Frames on Main opens today
Brenda Salyers was starting to run out of room in her 14- by 16-foot work space at home.
She had been painting and framing in her bedroom since Bob Tabor sold the building in which he graciously let her use a room as her studio
“I had no place to paint, no place to work except my little 14-by-16 room which I had outgrown,” Salyers said.
Her commissions were getting bigger and bigger; the last one was six-foot.
In conversations with Sherry and Will Richardson, she learned the old gray building at 10 N. Main St. was for sale.
Salyers snatched it up in June and went straight to work alongside her team members, including Chris Mullins, Josh Ritchie, Jessica Rose and Ada Willoughby.
Together, they took up five layers of floor, repurposing everything they could find, including a clawfoot table with a handmade counter and coffee table stacked on top of it.
Now, the hard work has paid off as Salyers opens Frames on Main today at 10 a.m.
Salyers set up a painting studio in the back of the building, a space for the framers to work and then the rest of the shop is dedicated to selling art and other goodies.
“I realized I had all this, 3,500 square feet, and I’m a member of the Winchester Art Guild, and we had Arts On Main,” Salyers said. “And so, I presented, or met with the guild members and told them what I had. And I said, I think what I’m gonna do is complement Arts On Main, what they have. I won’t carry what they carry. They don’t carry what I carry, so we can give our Winchester people a variety of the arts. And that’s what we’re doing.”
Most of the home goods and art in Frames on Main are from Kentucky artists, Salyers said. She also has two framers with about 50 years of experience alongside two framers in training.
Frames on Main offers more than 1,700 framing options. Customers can choose from ready-made frames or consult with a framer to have one custom-made.
Salyers also has her art on sale, including her scenes of downtowns in various Kentucky counties. Salyers said she hopes to do all 120 counties, but so far only has 30.
Salyers said she tried her best to restore and preserve the history of the building. The shelves were from the old corner drugstore and city restaurant.
“Everything in this building has been repurposed that was in the building when I bought it,” Salyers said.
Salyers said her grandmother used to work for the restaurant, and she thinks the apartment overhead was once home for her grandparents as well.
“My grandfather was a cop for the Winchester Police Department,” Salyers said. “They lived upstairs and I feel like this is the apartment because I remember as a child, looking out the window when I wasn’t allowed to look out there… because it was bars and poker rooms and drinking and so forth but we would sneak and look out, and I remember the car wash being across there.
“I feel like this was the building my grandparents lived in. This was the building my grandmother served Winchester public on these very shelves. I even kept the booths upstairs. My heart just would not let the Winchester history leave here… There’s nothing that went out the door. We saved and repurposed everything.”
Salyers also dispersed inspirational quotes throughout the store to encourage people to enjoy art whether they do so actively or passively.
“Art has always been in my heart,” she said.
Salyers started experimenting with art as a child and then retired from UK Printing Services in 1999. That’s when she also took her first art class. It was her first time putting oil to canvas. In the years following, Salyers said she grabbed every art class she could, and eventually started selling her art.
Since then, Salyers hasn’t stopped painting, and with the new business, there’s no plans to stop anytime soon.
Salyers said she’s excited to open today.
“I am just proud,” she said. “I can’t wait to get up in the morning, put my open sign on the door and hang my yellow flag.”
Frames on Main’s regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Salyers said the business is also open by appointment.
In the future, Frames on Main will also offer consulting services to do home consults.
“Some of my family just doesn’t have the ability to look at a room, and see what’s in it and know what they need,” Salyers said. “And we do that. We also have to know the person and your personality too. You don’t want to hang a cow in a cat person’s house, or a dog in a cat person’s house. So that’s what we’re working towards.”
As for now, Salyers said she invites people to come see what Frames on Main is all about and to support local businesses.
“If we work together, Winchester can come back, and it’s growing, and just driving down the street just lifts me,” she said. “I can see the improvements in the old buildings coming back and the architecture being preserved. I love that.”