The Art Corner

Location: salem, Massachusetts, United States

Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Work Space

Top photo is of our ready-made frames waiting for mats, glass and foamcore to be added.
The next photo down is of the salvaged compressor that still works in the upstairs storage space.
Upstairs is also where we are putting salvaged moulding, including donated moulding from a shop in Marblehead that is no longer offering framing!
Next is the "table" we cobbled together that consists of 12 20 gallon-long fish tanks--12"x12"x30"--topped by a DOOR that is topped by foamcore! It'll work until we can build tables out of plywood and 2"x4"s. (The shop space was a pet store before we took over and they left MANY fish tanks! Any one need a fish tank? They have a hole drilled in a side, to accomodate the store filter system, so they don't hold water, but they would work GREAT for hamsters or snakes, or such! Anyone?)
After that is the chopper that was donated by the same Marblehead woman who had closed her shop.
Then is the photo of the TWO wall cutters we use! The C&H we salvaged from the shop, but we couldn't get a good answer from Neilsen about how to set it up, nor do we know how to change the glass wheel or cutting blade! Any one? The other wall cutter is the Fletcher that we bought new from Don Mar, one of our suppliers. The Don Mar rep, Dave Campion, set up BOTH cutters, though he knew nothing about the C&H, so he couldn't tell us much.
The Art Corner
231 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970
Mondays-Saturdays 9 to 5pm.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Marianne's Take on the "disaster"

Please check out for Marianne Plumridge's insightful take on our fire.



Here I am on a ladder at the boarded up old store, painting directions to the new!


Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Re-Opening!

Photo #1: Chuck painting.
#2: Me and Julie Lutts communing.
#3: Marianne and her cutie panda painting.
#4: Bob and the Creature.
#5: The design desk and the "fire" exhibit of photos we took of the Disaster.
#6: The front entrance view of the new space.
#7: Jack Walsh relaxing on the design table, me, Alan Hanscom of my writers group filling up, Bob Eggleton and Marianne Plumridge having lunch on the couch.
The front room is SO like my Living Room! I am SO comfortable there! We all REALLY like this space and hope that we can stay! It's up to the old and NEW landlords if we can!

Keep your fingers crossed for us,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Bought Flowers Today

We have a brick "patio" out front of the store, and I bought petunias, marigolds and ageratums ( I LOVE ageratums! Maybe because they are PURPLE!) to fill the space between the "patio" and the sidewalk. I will plant them early tomorrow.

We have balloons planned. We have a new vinyl banner which attaches to the railing in front! We have 85% of our corner samples in place. We are starting to build ready-made frames again, AND will start to do Custom Framing again TOMORROW! Can't WAIT!

We are also planning how we can utilize our space at 231 Washington Street on a more PERMANENT basis! We LIKE it here, or maybe next door! The Papa John's space is bigger.

Come by Saturday!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We have scheduled a GRAND RE-OPENING for this Saturday, June 14. We will have coffee, chocolate, goodies, and stuff.

Local "legend" Charles Lang will be painting all day. Science Fiction legend and nine time Hugo award winner Bob Eggleton will also be painting. Marianne Plumridge, children's book author and illutrator, as well as fantasy artist, will demonstrate her techniques.

We will also be awarding Art Corner GIFT CARDS to randomly chosen customers! One FREE chance per person. Stop by for your chance!

We also will have an exhibit of "highlights" of the fire and many of the articles that were in the papers. The damage was devastating, but also hopeful! Many odd things survived; many treasured things didn't. Things that looked destroyed upon first sight, turned out salvageable; things that looked salvageable, often weren't.

But we're on the bigger and BETTER things now! Do we return to the old building after it's been repaired? Do we stay where we are?

How can we better serve YOU?

We like to "host" people, which is why we like to have art receptions and Grand Re-Opening celebrations. I feel our day-to-day work is also a function of a good "host." How can we make your shopping experience, your "design" experience, better?

The Suggestion Box is always open!

See you Saturday!

The ART Corner
231 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970
Hours: M-Sat, 9-5

Thursday, June 05, 2008


If you have ANY information which might help us find, or catagorize your work in the fire, then PLEASE let us know! The more info we can stitch together; the better to present to the insurance company.

They like tangibles. They like paperwork. They like records.

My Public Adjusters have made the point perfectly to me--we have to "puff up" the claim. NOT to "rip anyone off," as in the insurance company, but in order to get a near-true assessment of our loss.

The insurance company will haggle down; our adjustors will haggle up, and so we'll meet somewhere in the middle.

Be that as it may; I have ZERO resources for customers at this point. I have to wait for the insurance company to provide me.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Note To My Customers!


If you are thinking of doing a chargeback through your American Express card for any payments you made to the Art Corner for framing that was in the fire--PLEASE DON'T! Not yet! I have NOT received any advances from my insurance company except for one paltry check, so our funds are VERY LIMITED!

Nor can I refund any deposits made by you through any kind of monetary form, be it cash, check or charge. Our "gas tank" is running on fumes right now, until the insurance company starts paying on our claim. And I don't know how long that will take. It could be weeks, or MONTHS! I have been led to believe (!) that the insurance company is legally obliged to pay within a set amount of time, but I don't know what that time frame is. AND we haven't even finished our inventory, in order to even FILE that claim! We are waiting for YOU! I have started to call you, but some have demanded refunds, which I don't have to give at this point.

