Lowy gives back – The Shars launch “Frame the Future”

Larry and Brad Shar wanted to give back to the community they have spent their lives in, so they founded Lowy’s Frame The Future program, in which Lowy provides after school arts education classes to NYC school children who would otherwise have little or no exposure to the visual arts.

In partnership with Arts to Grow, a New York metro area nonprofit that provides arts instruction free of charge to area children, Lowy provided a 15-session arts education class at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center for 30 students.  Arts to Grow serves less advantaged children who are growing up with a host of challenges.  Lincoln Square is located within a NYC Housing Authority facility where most of the children served live in single family or multi-generational family units many on public assistance or working multiple minimum wage jobs at or below the poverty line.

Frame The Future painters

Children in Lowy’s Frame The Future arts education class learning to paint

“Through exposure to the arts, less advantaged children gain access to learning valuable skills in critical thinking, social and emotional development as well as math and reading, in ways that are not otherwise available to them stated Mallory King, the Founder and Executive Director of Arts to Grow.  “Since 2005, we’ve been able to help over 2000 less advantaged children discover their full potential through exposing them to the arts, and in partnership with Lowy we will reach even more.”

“I’ve spent my entire life in the New York arts community and feel it is very important to give back,” said Larry Shar, president of Lowy.  “By sponsoring these classes, we help ensure the future of arts education, and foster future artists.”

Two groups of students participated in Lowy’s first sponsored class.  Children ages 5-8 and 9-11 worked with Arts to Grow’s professional artist/teacher Michelle Hill, who led them through an exploration of artistic vocabulary and taught them basic drawing skills using high quality art materials.

Students started with learning how to draw landscapes by focusing on horizon lines, seasonal colors and vanishing points.  Then they moved on to drawing and painting still life using a bowl of fruit as their subject.  In these lessons they learned how to focus on perspective, color and shapes using quality craypas, Sharpies, watercolors and special watercolor paper and brushes.

At the end of the 15 sessions, there were several masterpieces on view, ranging from urban landscapes to vibrant watercolor renderings of still lives.

Artist and still lifeA proud budding artist and her still life

Each child walked away with new skills and for some a new way to communicate. One 10-year old student who chose never to speak in class become an active participant and found his way of communicating through his artistic output.

Teaching artist Michelle  Hill slowly began reaching out by using his work as an example of “what to do”.  He started to respond and this interaction became a silent language for him. The positive reinforcement he received has unlocked a personal motivation to communicate through his artistic process.  Arts to Grow and Lowy are honored to know that our art class has been a gateway for a silent child to communicate.

IMG_6706One of the artists talks to Brad Shar, third generation owner of Lowy, about his painting

In autumn 2013, Lowy and Arts to Grow will host an exhibition of the children’s paintings and a silent auction that will allow people to bid on and purchase these works.  For more information on the specific date of this auction event, please email info@lowyonline.com

All funds raised at this auction will be donated to Arts to Grow to ensure continuation of Frame the Future classes at Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center and other program sites in low income neighborhoods throughout the five borough of NYC.  50+ schools and community organization are waiting for Arts to Grow programs.  To learn more about Arts to Grow, click here.

Featured Frame of the Week

This week’s featured frame is a Régence carved giltwood frame purchased during one of Larry’s first buying excursions in Paris during 1980. While considering the purchase at the famed Paris flea market, Marché aux Puces, Larry was initially deterred by the vendor’s requirement that the purchase include the painting enclosed within: A curious, uninspired Swedish portrait. But after seeing Faye Dunaway examining the same pair of art objects, Mr. Shar decided to take the plunge.

18th-century Régence carved and gilt frame with elaborate pierced corner and center cartouches, rosette demi-centers on finely crosshatched panels and foliate slight edge
18th-century Régence carved and gilt frame with elaborate pierced corner and center cartouches, rosette demi-centers on finely crosshatched panels and foliate slight edge

A frame such as this, with its strong directional focus on the center of the picture plane, serves best for a painterly yet refined portrait that contrasts the frame’s delicate, florid structure. The below painting by John Singer Sargent is a fine example.

John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Charlotte Cram, 1900
John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Charlotte Cram, 1900

To learn more about the stories behind Lowy’s collection of over 5,000 antique frames, please call 212-861-8585 or visit www.lowyonline.com .

