The novelist Chuck Palahniuk once mused, “It’s funny how the beauty of art has so much more to do with the frame than the artwork itself.” Well, more than a few artists might disagree with that remark, but the presentation value of the right frame is at the heart of a new complementary partnership announced between C. Parker Gallery in Greenwich and Rockwell Art & Framing, which has six locations across Fairfield County.
In this partnership, C. Parker Gallery’s art advisory services will now include Rockwell’s framing expertise. And the buyer does not have to come into the gallery’s 409 Greenwich Ave. space to make the transaction.
“We are a very concierge art service,” said Tiffany Benincasa, principal at C. Parker Gallery, who described her venue’s selection as ranging from decorative and budget minded to investment-grade pieces. “I’m a very customer-focused business that is guided by our clients’ objectives. We have clients who’ve never come into our gallery.”
Instead, Benincasa’s clients — who include both private collectors and corporate entities — can have the artwork brought to them via the gallery’s van, where they can view the pieces before making purchases. Steve Desloge, owner and president of Rockwell, noted that incorporating the framing process into this service was a logical next step.
“If you bought the canvas without a frame, Tiffany could provide you with framing for that piece,” Desloge said. “But the customer base in Greenwich deserve and expect a very high level of service. Our companies are very service oriented, so we decided to take our products and services to their front doors and into their living rooms and give them the option to have in-home framing and design.”
Benincasa explained the in-home process enables the buyer to determine the best frame to fit the environment where the art will be displayed, as opposed to bringing the work to a store for framing. “Now, they can get to look at it in the home, which is an added-value feature they never had before,” she said. “They were looking at a sterile, artificial environment and now they can see it in the context of their home.”
But finding the right frame, Desloge continued, requires a healthy Q&A session with the buyer. “We start with open-ended questions, such as: ‘Tell me about the environment where the art is going to go. Is it a kid’s room, is it a living room, is it a hallway? Is it a formal house? Give us an idea,’” he said. “Those questions are all answered when you are able to go into the client’s house.”
“Steve and I always listen very carefully to our clients and I think we can help discover the art that resonates with them and the right presentation,” Benincasa added. “Not everyone is comfortable in the art world. Everyone has a different relationship with it.”
Rockwell’s framing service also includes installation, and Desloge acknowledged that on some occasions he has diplomatically offered advice to buyers on improving the presentation of earlier works in their collection. “If we have thoughts with our clients, we become their trusted advisers,” he said. “There is a strong sense of loyalty. If we find something that we think needs a little change or refinement, it is our job to talk to them about that in a way that allows the opportunity to change in time.”
In addition to this new partnership, Benincasa and Desloge are starting a new union at Rockwell’s Ridgefield location, with Benincasa curating new exhibitions at the space. “We have an art gallery and customer framing in Ridgefield, and we are going to transition from providing shows internally to creating a C. Parker Gallery in Ridgefield in our gallery space there,” Desloge said. “This provides some other opportunity to co-brand and co-market.”