap and too foolish, I
never got around to framing it. Unfortunately, that beautiful award
was eventually damaged. To make matters worse, now I can't even find
I also found that I had misplaced memorabilia I
collected during the time I was serving in the military (except for my dog
tags). A few years back, I applied to have my long lost military
decorations re-issued to me. But, because I didn't get these items
mounted and framed after they were reissued to me, I once again haven't the
faintest idea where they are now.
Now that my children are getting older, it would be
nice if I had my diplomas and awards framed and hanging somewhere.
Besides setting a good example for my two sons I think seeing this stuff
from time to time would be uplifting and inspirational. Sometimes,
when I get writer's block I look at the mounted and framed covers of some of
my books hanging on the wall in my study (I've written 24 but only have the
covers of the eight that were bestsellers framed), and I tell myself, if I
could write 150,000 words I suppose I can squeeze off another 1,200 or so
for an article.
Over the past twenty-two years my wife, Patty and I
have collected some nice artwork including some original oils and some great
signed limited edition prints. But, we also have some mediocre pieces
that we've been thinking about replacing for quite a while. There is
no need for us to schlep to a far off trendy and pricey art gallery, because
at Diamond Bar Fine Art and Framing we can find some great works of art at
affordable prices. This shop has thousands of prints to choose from
including ones from popular artists such as Bev Doolittle, Charles Wysocki,
Chuck Ren, James Christensen, Scott Gustafson, G. Harvey, Nancy Glazier,
Linda Daniels, Frank McCarthy, Will Bullas, Braldt Bralds, Colin Bogle,
Terry Redun, Carl Brenders, and Lee Bogle.
The gallery also has quite an extensive offering of
Disney memorabilia accumulated by Bob Penfield, the last original employee
to retire from Disneyland, and porcelains, and photo frames. Penfield
began working at Disneyland a few days before it opened to the public in
1955 and over the succeeding 42 years he worked almost every attraction in
the park. Bob has a massive collection of lithos, badges, pins, hats,
and figures. One of the nicest things about this shop is it showcases
private collections like Penfield's, the artwork of local artists, and even
holds art shows for local artists and local art students.
Shop owner, Kerry Ince has true appreciation for art
and a gift for how to showcase it in the most beautiful way. She also
is very committed to being a good corporate citizen and dealing in the most
honest, ethical, and professional way with her clients and with the
community. Sometimes visiting an art gallery can be rather
intimidating. But at Diamond Bar Fine Art & Framing there are no
pushy sales people, no price gouging, and no one telling you what you like.
Rather, there are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff that are genuinely
interested in helping you find affordable art and frames that best suit your
needs and tastes.
Drop in at Diamond Bar Fine Art & Framing.
They are open daily 10:00 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00am until
8:00pm on Wednesdays, and closed on Sunday and Monday. Frame prices
range from about $4.00 per foot to about $40.00 per foot. They use all
acid free materials so that the item framed will be protected and not harmed
by the framing itself. Diamond Bar Fine Art & Framing has several
types of glass and plexi-glass available including UV filtering and
non-glare. They have acid free paper mats and also offer hand wrapped
fabric mats. Each project is individually quoted. The turn
around time is usually about two weeks and they can handle some orders in
less time. Customers should feel free to ask if they are in a rush.
In addition to all the great artwork and frames you will see, you will also
enjoy meeting Kerry and her crack staff. By the way, Kerry ended up
donating the frame for the student along with some attracted mounted prints
for his dorm.
Diamond Bar Fine Art & Framing
3207-A South Brea Canyon Road
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
# # #
Nick Anis is a food, wine, and travel
and technology writer with over 24 books in print published by
McGraw-Hill, Random House, Bantam, Ziff-Davis, Tab, and others. Nick's
articles have appeared in The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, West Coast
Media, The Family Publications Group, The Weekly News, and Travel-Watch.
His beats include food, travel, snow and waters sports, entertainment,
family recreation, consumer electronics, home improvement, and automotive.
He is responsible for the Restaurant Row Ethnic Dining Guide, co-published
by the Long Beach Press Telegram. Nick is an
accomplished downhill skier, PADI certified SCUBA diver, and when he's not
sitting on his butt goofing off, enjoys a variety of active recreation
including tennis, riding motorcycles, ATVs, wave runners, snow machines,
horses, skeet and trap shooting he's also taken a stab at riding camels,
donkeys, elephants, ostriches, lamas, dolphins, Reindeer, bulls,
mechanical bulls, and buffalo. Nick is a member (A
Secretary/Treasurer) of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers
Association (IFWTWA), a member of the North American Snow Sports
Journalist Association (NASJA), Computer Press Association, The Writer's
Guild, and listed in Books in Print, Media Map, and Press Access.
You can reach Nick at Editor@Travel-Watch.com.