To some, the frame around a piece of art or memorabilia is primarily an apparatus to display and protect whatever is inside. To others, the frame itself is an important part of the overall aesthetic. For the past 38 years, Framemakers has been serving both these groups.

“The presentation of something makes a huge difference in how it looks,” says manager Mike Friesel. “And valuable artwork or family heirlooms need to be framed in such a way that they’re preserved, using archival materials all the way through. Our mission is to make sure that things that need to be protected are protected.”

Established in 1976 by owners Susan and Uldis Augenbergs, Framemakers cuts frames and mats to any size, for anything, and offers a broad palette of colors and styles. “We’re not afraid of a challenge,” says Friesel. “People bring us big, complicated things, and we’ve got the experience.”

Examples include a bicycle for a Little 500 team, a set of shackles from Alcatraz prison, a retirement gift for an FBI agent, and a variety of military memorabilia, from medals and swords to entire dress uniforms.

When the grand hotels in French Lick and West Baden Springs underwent a $560 million restoration at the direction of Bill and Gayle Cook, the renovators called upon Framemakers to help adorn the walls of guest rooms and public areas in a style that would complement their historic opulence.

“Usually, hotels have cheesy artwork, framed cheaply,” says Friesel. “At the West Baden Springs Hotel, they actually went through old postcards and advertisements, scanned them, and then we framed them and they put them up in the rooms. It was a big job. We did a floor at a time, with 150-200 pieces on a floor.”

At Framemakers, the “more usual job” is helping customers choose from the many framing options available to find one that fits their budget and desired aesthetic. Says Friesel, “You walk in here and there are a million samples, a hundred styles of mat board — you could take any one image and frame it a dozen different ways and have it look spectacular.”

Framemakers has locations on West Kirkwood and South College Mall Road. For more information, visit Framemakers’ website.