The Frame Gallery: A Year in Art

by Sarah Beavers, Messenger Staff Writer
On Jan. 22, Harriet Runkle celebrated the one-year anniversary of opening the Frame Gallery. She bought the frame shop, formerly known as Corners, from Mindy Melton, and expanded the business beyond framing.
When opening the Frame Gallery, Runkle set out with three goals to accomplish: to provide a place for custom framing, a gallery space for local artists, and a place for children to create art.
In her first year, Runkle has accomplished the first two goals and seeks to expand hosting activities where children can create art. While an elementary school teacher in Arlington, Va., and a preschool teacher in inner-city Memphis, she encouraged her students to be creative and would host shows of student’s work for their parents. As an educator and artist, she opened the Frame Gallery with the vision of providing a space for local artists of all ages to exhibit their work and celebrate the creative tradition in Sewanee.
After a year in business, the “Framing Gals” (Harriet and Rea Mingeva) have restored art, hosted painting groups, installed gallery walls in homes, and worked with the Sewanee Elementary School and the Sewanee Children’s Center students to upcycle/recycle art.
Other shows that have graced the front wall included the photography of John Willis, a pop-up art sale with a variety of works from the local community, and Martha Keeble’s painting group, which highlighted how many artists there are in the area.
“I am so appreciative of the support from the community and the University,” Harriet said. “I am grateful to live in a community that loves and appreciates art.”
It is clear from the warm and happy atmosphere in the shop, and Harriet and Rea’s passion for art and fostering creativity, that the Frame Gallery is a true gem.
All are invited to enjoy the local art at the Frame Gallery whether you need a frame or not, and take advantage of the monthly showings in the front room. For the month of February, Mary Priestley will be showing illustrations from her new book “Sewanee Wildflowers in Watercolor.” At the opening reception from 5:30-7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, there will be a book signing, and prints and note cards will also be sold.

The Frame Gallery also specializes in archival framing and restorations, art consulting and installation. The Frame Gallery is located at 12569 Sollace M. Freeman Hwy., Sewanee. The frame shop and gallery’s regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.