Featured Frames of the Week

This week, we bring you two more antique Spanish frames, this time with a back-story. As many readers of The Lowy Blog will know, the ardent community of frame enthusiasts spans the globe. Lowy Frame and Restoring Co. will gladly travel thousands of miles to inspect particularly unusual or engaging pieces. For the frames below, Larry Shar made the trip to Salamanca, Spain to view a collection of 17th and 18th century antique Spanish frames that had been collected by an elderly antiquarian over the course of his lifetime.

This extraordinary 17th-century Spanish receding Baroque parcel-gilt frame comes from the Salamanca-based antiquarian’s collection.

Before being permitted to see the frames, Lowy’s president had to be interviewed to make sure he was worthy of owning the collection’s treasures. After passing the test, he examined the frames and beckoned the drivers of the truck he had hired to take them to the exporter for shipment. To Larry’s amazement, he was surprised to learn that it was not possible because the three-hour siesta had just begun. The good news? He was treated to a two-and-a-half-hour lunch.

At Lowy, we’re visual people, and we love faces. This small late 17th-early 18th century carved, gilt and polychrome frame contains shells and painted masks connected to cherub heads and stylized scrolling leaf carvings.
At Lowy, we’re visual people, and we love faces. This small late 17th-early 18th century carved, gilt and polychrome frame contains shells and painted masks connected to cherub heads and stylized scrolling leaf carvings.

Framing an Exhibition

Over the years, Lowy has often been called upon to frame a collection of works by a particular artist for various galleries and exhibitions.  This presents a unique framing challenge: how to frame each individual work of art while creating a cohesive presentation for the group of paintings.

Two such recent shows include Jacob Collins  and Shirl Goedike, both exhibited at Adelson Galleries on East 82nd Street in Manhattan.

Larry Shar mingles with Warren & Jan Adelson & guests at the Shirl Goedike opening.

With both shows, Lowy was able to provide frames for each work, which not only suited each painting itself, but also brought together the ambiance of the show and connected the works to one another.  As so aptly put by Larry Shar, President of Lowy, “The key to framing an exhibition of contemporary artists is to choose architecturally appropriate moldings that work in the space and on the art; with sympathetic patinas that compliment the artist’s palette making for pleasant viewing  and enhancement of the artwork”.

Have a look at some examples:

Photos by John Bigelo Taylor, Courtesy of Adelson Galleries, NY.

The next generation of Lowy: a framer is born.

Ben Shar, Brad’s son and Larry’s grandson, learns to burnish and gild at a demo by Wayne Reynolds.  His nursery school was here on a tour, and it was amazing how they responded!  Take a look through the photos and see for yourself.

The Lowy All Souls Tour

Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Ever wanted to feel a piece of gold leaf?  Or gild a frame?  Or watch as a conservator inpaints losses on a painting?  Stop by the Lowy booth at the 2011 Architectural Digest Home Design Show and these dreams, and many more, can come true!  This year’s show runs from March 17th through March 20th.  Lowy can be found at booth #436.  Learn more about the show here: http://www.archdigesthomeshow.com/

Just Folking Around…

You heard it right, Lowy is celebrating all things folk.  Come and visit Just Folk Frames: An Online Exhibition & Sale. Check out our unique selection of affordable folk frames from the extensive Lowy collection.  http://lowyonline.com/justfolk.php

A Change of Taste Opening Night: a few select pictures

Continue reading A Change of Taste Opening Night: a few select pictures

A Change of Taste Makes the New York Times

Our exhibition made the Times!  Check out their article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/garden/20shows.html?scp=2&sq=lowy&st=cse.

But more importantly, make sure you stop by!  It’s not often that we have a frame exhibition, it’s a rare and wonderful show filled with some pretty gorgeous frames.

A Change of Taste: From the Gilded Age to the Craftsman Aesthetic

We’re having a frame exhibition!  I think we’ve had maybe only one of these before, so get on down to Lowy to check it out!

The details:  the exhibition will chronicle the momentous change of taste in American picture frames from the mass-produced ornamentation of the 19th Century to the elegant artistry of the Arts & Crafts movement.  Many of the frames on display are signed and dated by their makers.  The exhibit is made up of frames primarily from Lowy’s extensive collection, as well as extraordinary frames from the collections of Edgar Smith, The Gill & Lagodich Gallery, NY and Gold Leaf Studios, Washington, D.C.

The frames will be on display at Lowy, 223 E. 80th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, NYC from January 24 – April 14, 2011.  The exhibition is open to the public Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm.