Meet the framer: Colleen

I’m grilling, well, myself this week! I am a framer at the Morgan street location. New to the team, I have a background in fine art framing, photography, and design. Below are the answer to questions I sent to other framers in our group as well as an “artist’s statement” generated online and edited to be suitable for framing.

How long have you been a framer?

I worked at a frame shop in Philadelphia for four years. I joined The Frame Shop last month.

What is your favorite aspect of being a framer?

I love seeing the artwork or sentimental works that clients bring into the shop. They always have a story, tell me of an organization I’m not familiar with, or tell me about the special person they are gifting to. I learn a lot about people from what they hold dear.

How long have you lived in Chicago?

I have lived here for 3 ½ years.

Who is your favorite artist?

There are too many to choose from but some key favorites of mine are Nan Goldin, Louise Bourgeois, Walker Evans. I’m a photographer so the first and last are people I really look to for inspiration and perseverance. Bourgeois had the strongest will I’ve ever encountered in the arts. Here work makes me laugh, feel at home, and be proud to be a woman all at the same time.

What is your favorite thing to frame?

I love framing old family photographs. I love seeing fashion and hairstyles through the ages.

Where is your favorite place in the world to be?

At the kitchen table with my parents and friends. Sometimes we try our hardest to make each other laugh. Other times my parents tell stories of old New York and life at the time.

If you weren’t framing, what would you be doing?

Teaching. I’m also an adjunct Professor of Art.

Which do you prefer- Cats or Dogs?

Dogs. I’m very allergic to cats. These two below are two of my favorites.

Wine or Beer?

Depends on the time of year. When it gets cold, red wine is my go to. In the summer, I prefer beer.

Cubs or White Sox?

Neither Philadelphia Phillies all the way.

Colleen Keihm (°1985, Levittown) is an artist who works in framing. By investigating language Keihm works with clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal framing. The results are aloof and systematic and a cool and neutral framing is used.

Her framing styles is an investigation of concepts such as authenticity and objectivity by using an encyclopaedic approach and quasi-scientific precision and by referencing documentaries, ‘fact-fiction’ and popular scientific equivalents. She makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the question of how they can be presented. The framing tries to express this with the help of physics and technology, but not by telling a story or creating a metaphor.

Her practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for maneuvering with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of framing: these meticulously planned works resound and resonate with images culled from the fantastical realm of imagination. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, she considers framing a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to social reality.

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