I still need to buy supplies; I still need to pay employees. I've had three "chargebacks" on American Express so far and they are depleting my meager funds so much so that I CANNOT pay my employees for this week cum Monday! UNLESS we get a huge influx of customers in the next couple of days with new framing! Hee, hee! Hint, hint!

But we still do not have a glass cutter in place, and the new mat cutter is of a design I'm unfamiliar with, and I don't have all the parts for it yet. We've worked out the limitations on our frame chopper, so that is up and running, but we don't have any stock of moulding yet, except for what we've salvaged from the fire, and we don't know how that'll react over time. I don't want to use something that we've salvaged from the basement and then have its finish bubble or a smoke-smell suddenly emerge from it in a few months! PLUS I need to drive up to Manchester once a week or so and presume upon the good graces of the owner of Nor-east Frameworks there to use his dry mount press and frame joiner. And gas is approaching $4 a gallon.

Am I pleading? YES! I need some time. I started calling customers yesterday concerning their work involved in the fire. But I've since stopped because I can't refund any more deposits or Paid in Fulls. We haven't the resources.

On a happier note, we have MANY pieces that one would never know had been in such a disaster. I've already turned over to their owners several pieces that had no damage and no smoke smell--at least, that was acceptable to the owners!

On a sad note, we've been unable to locate a handful of people's work. A couple of them, I have NO knowledge of. Which means they probably were dropped off on my one day off a week, Tuesday.

Let me explain Our System. It is the one used for 27 years by my former boss, the fellow from whom I bought the store 3 years ago. We use a three-part order slip system. The white copy goes on the Order Board in the back room. The yellow copy is attached to the cardboard folder the artwork is placed in, or attached to the artwork if it is too large or too thick to be put in a folder, such as a painting on canvas. The folders are put under the counter in the back room, unless they're too big or too thick, or otherwise of a configuration that won't go under a counter. The pink copy is given to the customer as a receipt. If WE have done our job correctly, then ALL the info involving the transaction, from moulding number, size of piece, condition of piece, payment status, should be copied on all the slips.

But since the order board with all the white slips burned up, we have only the yellow slips attached to cardboard folders to help us identify pieces. If the yellow slips are missing, then we have to GUESS, or else WAIT for the customer to contact US!

One the other, other hand, my husband, who has been a tower of strength and IDEAS--as always!--for me in this ordeal, has been going to the burned out store and digging and searching for customers' work and supplies and equipment to salvage. To the point now that he wants to literally bring a SHOVEL with him, so he can dig down through the layers of fallen ceiling insulation to the mauve or orange carpet, depending on if he's in the front or back rooms. I mean, we've ALL been doing this over the last six weeks--my employees too! But Chuck is the avatar. He just wants to go in and dig through every pile of debris and every nook and cranny! He is indefatigable! He's been awesome throughout this ordeal. He's the one who said to me the night of the fire, after we had gotten home after one in the am, and had poured ourselves a couple of stiff drinks: "So, now that you've written down who you need to call in the morning, HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR NEW STORE TO LOOK?" Slap me upside the head!

This is a terrible, terrible situation for us, but also for YOU! YOU have lost family treasures, as have we. We have come close to, and still might loose our livelihood if things turn for the worst. But I refuse to look at that Black Beast. We will not be dragged down by this.

We will "endeavor to persevere." As Chief Dan George stated in the Clint Eastwood movie, "The Outlaw Josey Wales."

The "Endeavoring to Persevere," unfortunately, takes TIME. PLEASE give me it!

The Art Corner
231 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Second Day

Today I bought a "balloon kit," to inflate balloons to tie to the railing out front and gather more interest. I also will order a vinyl banner to be tied to the railing, as we are not allowed to attach anything to the brick store front in any way that might damage it.

We will get/make a sandwich board: one for the immediate front and one to put out on the curb adjacent to Washington Street proper, even though such sandwich boards are illegal. But EVERYONE has one!

We need to make it clear to people where we are. The space is wonderful, but without Dancing Girls in the parking lot, or fireworks over the building every night, or a Dog and Pony act out front every day, how can we draw the customers in?

This is not new to me; my husband and I have been fighting this good fight for almost twenty years to get people to come into our Halloween Art Show during Haunted happenings. We always had a shoe-string budget, so we had to think WAY outside the box! I'm thinking we have to think along those same lines this time, too, as we have NO budget. The insurance company will cover "interruption of business," but there is a cap. AND they're being very SLOW in advances. If I don't have the sheckles to pay for advertising, I have to rely on my instincts to reach YOU!

Hope you stop by, if even to say Hello!
The Art Corner
231 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970

Monday, June 02, 2008


We Officially/UNofficially opened today!

It was a "soft" opening. We put out the "open" flag and lit up the neon "open" sign, and changed the "coming soon" signs to say "now open!"

We had visitors. Salesmen and friends. Our adjustors and a few customers who had had work in the fire. We documented our first "official" customer, who had work in the fire and we confirmed her order and will go ahead with it, as her piece only suffered a minor blotch of water damage.
We LOVE the new space! It's too small for our full, proper operation, but we could take over the space next door and we'd be at full capacity and more. But things are in flux. We have verbally agreed to return to the old space, but we need to re-iterate what the landlords there want to do, and what their insurance company wants to do! A BIG "if!" AND we don't know what the new landlords at our new space have in mind, or how much they want for rent after our 12 month "temporary space" lease is up.
"Such is Life Without a Shirt."
The Art Corner
231 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970
Hours: Mon-Sat 9-5pm