Frame of mind: FW Gallery on the art of the unexpected
Cathy Nystrom and Meghan Daniel of FW Gallery are calling 2019 the year of color. They aren’t just talking about unexpected throw pillows, though. Rather, the pair is working to spice up walls across Baton Rouge with out-of-the-box artwork and close attention to detail.
“Bright accents aren’t just for kids’ spaces,” explains Nystrom, who recently took over as owner of the framing and art shop. “When people come in, they usually want something like a plain gold frame. What we do is try to show them something a little different.”
The walls of the framing area are filled to the ceiling with frame options, both traditional and unique. And while Nystrom and Daniel will frame things however you want, they love pushing clients out of their comfort zones in order to create eye-catching results.
“We love to throw in colorful mats,” says Nystrom. “One of my favorites is a frame that is natural around the outer part, but has a hint of bright color on the inside. It gives the artwork something extra.”
But, as Daniel explains, works hung on the wall don’t always have to be straightforward artwork or pictures. Things like cross-stitched phrases, tickets from memorable concerts, old Polaroids and even cookie cutters can be framed in order to stand out and offer a little diversity to a gallery wall. In Daniel’s own home, featured in 225 magazine’s Spaces and Places issue, she has combined color, texture and memorabilia to create a home filled with sentimental authenticity.
“Frame what you love,” notes Daniel. “And it doesn’t always have to be something expensive.”
“There are so many things that sit in a closet in your house and go unseen,” adds Nystrom. “I encourage people to go looking and find a little treasure. A little happy memory that you can put up and remember daily.”
In addition to framing, FW Gallery also hosts local artists in its front gallery. The work, however, is something different than you likely see around Baton Rouge.
“I look for different things. Things I haven’t seen anywhere else,” explains Nystrom. “I will just message people on Instagram or casually meet them at markets and ask if they want to show their work. For a lot of people, it’s their first show.”
By giving these artists a platform, Nystrom says she hopes to help them make more than money, but also connections throughout the community.
“I used to have a rule that I wouldn’t buy anything from a show until it came down,” she remarks. “But with one of our latest shows, I couldn’t even let this piece go on the wall. It was just a painting of an intersection, but it brought back so many memories of my first job and getting married. It’s amazing how powerful art can be.”