Picture Perfect Art & Frame: Celebrating 30 Years

This post is sponsored by Picture Perfect Art & Frame.

Picture Perfect Art & Frame first opened on Smith Avenue in West St. Paul in July of 1990. Second-generation owner Luci Hollenkamp is thrilled to celebrate 30 years of framing, preserving, and displaying art.

“My customers are great,” Hollenkamp says, explaining her favorite part of running the shop. “Often times they are coming in because they are in celebration of something—they’re framing a hard earned diploma, or wedding portraits, or other landmark celebrations.”

The work is often about marking milestones or commemorating achievements, which can make for some wonderful stories.

Those stories are varied and often deeply personal, like a braid of hair a son cut off and gave to his mother because she hated his long hair, or a half-stick of Wrigley’s chewing gum found in a father’s pocket after he died—he always tore gum in half and shared it with his kids. Each item that’s framed often represents a cherished memory.

30 Years of History

Hollenkamp’s father, Gerald, has collected fine art all his life. When his trusted framer closed up shop, Gerald decided to open Picture Perfect Art & Frame. Luci Hollenkamp worked in the shop from the beginning, and officially purchased the shop from her parents in 2006.

“When we started in 1990, we sold more art itself,” Luci Hollenkamp says. That’s shifted with the internet, as people are more likely to purchase art online. But it also means Hollenkamp can sell art online as well, which she does off and on through online marketplaces.

The process of framing has changed over 30 years as preservation has become more important. Archival materials are the norm, from wood pulp-free mats that won’t degrade and damage art to glass that protects from UV light and minimizes glare and distortion. 

The neighborhood has also changed in 30 years. The West St. Paul Antique Mall anchors the corner, but it used to be a vacant storefront used as storage by an auto parts store. Across the street, Amore Coffee used to be Anton’s Pharmacy. 

The Art of Framing

What hasn’t changed in 30 years is the focus on art at Picture Perfect Art & Frame. While Hollenkamp isn’t an artist herself, she sees her framing as art. 

“I can’t draw a decent stick figure,” she says. “But I can creatively put together a frame with mats. I framed a hockey print one time using actual hockey sticks.”

More than combining frames and mats, the job can also require some careful engineering. 

“I recently framed a wedding gown and shoes,” Hollenkamp says. “I feel at this point there is nothing I can’t do.”

Visit Picture Perfect Art & Frame at 898 Smith Ave. South in West St. Paul.

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