Wonderful news for Oakland holiday shoppers!

The city of Oakland has announced that there will be free parking at meters on Saturdays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. How great for all of us who want to support our local Oakland businesses. Please continue to observe the time limits (or you may still be ticketed) and we’ll all have a great holiday season!

park free in Oakland

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!”


Rotarians just like to have fun!

A great group of Rotarians

  Each spring the Oakland #3 Rotary club hosts ‘brown bag lunches’ for all the members, so they can learn about jobs and projects in which their fellow Rotarians are involved. This year Galleria Scola hosted a group in our gallery to learn about framing and specialty custom services that we offer.

  We began with a yummy catered lunch during which everyone asked all the questions on their minds – What is a French Mat? What is a shadowbox? What is a woodblock print?  Elida skillfully answered all the queries with visual aids all around the shop. Then we put the folks to work!

  After posing for a group portrait, each Rotarian selected a frame to put their photo in. While the pictures printed out, Micah gave a demonstration of how to cut and join a frame using a double miter chop saw and a Cassese v-nail driver. With all the right tools, it looks so easy! Jennifer then showed the pleasures of having a computer controlled mat cutter – great for cutting out special shapes or multiples of the same design.  


   They pitched right in, with Elida as their guide, to cut and clean glass & backings & attach the photos to the mats. Everyone had a great time seeing how “easy” it is to frame a picture – ha ha! All were very adept with the tools and techniques, and were justifiably proud of themselves by the end! And all agreed they would rather have US do it for them next time.


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!