Just a quick shout out to the awesome Kuhl Frames + Art, framing shop & art gallery in Uptown Oakland.
I’ve been meaning to write about Kuhl Frames + Art for over a year now, for a number of reasons. After a painfully frustrating framing experience with Michael’s a couple years ago (don’t be seduced by their 50% off deals!), I opted for a different experience altogether. F*ck the big box Emeryville stores, I say! Our local independent shops are where it’s at, and this one is no exception…
Located in the thick of it all, at 22nd & Broadway… you can grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner and any fashion of associated beverages, all within a block of this lovely little shop. There’s Farley’s East, Uptown Cafe, Luka’s, Plum, Punchdown Wine Bar, Era… and those are just the one’s in spitting distance. So plan accordingly. And bring your appetite along with your art.
Owner Travis Kuhl has a great curatorial sense and the eye for display that goes along with it. Quite simply, he will transform your works of art into true heirloom treasures. He’ll spend an unbelievable amount of time with you, exploring framing options that will highlight the subtlest aspects of your pieces; he’ll examine 73 shades of white to get the one that looks just right; he’ll work within your budget and can offer gorgeous hand-made Italian frames (at a premium) or economical pre-sized standard frames that are still far more interesting than anything you could get at Ikea.
Additionally, the space is a lovely little gallery, hosting not only rotating art exhibits, but also small retail displays of interesting and eclectic items: like mid-century lamps, Travis’s gorgeous fireplace yule-log-ish glass lamp constructions, art books, letter-press cards, and more.
The first time I went to Kuhl Frames (to frame a piece of art I bought during Art Murmur no less!) they had a fantastic show up called Lil Tuffy, showcasing dozens of stunning hand-screened posters by the artist of the same name…
I meant to write about it way back then, but somehow didn’t get around to it. More recently, the gallery hosted the Lily Black exhibit I wrote about last week.
And also the wonderfully serene and spacious paintings of his wife Elisa Carozza-Kuhl. Her nature-inspired pieces can frequently be seen on rotation here… the current exhibit is a body of recent work exploring the new medium of acrylics, with a series entitled “Flights”. As we walked past them, Tim said, “I can almost hear these paintings.” I love her color palette of greens and golds… she says these colors hold an “emotional resonance” for her.
I love her color palette of greens and golds… she says these colors hold an “emotional resonance” for her, which, at least in my case, resonates for the viewer as well.
If you have a chance, do check out the current exhibit… I believe they’ll be working on a new installation at the end of the month. It will also give you a chance to ask Travis about Oakland’s Guardian Angel, who personally, in the dead of night, slipped this loving tribute to Kuhl Frames under their door…
“Invest, build, prosper, and live happy in Oakland.”
Dear Kuhl Frames,
Your craftsmanship and dedication to art in Oakland is nothing short of inspiring. Wishing you unbounded success, I remain yours truly.
Oakland’s Guardian Angel