What we can offer you
Our Knowledge and Customer Service
When you come to Fleet Galleries to have your artwork or memorabilia professionally framed, the first thing we do is talk with you about your piece. We want to know something about it, what it means to you, and whether or not you have any ideas in mind for its frame, and where you’re going to hang it. Will it be exposed to sunlight? What kind of room will it hang in? How do you envision it hanging? Perhaps it’s one of a few pieces in a collection, or maybe it’s a visual centerpiece all by itself. These are important considerations in choosing the right frame.
Once we have a good understanding of your needs, we’ll offer you our recommended frame styles from one of the most diverse frame inventories in Manitoba. Together, with our expertise and your imagination, we’ll come up with the right combination of frame, glass, and mat to showcase and protect your piece, now and into the future.
No one can match our level of attention. You hear it a lot these days—customer service, customer care, or whatever the new buzzword may be. But we’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words. Let us demonstrate why we have been in the framing business for over 150 years. It’s our ATTENTION TO DETAIL in the work we do, as well as the attention we give in helping you choose the right frame to showcase your piece in the best possible way.
We’re not a big box frame warehouse; we’re not a self-serve, “hunt and find it in the discount bin” kind of store. What we are is a FULL SERVICE, PROFESSIONAL, CUSTOM-FRAMING STUDIO
If you’ve made the decision to hang a piece of art, or an heirloom, you probably have a strong attachment to it. If you created it, you put hours of effort into it; if it’s someone elses work, you admire the skill, talent, and time invested into its creation. So make the decision to entrust your piece to PROFESSIONAL FRAMERS who care about your art, and your love for it. We’ll even come to your home or office to pick-up your artwork; and if required, provide an on-site consultation.
If you’re in Winnipeg from out-of-town, let us know how much time you have, and we’ll work to your schedule to make sure we have your piece ready for you before you go! And for your convenience, we offer FREE parking; we even have a loading area, directly behind our building for those larger pieces that are difficult to carry.
Before You Hang it Protect it
Tape, thumbtacks and push pins work for hanging some things, but the reason we frame our fine art and valued pieces when we hang them, is to protect them from environmental hazards. When you hang a piece of art, you expose it to the environment—moisture, ultra violet rays from the sun, dust, pollution, and other external processes that can end up damaging or destroying your piece, over time.
If your artwork is not properly framed to protect, it can fade, yellow, stain, even be burned by acids in inferior framing materials, causing irreparable damage and loss of value and beauty.
But this is art, after all. It still has to look breathtaking up on your wall. At Fleet Galleries, protecting your art is our primary goal, but we know how to preserve your work AND keep it looking stunning at the same time. As artisans and professions, who have been framing “works of art“ for over 150 years, we can help you make sure your treasures will be around for many years, providing generations with the same joy your art gives you today.
Cutting Edge Technology
Even though Framing has been our family’s profession for over 3 generations, we combine our traditional skill and know-how, with some of the most sophisticated framing technology available today. Our suppliers are continually employing improved methods and materials, which enables us to use better tools and equipment to frame your art.
For example, we are one of the only frame shops in Winnipeg using a COMPUTERIZED MAT CUTTER that is capable of making the most intricate cuts, designs and patterns, in a fraction of a second. This means that you get the most innovative framing styles, otherwise impossible to achieve using traditional hand tools, and at a very reasonable cost.
Acid Free Materials, Mats and Backing
The mat is the material that surrounds your artwork, providing a “border” between the artwork and the frame. While the mat has become a design element in recent times, its main purpose is to protect your art by preventing it from coming into contact with the glass. If the glass touches the artwork, moisture can get trapped inside the framed piece, and mold can develop; the inks, paints, or pigments, can stick to the glass, ruining the piece entirely. The thickness of the mat then determines just how far away from the artwork the glass is held, leaving a protective air space between the two.
Mats are now made from acid-free materials meaning that chemicals used in their manufacture will not at all damage your art. With a huge selection of colours, materials and artistic matting techniques, we can ensure your artwork will not only look outstanding, it will be preserved properly. Come into the shop and see our COMPUTERIZED MAT CUTTER in action. No design is too complex for us to create.
But what if your work would look better without a mat? At Fleet Galleries, we use special techniques with the frame itself, to provide “breathing room” for the artwork, keeping the glass away from its surface. Ask us about alternatives to traditional mats—we can still make sure your art is protected from the environment, while providing the best possible aesthetic solution for hanging and showcasing your piece.
A liner is a special kind of mat that protects oil paintings. Unlike regular mats, these are made of linen, and come in a variety of sizes and depths. To make sure your oil painting is properly protected in its frame, ask us about the best combination of liners and frames for your piece. We can help walk you through the variations, and recommend the best choice.
To provide stability for your art, we use foam core backing with special barrier paper, or acid-free foam core and tape. Using our archival methods, you can be assured that your piece will be safe from the elements.
It is important that the back of your framed piece be sealed to prevent insects, dust, and dirt from damaging the art. However, some works such as oils need to breathe, since they never fully dry out. And depending on the type of frame you choose, we will use different sealing techniques. Talk to us about how best to seal your artwork to preserve and protect it now and for generations to come.
DO YOU KNOW? if your artwork is under siege? If your artwork was framed prior to 1985, your treasures may be in danger of severe damage from older, acidic framing and mounting material.
Up until 1985, acid-free, high quality matting, backing, and barrier paper were not widely available; conservation framing methods were not commonly practiced. Check your pieces today. Look at the colour on the bevels of your mats. If they look yellowish, acid may be leaching onto your art, eating away at the paper or canvas, and possibly the paint as well. If you notice “bubbling” on any part of your art, the mat, or the backing, call us as soon as you can. It may not be too late to restore your piece.
Severely damaged pieces can often be restored by a qualified art conservationist/archivist. We work with a world renowned archivist who can often mend the paper, then we can remount and reframe the piece using modern archival quality materials to ensure your art is protected for generations to come.
Glass and Glazing
When having your artwork framed, choosing the right type of glass can be a complicated decision. DID YOU KNOW? that there are at least 8 different kinds of glazing material available, depending on the style of your art, the media, type of frame, where you’ll be hanging it, and the size of the piece itself.
The glass you select must properly protect your art, but the final framed piece must look appealing. How do you know which kind will be best for your particular work? Talk to us about all the options—we can help you sort out the choices depending on your needs and budget.
Clear glass is the most common type of glazing. It is durable and scratch-resistant, and easy to keep clean. The disadvantages of clear glass are that many types are very breakable, and they weigh more than acrylic glazing alternatives. Glass does not offer much UV filtering (less than 50%). If you are hanging your artwork in a place with direct, or bright sunlight, glass may not be the best choice.
If you are hanging your artwork in a location where reflections may be a problem, non-glare glass can improve the look of the framed piece. However, the non-glare texture can make your work look diffused and less “sharp.” Like regular clear glass, non-glare glass does not provide adequate UV protection.
REDUCED REFLECTION GLASS
Recent advances in glazing technology have produced reduced reflection glass. It significantly reduces glare, but without the diffusion characteristics. This glass is almost invisible, and it is also quite expensive. It is breakable, and requires more care to clean, and doesn’t offer any significant UV protection.
UV PROTECTION—CONSERVATION GLAZING
Adding a special coating to glass provides ultraviolet protection for your artwork. UV protection is available for clear and non-glare glass. Also known as conservation glazing, it filters out more than 97% of the harmful ultraviolet radiation. Conservation glass will significantly reduce the fading of your artwork.
Museum glass provides the BEST PROTECTION for your artwork. Museum glass comes in several varieties—from crystal clear, to a tempered type that has a layer of acrylic between two layers of glass. Regardless of the kind of museum glass you choose, all have outstanding UV protection. As you may have guessed, this is the most expensive glazing, but for your most valuable works, there is nothing that will protect and preserve better.
Acrylic Glazing is not glass, but a plastic-like material. Most people refer to it as “Plexiglass,” which is actually a brand name of acrylic. The advantages of acrylic are: it’s LIGHTWEIGHT (great for very large works); it doesn’t break easily; and it has a higher level of UV protection than regular glass. Acrylics are softer than glass, so they are more prone to scratch easily, can accumulate static, and get dustier faster than glass.
Free Artwork Checkup
FREE INSPECTION & CONSULTATION
Call us for a free consultation. We’ll check out your collection, and provide you with a recommendation on the best approach to take, if there is a problem.
ARTWORK CLEANING SERVICE
To keep your art and its frames in top shape, we also provide artwork cleaning services. If you notice that your pictures appear foggy, despite your best efforts with the Windex, it may be that a film has developed on the underside of your glass.
Bring your piece in and we can quickly clean it for you, restoring it to its natural beauty!
Don’t believe the stories you hear about a shortage of parking in the downtown. We have free parking at our loading dock, behind our building. Just park and ring the buzzer at the loading dock door. We’ll help you unload your artwork, and provide you with a “FREE parking” pass.
In addition, there are many parking meters on Albert Street and McDermot Avenue, and the TD Parkade is just steps away. There’s also a number of Impark parking lots within a 3-minute walk (at most). We’ll even pay for your first hour. Just bring us the receipt, or if you’ve parked at a meter, let us know and we’ll reimburse you for the first hour. To make parking in the Exchange easy, we’ve created this handy map of all the parking lots in the neighbourhood.