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Size Doesn’t Matter

  We recently framed a wonderful piece of oversized art by a local artist, John Parente, a professor of art, creativity,philosophy, and religion at Chabot College. His work is filled with symbolism and knowledge reflecting world religion and philosophies.

  This piece is a large-scale watercolor done in 3 pieces that are presented together as a triptych. Since it is a waterborne medium on paper, one of the major challenges was to keep the pieces flat and supported inside the framing package. We utilized a large fabric covered liner that is strong and won’t flex like a matboard might, and attached the art to a sturdy backing. The larger center section is nearly 7 feet tall, so plexi is a must. We went with Optium museum plexi which has no reflection and is anti-static as well as scratch resistant.


  They are now proudly hanging in the Language & School of Arts building at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. A fitting tribute to a much appreciated artist. As John would wish for us all, “Peace and Fullness of Life!”


Happy Earth Day!

10 things Galleria Scola does to Go Green! 

Galleria Scola is committed to doing everything possible to help curb global climate change. Over the past several years, we have adopted many practices that conserve both materials and energy in an effort to Go Green!

  • Glass Recycling – Most of the framing glass we use has special coatings on and in working with Waste Management, we arranged a special recycling bin to collect all of our scraps and they can recycle it in their usual recycling stream.
  • Reduce foamboard use – Foamcore board is the framing industry standard for backings in most frames, and it has many wonderful qualities: lightweight, sturdy, & consistently smooth surface. However, it is still a petroleum product (the foam center part), so we have turned to a corrugated product similar to the corrugated cardboard you see in packing boxes every day. It is made of 100% cotton fiber and so is acid-free which is good for your art, and it is entirely recyclable which is good for the environment.
  • Wise use of foamboard – There are certain applications in which foamboard is the best candidate, such as mounting posters. For this, we have turned to foamboard that has a heat activated adhesive coating one side – pop it in the mounting press and the poster is smoothly adhered, and we don’t have to use spray adhesive that releases CFCs into the atmosphere. (Not to mention it’s very messy!)
  • Reuse packaging – Most of the materials we use come in packaging that is perfectly clean and wonderful, so we use those same materials to wrap finished frame jobs – using mat board bags and the paper that interleaves each lite of framing glass to wrap completed frame jobs. Boxes that once contained glass or moulding are great to use for drop cloths or separating frames from one another.
  • Reuse scraps & cast-offs – We always have several boxes going to collect mat board scraps that local art teachers use for an infinite number of class projects. Old frames also find new life in the hands of artists and kids at MOCHA and the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.
  • Use LEDs and CFLs – Several years ago now, we changed all the old lighting fixtures in the shop to energy saving types that use fluorescent, halogen, and LED bulbs. We save on our electric bill, as well as having fewer bulbs to throw away.
  • Find a use for old moulding stock – In the past year or 2, we’ve acquired a few miles of old moulding stock from frame shops that have gone out of business. It has been a wonderful opportunity to offer great framing deals to our clients and keep perfectly good moulding out of the landfill. OK, so some of it is kind of weird, but with a little painting and modification you have a really custom one-of-a-kind frame!
  • Reduce need for glass cleaner – Don’t worry – the glass in your frame will still be clean! We have found with the glass that is coated for UV protection and Museum glass that has anti-reflection coating, if we handle it wearing cotton gloves and cut it carefully, we don’t even need to clean it with chemicals. Gloves mean no fingerprints and dust can be removed with an anti-static brush.
  • Upcycle scraps whenever possible – Elida has taken to making box lids out of the tiny triangular pieces that are left over when a frame leg is cut. And of course we make readymade frames out of scraps of moulding, glass, and backing. Not always standard sizes, but then when do artists make art in a standard size anyway!
  • Keep systems running smoothly – Our HVAC may not be state of the art, but we keep it running smoothly with routine maintenance and even had special filters made that we wash out and reuse. The air compressor that runs all of the tools we use every day is extremely efficient, well lubricated and kept in tip-top shape.

   All of us here at Galleria Scola make a concerted effort to use all of our resources in the most efficient way – sometimes to our detriment. We suffer from the ‘wait, I can make something out of that!’ syndrome. Sometimes we do really have to get rid of things, but at least we have lots of avenues: clients asking, East Bay Depot, Craigslist free board, or Freecycle. Thanks to our community for caring about the environment!

Deadline Extended!

Deadline Extended! You haven’t missed your chance!
We’re still collecting books for kids in Bhutan. Bring them into the shop any time & enter to win a Bhutanese painting!

Books for Bhutan

Map of Bhutan

   Do you have well-loved but not too worn picture books you’d love to pass along? Would you like the opportunity to augment the Gross National Happiness quotient of Bhutan? In the Spring, Elida will be voyaging to Bhutan with a group of adventurers, and while there, they would like to supply an elementary school with as many books as they can carry. Kids there are in need of picture books (not chapter books) for grades 1 – 6. We will be collecting them in the shop for the next several weeks – until March 17th. When you bring in your books, you can choose to be entered in our drawing to win a Bhutanese painting. All books the travelers cannot carry with them will be passed along to the East Bay Children’s Book Project. Tell your friends!

Go Oakland!

Oakland Lake Merritt

  Despite recent news coverage, Oakland is a wonderful place to live and work. Even the New York Times says it is one of the top 5 places in the world to visit in 2012. Grand Avenue in particular is home to 2 of their recommended restaurants: Boot & Shoe, and Camino as well as 2 attractions: Grand Lake Theater and Morcom Rose Garden. As those of you who live in our neighborhood can attest, this barely scratches the surface of things to do and places to eat & shop. And as we can attest – the lively atmosphere of our city is a direct result of the vibrant folks who live & work here!

  We at Galleria Scola know that all of you who shop in our store and all the other small businesses that thrive along our avenues do so because you want us to be here now and into the future. It is a conscious decision that we appreciate and it inspires us, in turn, to give back to our community. In the last few months, we have supported many great organizations: Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation, Girl’s Inc., Beth Jacob Congregation, Corpus Christi School, Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay, Clausen House, Children’s Fairyland, and First Place for Youth. Check out these causes and maybe you will feel moved to support them in whatever way you choose.

  Another way to show your Oakland Pride is with a giclee print of a charming scene from Oakland’s history. We have reproduced a few images found on vintage pamphlets advertising Oakland as an up-and-coming place to settle. They are printed on thick cotton rag paper using archival, pigmented inks, and so will last far into the future. Show your Oakland Pride – Oakland Rocks!

                           Oakland - ships  oakland - sailboats